The Stranger (1946)
7/10
Orson Welles' third picture about a Nazi war criminal hidden as a prep school teacher and newly married to an innocent woman
26 July 2015
Infamous Nazi war criminal called Franz Kindler (Orson Welles) assumes a new respectable identity in a Midwestern little town following WWII , unaware that a government agent (Edward G. Robinson) from the Allied War Crimes commission patiently stalks him . But his name is fake and his past is tenebrous . The escaped Nazi sedately living and is about to marry a beautiful as well as unsuspecting young woman (Loretta Young) , daughter of a prestigious judge (Philip Merivale) . But later on , Kindler feels his past closing in and he will need his own spouse to help him elude capture .

Interesting Welles movie with plenty of thrills , fine character studio , terrific interpretations and suspense from start to finish . It holds the viewer's interest but admittedly has some flaws , naive moments and wobbles . But it is studded with splendid scenes like the furtive flight across the dockyards at the beginning , the killing in the forests and the final confrontation on the clock tower including the sword wielded mechanical figures that move when the hour begins to strike . The vast New England town exterior sets, including the church with its 124-foot clock tower, were constructed in Hollywood on the back lot of the United Artists studio located on Santa Monica Blvd . Shocking scenes when are shown images about Nazi crimes , in fact it was the first mainstream American movie to feature footage of Nazi concentration camps following World War II . Nice acting by Orson Welles as a Nazi criminal who feels fascination with antique clocks and sedately esconsced in a small Connecticut town when an investigator is tailing him . Edward G. Robinson is perfect as a Federal agent out to get him . However , Orson Welles originally wanted Agnes Moorehead to play the FBI part , then the studio said no and instead gave him Edward G. Robinson . Furthermore , Loretta Young as attractive wife and Richard Long as brother give nicely understated interpretations . Suspenseful and thrilling musical score by Bronislau Kaper . Extremely well made camera-work throughout ; being shot in black and white filled with lights and darks by excellent cameraman Russell Metty . It is also available in horrible computer-colored version .

¨The stranger¨ was efficiently produced by Sam Spiegel and well directed by Orson Welles in 95 minutes runtime , being the only film directed by him to show a profit in its original release . However , Orson has stated that this is his least favorite of his films . Welles was a genius who had a large as well as problematic career . In 1938 he produced "The Mercury Theatre on the Air", famous for its broadcast version of "The War of the Worlds" . His first film to be seen by the public was ¨Ciudadano Kane¨ (1941), a commercial failure , but regarded by many as the best film ever made , along with his following movie , ¨The magnificent Ambersons¨ . After that , he directed this ¨The stranger¨ with an over-pitched acting by the same Welles and often described as his worst . He subsequently directed Shakespeare adaptation such as ¨Macbeth¨ , ¨Othelo¨ and his highly enjoyable ¨Chimes at Midnight¨ or ¨Falstaff¨ . He also performed a lot of films , Orson Welles interpreted for getting financing to shoot his pictures , as he played several exotic characters such as ¨The Tartari¨ , ¨Saul¨ , ¨Cagliostro¨ , ¨Cesare Borgia¨ and ¨Black rose¨ . Many of his next films were commercial flops and he exiled himself to Europe in 1948 . In 1956 he directed ¨Touch of evil¨ (1958) ; it failed in the U.S. but won a prize at the 1958 Brussels World's Fair . In 1975, in spite of all his box-office failures , he received the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award , and in 1984 the Directors Guild of America awarded him its highest honor, the D.W. Griffith Award . His reputation as a film maker has climbed steadily ever since .
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