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The Stranger (1946)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  25 May 1946 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 12,833 users  
Reviews: 142 user | 92 critic

An investigator from the War Crimes Commission travels to Connecticut to find an infamous Nazi.



(screenplay), (adaptation), 4 more credits »
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Title: The Stranger (1946)

The Stranger (1946) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »



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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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Most Deceitful Man A Woman Ever Loved !


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Parents Guide:






Release Date:

25 May 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Date with Destiny  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was the first mainstream American movie to feature footage of Nazi concentration camps following World War II. See more »


In the final checkers game between 'Professor Charles Rankin' and 'Mr Potter', parts of a crew member's back and head can be seen reflected in the mirror behind Potter. Potter stands up, Rankin says "You know, uh, Mr. Potter, you're a bad influence", and as the camera pans to follow Potter, the crew member (probably the focus puller) can be partially seen in the mirror. He leans out of view momentarily but then leans into view again as the camera pans back with Potter. See more »


Mary Longstreet: Hello, father. Has anybody seen my brand new husband?
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User Reviews

As Dark as Noir Gets
15 March 2002 | by (Out there in the dark) – See all my reviews

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.

17 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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