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A Stranger in Town (1943)

Passed | | Drama , Romance | April 1943 (USA)
In the small town of Crown Port local attorney Bill Adams is trying to break up the ring of corrupt town officials by running for mayor. The cards seemed stacked against him when he gets ... See full summary »

Director:

Roy Rowland

Writers:

Isobel Lennart (original screenplay), William Kozlenko (original screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Morgan ... John Josephus Grant
Richard Carlson ... Bill Adams
Jean Rogers ... Lucy Gilbert
Porter Hall ... Judge Austin Harkley
Robert Barrat ... Mayor Connison
Donald MacBride ... Vinnie Z. Blaxton
Walter Baldwin ... Tom Cooney
Andrew Tombes ... Roscoe Swade
Olin Howland ... Homer Todds (as Olin Howlin)
Chill Wills ... Charles Craig
Irving Bacon ... Orrin Todds
Eddie Dunn Eddie Dunn ... Henry
Gladys Blake ... Birdie
John Hodiak ... Hart Ridges
Edward Keane ... Blaxton's Lawyer
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Storyline

In the small town of Crown Port local attorney Bill Adams is trying to break up the ring of corrupt town officials by running for mayor. The cards seemed stacked against him when he gets help from a visiting hunter who, unknown to Adams and the rest of the town, is actually vacationing supreme court justice John Josephus Grant. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

April 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El ilustre incógnito See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Walter Baldwin, who played Tom Cooney, 17 years later played Floyd the barber in an episode of "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960). This was the only episode in which Floyd wasn't played by Howard McNear (because of McNear's health problems). Coincidentally, the title of the episode (season 1 episode 12) was "Stranger in Town". It aired December 26, 1960. Additionally in that episode of "Andy Griffith", Marlene Willis played the part of Lucy Matthews and Pat Colby played Bill Matthews. In the 1943 movie two of the central characters were Lucy (Gilbert) and Bill (Adams). See more »

Goofs

When Bill leaves the front desk at the hotel to go upstairs he didn't take his hotel key. But when he came back down stairs he tossed his key on the desk as he left the hotel. See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Enjoyable "Mr. Smith" Reversal
13 May 2011 | by KittymanSee all my reviews

In "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939), fly-over wisdom solves Washington corruption. In "A Stranger in Town" (1943), Washington wisdom solves fly-over corruption.

Frank Morgan portrays an incognito Supreme Court justice, who during his duck-hunting vacation, is reluctantly drawn into a small town fight against corruption. It is a dramatic change from his usual flamboyant-befuddled performance, and he does pretty well. One discordant note, however, occurs early in the picture. Morgan, while cradling a shotgun, meanders throughout town, into a barbershop, and even a courtroom. Nowadays, he'd have been pounced on, and probably branded a lunatic.

The film's pace is snappy, the romantic leads (Richard Carlson and Jean Rogers) have excellent chemistry, and the supporting cast is fabulous. It includes Robert Barrat, Porter Hall, John Hodiak (in his debut), Donald MacBride, Andrew Tombes, and Chill Wills (later Francis-the-Talking-Mule's voice). Ironically, however, Robert Barrat, who does a fine job playing the oleaginous mayor, had, about a decade earlier, been cast in an opposing role as a bucolic reformer fighting corruption. (His part was in "The St. Louis Kid" [1934], a charming James Cagney vehicle.) Yet, "A Stranger" has two sloppy errors, both of which occur in the same scene. (They should have been caught and corrected.) First, Carlson enters the local hotel and orders a "single room" for the night, but walks away leaving his key behind. Then, the following morning in court, he testifies that the hotel had violated the law by having the twin beds in his room placed less than two feet apart. If his room was a single, however, it wouldn't have had twin beds.

Finally, you might try following-up this film with "The Magnificent Yankee" (1950) if you're into related double features. It is a heartwarming story about Oliver Wendell Holmes, an actual Supreme Court justice, whose tenure would have ended at about the same time Morgan's fictitious one had started.


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