7.4/10
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The Stranger (1946)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | August 1946 (USA)
An investigator from the War Crimes Commission travels to Connecticut to find an infamous Nazi.

Director:

Orson Welles

Writers:

Anthony Veiller (screenplay), Victor Trivas (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Edward G. Robinson ... Mr. Wilson
Loretta Young ... Mary Longstreet
Orson Welles ... Professor Charles Rankin
Philip Merivale ... Judge Adam Longstreet
Richard Long ... Noah Longstreet
Konstantin Shayne ... Konrad Meinike
Byron Keith ... Dr. Jeffrey Lawrence
Billy House ... Mr. Potter
Martha Wentworth ... Sara
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Deceitful Man A Woman Ever Loved !


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

When Wilson runs the Concentration Camp footage for Mary Longstreet, we see several shots of her face with the flickering light from the screen reflected onto her face. When the film runs out of the projector, the light on her face continues to flicker as if film is still being projected instead of being a bright white light. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mr. Wilson: Leave the cell door open. That's all there is to it. Let him escape.
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Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer-colorized version. See more »

Connections

Featured in Arena: The Orson Welles Story - Part 1 (1982) See more »

User Reviews

 
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 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | French

Release Date:

August 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Date with Destiny See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,034,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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