In fog-dripping, barren and sometimes macabre settings, 11th-century Scottish nobleman Macbeth is led by an evil prophecy and his ruthless yet desirable wife to the treasonous act that ... See full summary »
The Moorish general Othello is manipulated into thinking that his new wife Desdemona has been carrying on an affair with his lieutenant Michael Cassio when in reality it is all part of the scheme of a bitter ensign named Iago.
Wilson of the War Crimes Commission is seeking Franz Kindler, mastermind of the Holocaust, who has effectively erased his identity. Wilson releases Kindler's former comrade Meinike and follows him to Harper, Connecticut, where he is killed before he can identify Kindler. Now Wilson's only clue is Kindler's fascination with antique clocks; but, though Kindler seems secure in his new identity, he feels his past closing in. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
No question about it, "The Stranger" is film noir. This oppressive narrative is shrouded in what must surely be among the darkest visual styles ever. Outdoor, sunlit scenes are few and far between. Most of the picture takes place inside the shadowy mansion of Loretta Young's guardian, inside the town's general store, or within the nearly pitch-black church steeple, where the film climaxes in a highly dramatic manner. This movie is noir, without a doubt.
Orson Welles, Edward G. Robinson and Loretta Young--are all beyond criticism as well, giving finely tuned, subtle performance. Also standing out is a very young, understated Richard Long--proving he had acting chops way back then.
Bronislau Kaper contributes a score to rival other, more highly-regarded composers. There are moments in it of ethereal beauty as well as intense drama.
Yet, apart from its visual style, how is "The Stranger" noir? The answer may lie in another question: who is the hero? If it's the Welles character, then he is an anti-hero and it fits pretty well. However, his new wife, played by Loretta Young, finds herself in a situation most noir, when Welles confesses the murder to her (and later plots her death as well). But Young does not seem like the main character in this tale, nor does Robinson, who is clearly a heroic figure. Perhaps what makes this one noir is the visual style in combination with character situations that complement each other.
"The Stranger" is only a few short steps below "Touch of Evil" in the Welles pantheon.
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