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The Mysterious Stranger (1982)

TV Movie  |   |  Family, Fantasy, Mystery  |  11 October 1982 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 118 users  
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A young printer's apprentice imagines himself back in the days of Guttenberg, helping him to print the Bible. The next thing he knows he has conjured up a young spirit from the future who ... See full summary »



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Title: The Mysterious Stranger (TV Movie 1982)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
August Feldner
Bernhard Wicki ...
Heinrich Stein
Herbert Fux ...
Hans Katzenyammer
Ernst Wasserman
Bernd Stephan ...
Vanessa Knox-Mawer ...
Harry Hornisch ...
Adam Binks
Erwin Steinhauer ...
Gustav Fisher
Towje Kleiner ...
Moses Haas
Balthasar Hoffman
Paola Loew ...
Frau Stein
Karl Friedrich ...
Father Julian
Erika Wackernagel ...
Erika Domenik ...
Astrid Lohel ...


A young printer's apprentice imagines himself back in the days of Guttenberg, helping him to print the Bible. The next thing he knows he has conjured up a young spirit from the future who casts spells over striking printers and causes general mischief. Written by

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Release Date:

11 October 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mark Twain Classics: The Mysterious Stranger  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

It Captures the Middle Ages
1 October 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Mark Twain didn't write the script. The script doesn't even follow the plot of the original story. So it should be looked at as a fabricated Twain story. Still, it is pretty good. It begins in a "modern" print shop, which is actually in the late 19th century. A young boy, August, timid and out of place, persecuted by his employers, finds himself back in the 16th century, the time of alchemy and magic, and religious persecution. He is the same character, working in much more primitive print shop, one that produces Bibles for the University. It brings in a magical character named 44 who is able to jump through time and do virtually anything he wants. In the book his name is the not too subtle Satan, but 44 is really more of an imp and out to have fun. Most of the troubles have to do with an alchemist played by Fred Gwynne (looking very much like Herman Munster) and a group of discontented printers whose role seems to be to use their skills for extortion. It is a comment on labor unions and guilds and these fellows become the perfect foils for 44.

Twain would have approved because it takes shots at religion, at least mysticism, self importance, the romanticism we attach to these times, and the frailty and fundamental unfairness of human life. August, played by Chris Makepeace, is the recipient of 44's (played by Lance Kerwin, a child star of the late 70's and early 80's) abilities, but is himself caught in his own medieval beliefs and can't understand what 44 is doing. I watch this about once a year since I taped it on PBS way back in 1982. It has an interesting message and I would hope that people will make an effort to find it and see it.

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