6.9/10
2,644
69 user 31 critic

Stranger on the Third Floor (1940)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 16 August 1940 (USA)
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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Cast

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

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 August 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El desconegut del tercer pis  »

Box Office

Budget:

$171,200 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Composer Roy Webb recycled the main theme in "Murder My Sweet." See more »

Goofs

When Ward rushes out of his apartment to phone Jane, he is not wearing a tie. But when he picks up the phone,he is. See more »

Quotes

Michael Ward: What if she's right - he didn't do it, and they give him the chair?
Martin: Suppose they do? What difference does it make? There's too many people in the world anyway.
Michael Ward: What's the use of talking to you? You think everything's a joke.
Martin: My son, it is. If it weren't, life wouldn't be worth living.
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User Reviews

Hardly a starring role for Peter Lorre but....
30 June 2003 | by (Gold Coast) – See all my reviews

An interesting film noir with Peter Lorre in more of a cameo as the mysterious villain than a starring role. He appears briefly, lurking darkly as he attempts to avoid a confrontation with the hero, not saying a word until the final ten minutes of the film. With a fairly nondescript cast, Lorre received top billing for what must have been a fairly easy few days' work. The film runs for just 64 minutes and is not unlike one of the Hitchcock tele plays in prime-time television in the 50s. Boris Ingster includes some creative moments with the dream scenes impressive. I particularly liked the angular images of the prison bars with the gruesome shadow of the electric chair. The ending is a little glib for my liking and the plot fits into place just a little too easily resulting in a fairly banal ending to what could have been a more complex psychological thriller - I thought for a while the hero had actually committed the two murders and that may have been a more interesting development than the more obvious ending. This film was shown on ABC television as part of a series of Film Noir and I was impressed with the superb quality of the print. 2 stars out of 5.


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