IMDb > We Were Strangers (1949)
We Were Strangers
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

We Were Strangers (1949) More at IMDbPro »


User Rating:
6.7/10   702 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Up 24% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Peter Viertel (screenplay) and
John Huston (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for We Were Strangers on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 April 1949 (USA) See more »
China Valdes joins the Cuban underground after her brother is killed by the chief of the secret police... See more » | Add synopsis »
(5 articles)
Fat City
 (From Trailers from Hell. 22 September 2015, 9:58 AM, PDT)

Grant Not Gay at All in Gender-Bending Comedy Tonight
 (From Alt Film Guide. 15 December 2014, 7:40 PM, PST)

John Garfield Movie Schedule: Pride Of The Marines, The Postman Always Rings Twice
 (From Alt Film Guide. 4 August 2011, 3:28 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
"Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God": Thomas Jefferson See more (27 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Jennifer Jones ... China Valdés

John Garfield ... Anthony L. 'Tony' Fenner

Pedro Armendáriz ... Armando Ariete (as Pedro Armendariz)

Gilbert Roland ... Guillermo Montilla

Ramon Novarro ... Chief
Wally Cassell ... Miguel
David Bond ... Ramón Sánchez
José Pérez ... Toto (as Jose Perez)
Morris Ankrum ... Mr. Seymour, Bank Manager
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Abdullah Abbas ... (uncredited)

Mimi Aguglia ... Mama (uncredited)
Salvador Baguez ... Cart Driver (uncredited)

Argentina Brunetti ... Mother (uncredited)
Spencer Chan ... Celebrant (uncredited)
Freddie Chapman ... Altar Boy (uncredited)
Gertrude Chorre ... (uncredited)
Jack Clisby ... Guard (uncredited)
Helen Dickson ... Contreras's Sister (uncredited)
Fred Godoy ... Vicente Contreras (uncredited)
Lelia Goldoni ... Consuelo Valdés (uncredited)
Herschel Graham ... (uncredited)
Charles Granucci ... (uncredited)
Roberta Haynes ... Lolita Valdés (uncredited)
Ted Hecht ... Enrico (uncredited)
Rodolfo Hoyos Jr. ... (uncredited)

John Huston ... Señor Muñoz (uncredited)
Robert Malcolm ... Priest (uncredited)

Paul Marion ... Truck Driver (uncredited)
Santiago Martínez ... Waiter (uncredited)
Alex McSweyn ... Sanitation Man (uncredited)
Tina Menard ... (uncredited)
Paulo Monte ... Roberto (uncredited)
Alex Montoya ... Chauffeur (uncredited)
Alberto Morin ... First Senator (uncredited)
Alfonso Pedroza ... Sanitation Man (uncredited)
Rodd Redwing ... (uncredited)
Tito Renaldo ... Manolo Valdés (uncredited)
Joel Rene ... Student (uncredited)
Julian Rivero ... Flower Vendor (uncredited)
Edwin Rochelle ... (uncredited)
Joe Sawaya ... (uncredited)
Leonard Strong ... Bombmaker (uncredited)
Robert Tafur ... Rubio (uncredited)
Felipe Turich ... Spy (uncredited)
Harry J. Vejar ... Watchman (uncredited)
Peter Virgo ... Contreras' Chauffeur (uncredited)
Billy Wilson ... (uncredited)
Thomas Quon Woo ... Celebrant (uncredited)

Directed by
John Huston 
Writing credits
Peter Viertel (screenplay) and
John Huston (screenplay)

Robert Sylvester (novel "Rough Sketch")

Produced by
Jules Buck .... associate producer
Sam Spiegel .... producer (as S.P. Eagle)
Original Music by
George Antheil 
Cinematography by
Russell Metty (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Al Clark 
Art Direction by
Cary Odell 
Set Decoration by
Louis Diage 
Makeup Department
Larry Germain .... hair stylist
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Carl Hiecke .... assistant director
Sound Department
Lambert E. Day .... sound engineer (as Lambert Day)
Special Effects by
Lawrence W. Butler .... special scenes
Camera and Electrical Department
Al Becker .... grip (uncredited)
William Coppersmith .... camera operator (uncredited)
Max Nippell .... gaffer (uncredited)
Emil Oster .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Richard Walling .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jean Louis .... costumes: Miss Jones
Music Department
Morris Stoloff .... musical director (as M.W. Stoloff)
Ernest Gold .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Gladys Hill .... dialogue director
David O. Selznick .... Jennifer Jones by arrangement with
Rose Loewinger .... script supervisor (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
106 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

