A widowed farmer takes an indentured servant as his new wife, but the arrival of his old friend threatens their burgeoning relationship.


Norman Foster


Waldo Salt (screenplay), Howard Fast (story "Rachel")
1 nomination. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Loretta Young ... Rachel
William Holden ... Big Davey
Robert Mitchum ... Jim
Gary Gray ... Davey
Tom Tully ... Parson Jackson
Sara Haden ... Mrs. Jackson
Frank Ferguson ... Mr. Green
Walter Baldwin ... Gallus
Regina Wallace Regina Wallace ... Mrs. Green


David Harvey is a widower with a young son, Davey. They live on an isolated Ohio farm during the pioneer days. He wants his son to be raised in the manner his wife would have wanted - with proper schooling, Bible study and proper manners. Rachel, an indentured servant, is sold to David. David then marries her in order that little Davey would have a mother to properly raise him. David shows no real affection towards Rachel since this is a marriage of convenience. This all changes when Jim, a friend of the family comes for a visit. During his stay, David sees that there is more to Rachel than just being a "bonds woman", especially when Jim takes a liking to her. This awakens new feelings in David for Rachel. Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Man Who Bought Her...The Tall Dark Stranger Who Sought Her! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This was one of RKO's biggest hits of 1948, earning $395,000.00. See more »


While Davey rushes back from the store to eavesdrop on the transaction, the light and shadows indicate it's mid to late afternoon. Mere minutes later as the camera moves outside again, it is already dusk. See more »


Rachel: Oh, Davey, one of the reasons your pa wanted me here was so I could... sorta mother you.
Davey: The devil it was. You're a bond slave, that's all. Pa bought ya, I seen him through the window when he paid out your price. You was eighteen dollars and four owin'!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »


Just Like Me
Music by Roy Webb
Lyrics by Waldo Salt
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User Reviews

Fun Little Western!
14 September 2006 | by MCL1150See all my reviews

"Rachel and the Stranger" has been one of my favorite "little" films over the years. I only say little because my mother and I are the only two fans of it that I actually know of, but I'm sure there are hundreds of fans out there who love "Rachel and the Stranger" as much as we do. TCM runs it two or three times a year and I try not to miss it. I guess it was a big hit in its time even though it's not as well known today, but my advice is to watch it if you ever get the chance. At about 90 minutes it doesn't wear out its welcome and seems to be over as fast as it began. And with three great stars like Loretta Young (WOW!), William Holden and Robert Mitchum, you really can't go wrong. All three are perfect in their roles. The film is a traditional Western in many ways, but what I like most about it is the humor that's woven in throughout. One sequence even develops into slapstick, but it works. Overall, a really wonderful and enjoyable movie. This is the kind of film that you just end up counting among your favorites even though it's likely that no one you know has ever seen it. And it's the kind of film that you want everyone to see so you can strike up a conversation about how much you love it! Watch it and enjoy!

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Release Date:

2 October 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tall Dark Stranger See more »

Filming Locations:

Eugene, Oregon, USA


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


| (1954 re-release)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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