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Talk About a Stranger (1952)

Passed  -  Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery  -  18 April 1952 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 248 users  
Reviews: 11 user

In an idyllic setting, a likable but dangerously volatile twelve-year-old boy tries to settle a score with his disagreeable, mysterious neighbor.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Robert Fontaine Sr.
...
Marge Fontaine (as Nancy Davis)
Billy Gray ...
Robert Fontaine Jr.
...
Mr. Wardlaw
...
Matlock
Anna Glomb ...
Camille Wardlaw
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jon Gardner ...
Boy (as John Gardner)
Edit

Storyline

Coming-of-age story about a bratty kid who takes an instant dislike to a strange new neighbor. The boy sets off on a campaign to smear his name and spread vicious rumors about him. His parents just can't handle the boy. But after the kid endangers all the crops in the valley by his vandalism of the neighbors oil tank, he comes to realize that people are not always what they appear to be. Written by Ed Lorusso

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 April 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Enemy  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Robert Fontaine Jr.: Do you live in that house?
Gregory, Boy in San Sala: What are you, nuts?
Robert Fontaine Jr.: Well what's wrong with it?
Gregory, Boy in San Sala: Do you believe in ghosts?
Robert Fontaine Jr.: No... oh, it's haunted?
Gregory, Boy in San Sala: How can it be haunted if you don't believe in it?
Robert Fontaine Jr.: Well... I guess if it was haunted, then I'd HAVE to believe it.
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User Reviews

 
Shows Some Dreadful Things About The 1950s
5 January 2005 | by (NY, NY) – See all my reviews

This movie is creepy. To a small degree it's creepy in the way it intends: It does seem as if Harper Lee may have seen this before writing her lovely "To Kill A Mockingbird," also about children (here just one child) wrongly suspicious of an odd neighbor.

In that novel, and the movie made of it, the children are very likable. Billy Grey is not, though possibly he was at the time. Maybe if I ha been a little boy seeing this at the time I would have identified.

The fact is, though, the boy at the center of this is very troubled, constantly near the brink of hysterics. When he is acting like a boy, he is shooting a toy gun or making gun sounds. In a time capsule, this aspect would be interesting indeed but today it is distasteful.

The original may well have had to do with the boy's worries about his mother's pregnancy. Would a new little girl (the whole thing seems very misogynistic) or little boy take away all her attention? Something, for sure, has made his kid a bundle of nerves.

Nancy Davis has a thankfully small role and so does George Murphy. Kurt Kazsner as the eponymous stranger is good, as are the supporting players.

The fifties gave us some fine music and art but a little item like this serves to remind, or show someone unfamiliar with that decade, what an unpleasant time it was, also.


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