One of the writers, Peter Viertel, wrote a chapter in his book Dangerous Friends about how he and John Huston wrote the screenplay for We Were Strangers, including two weeks in Cuba with Ernest Hemingway. According to Viertel, Hemingway suggested ending the film as it occurred in reality: with the death of the revolutionaries. Instead, an alternative ending was supplied by Ben Hecht.See more »
Movie Connections:
We Dig All Day We Dig All NightSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
16 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
"Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God": Thomas Jefferson, 8 April 2007
Author: sol1218 from brooklyn NY

***SPOILERS*** Almost forgotten film about the White Terror that was unleashed on the Cuban people by the brutal and Fascist Gerardo Machado regime that lasted seven years from 1925 to 1933 when Marchado was finally driven from power in a popular and spontaneous revolution. Because of its more or less anti-corporate message, Dictator Marcado was fully supported by the US government and big business, the film "We Were Strangers" didn't get the credit or recognition that it deserved being considered pro-Communist. The film was soon put on the shelf gathering dust never to see the light of day until some thirty after it's release back in 1949.

Having her brother Manalo,Tito Renaldo, a student activist gunned down on the very steps of Havana University turned the meek and God-fearing bank clerk China Valde, Jennifer Jones, into a fiery revolutionary against the government. China joined up with a number of Cuban freedom fighters lead by American Tony Fenner, John Garfield, who masquerades around on the island as a talent scout looking for the latest in both Cuban music and dance crazes that he could bring back to America. We soon learn that Tony Fenner is really a Cuban exile named Antoino Ferrer who's father, together with his family, fled Cuba in 1925 when Machado took over.

Trying to get things going in overthrowing the Machado regime Tony who's been heavily financed by Cuban exiles, like himself, back in New York City's Spanish Harlem gets a number of his Cuban friends and fellow revolutionaries in Havana together to dig a tunnel under the Havana Cemetery. It's there they would plant some hundred pounds of explosives setting them off when a Cuban government big shot, that Tony & Co. plan to assassinate, is being laid to rest With Machado and his henchmen, political and military, in attendance thus decapitating the Machado dictatorship.

China has a far more personal reason in her covert actions in that the head of the hated Cuban Gestapo-like secret police Armondo Ariete, Pedro Armenda, was the person who gunned down, as we saw earlier in the movie, her brother Manolo. Ariete has, not knowing that he murdered her brother, been trying to make it with China since he saw her at the bank where he was checking on Cuban/USA bank money transactions. The transactions that Tony and his Cuban freedom fighters are heavily, in order to keep their resistance movement alive, involved in.

Beautifully photographed in black and white "We Were Strangers" has a strikingly sharp, and dark, film-noir quality to it with Tony and his gang of revolutionaries breaking their backs, and almost suffocating from the stench, in digging underneath and planting a giant land-mine in the middle of the Havana Cemetery. Only to have the planned funeral of Machado henchman Acento Contreras (Fred Godoy), who Tony and his gang assassinated, transfered to another cemetery outside he city because Acento's sisters wanted to have a little privacy in their brothers final send-off.

Despite a number of setbacks, like the Acento Contreras fiasco, by Tony and his revolutionary gang the Cuban people themselves later took to the streets and drove Machado from power but not before Tony, or Antiono Ferrer, Fenner's lost his life as he was gunned in a wild shootout with the police and Cuban militia at the end of the film.

It was ruthless tyrants like Gerardo Machado, and the US support of them, that made it possible for future dictators like Fidel Castro to gain control of the countries that they were driven out of. Being in league, and in bed, with dictators like Marchado and later Batista didn't play to well with the majority of the Cuban people who greatly suffered under them. In the end it not only turned them against the US but also,like in the case of Fidel Castro, welcomed Soviet support that also endangered the security of those very countries, like the USA, who during the hight of the Cold War whole heartily as well as foolishly supported them.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (27 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for We Were Strangers (1949)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
American philanthropist?! nedeljkodjukic88
this movie is available from Netflix danielj_old999
See more »

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Adventure section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.