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Stranger on the Third Floor (1940)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 2,119 users  
Reviews: 66 user | 33 critic

An aspiring reporter is the key witness at the murder trial of a young man accused of cutting a café owner's throat and is soon accused of a similar crime himself.

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Title: Stranger on the Third Floor (1940)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
John McGuire ...
Michael 'Mike' Ward
Margaret Tallichet ...
Jane
Charles Waldron ...
District Attorney
...
Joe Briggs
Charles Halton ...
Albert Meng
...
Mrs. Kane, Michael's Landlady
Cliff Clark ...
Martin
Oscar O'Shea ...
The Judge
Alec Craig ...
Briggs' Defense Attorney
Otto Hoffman ...
Charles Evans, the Police Surgeon
Edit

Storyline

Rising reporter Michael Ward is a key witness in the murder trial of young Joe Briggs, who is convicted on circumstantial evidence while swearing innocence. Mike's girl Jane believes in Joe and blames Mike, who (in a remarkable sequence) dreams he is himself convicted of murdering his nosy neighbor. Will his dream come true before Jane can find the real murderer? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 August 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El desconegut del tercer pis  »

Box Office

Budget:

$171,200 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the three film generally rolled around by film historians as the 'first Film Noir,' M, Stranger on the Third Floor and The Maltese Falcon, Peter Lorre stars in all three. See more »

Goofs

on the rainy night when Ward and Jane for the first time go to the room he's renting we may notice different water stains on his coat in consequent shots. The left sleeve is dry before they enter the room, once they get inside coat's sleeves are wet. See more »

Quotes

District Attorney: [while he's shaving] So now, you believe both murders were committed by the same man, ay?
Michael Ward: Yes, I do.
District Attorney: Well, maybe you're right. As you pointed out, there are certain similarities between the two crimes, but you missed perhaps the most important: both murders were discovered by the same man - you!
Michael Ward: What are you driving at?
District Attorney: Tell me, has there ever been any insanity in your family?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Film Noir: Bringing Darkness to Light (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Magnificent story of Noir cinema with the great Peter Lorre
14 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

The story narrates as a journalist is witness of an assassination and his testimony is essential for accusation of the crime by a cab man convict (Elisha Cook Jr.) . He posteriorly has nightmares on sense of culpability and doubting the events and reflecting himself at surprising dream sequences . Other murders happen and the principal suspect is the reporter , who united his sweetheart will try to probe the innocence confronting a rare and odd character (Peter Lorre).

It's a classic RKO thriller film , where intrigue and tension is developed from the beginning until the end . Picture is deemed by some critics the first noir movie . The pic has the expressionist Germanic atmosphere , besides is Peter Lorre (actor usual from these films : ¨M¨ the Dusserfold vampire) with his typical interpretation as a quirky and bizarre villain . The suspense appears threatening and lurking in every street , room and stairs . The run movie is short-time for that reason is quickly seen , approximately is one hour . Photographer Nicholas Musuruca (Cat people) makes an excellent camera work , joined to John Alton are the fundamental artificers of the particular atmosphere in Noir films . Cinematography is extraordinary , lights and shades settings depict that type of cinema creating eerie scenarios . Roy Webb's (habitual musician of RKO) score is fine . Nifty direction by Boris Ingster who made scarcely movies later . The flick will appeal to noir cinema moviegoers.


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