7.4/10
20,503
202 user 82 critic

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 »

Photos

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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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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)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

During the dinner conversation, a correspondent is mentioned, namely Standish of the London Times in Berlin. This could be a reference to Henry Standish, a war correspondent for the "News Chronicle", a UK daily paper that closed in 1960 after 30 years in existence. (Standish is quoted in 1945's "What Buchenwald Really Means" by Victor Gollancz.) Whether this reference is meant to be the same journalist, and whether the actual Standish wrote an article similar to the one discussed in the film, cannot be determined. See more »

Goofs

As Mr. Potter is pulling out Konrad Meinike's possessions from the suitcase, Mr. Wilson calls out the items in order without ever actually looking at the suitcase itself. See more »

Quotes

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

Alternate Versions

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

Connections

Featured in The World Famous Kid Detective (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Taught, suspenseful thriller
30 May 2003 | by Alberto-7See all my reviews

This film has been knocked by many people saying that Orson Welles was forced to work within the strict confines of the Hollywood system. I have absolutely no problem with this. Welles is a master craftsman. He made great films, period. In an interview he said that the studio cut out " a couple of reels" that take place in South America at the beginning of the story that he felt was the best part of the movie. As a viewer I feel that the film is compact and taut. Adding more to it would not help(in my opinion). On the contrary, I think adding more might make the film sluggish. As it stands the film remains dark. You feel that evil is present. You are just not sure what is going to happen next.

The performances in this film are for the most part excellent. Edward G. Robinson is amazing. This could have been a cardboard thin good-guy part. Instead he turns the character of Wilson into a smart, cunning hero. He is self-assured not obsessed. He understands what most people in the town don't: Kindler is a monster who is capable of anything. To catch such a man you have to be several steps ahead of him. Also excellent is Konstantin Shayne as Meinike. You can see the fear and madness in his eyes as he repeats "I am travelling for my health, I am travelling for my health..." before going through customs. Make no mistake, this man is "an obscenity that must be destroyed" to quote Wilson. Just look at his scene with the photographer in South America. He is used to people following his orders. Welles is also very good as Kindler/Rankin. There are moments that you actually feel sympathy for him. His obsession with fixing the town clock is very significant. Here is a man who needs things to be precise and structured. He wants total control of his environment(a good example is how he treats his wife). Welles hints at this man's mania but keeps him human. Even though you want him to be caught, you can't help wondering if he'll get away. Loretta Young is unfortunately just average in this film. She has some good moments (especially in the final scene when she confronts Rankin/Kindler)but her hysterics are just too much. The scene where Wilson is showing her the Nazi atrocities is well played. She keeps a certain composure that works well.

Overall, a very well made thriller with top notch performances and solid direction by one of cinema's masters. I give it 8 clock towers out of 10.


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