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on April 19, 2004
"You can threaten me with the bottom pits of hell," Edgar G. Robinson as War Crimes Commissioner Mr. Wilson exhorts a roomful of tired old Europeans, "this obscenity must be destroyed."
The "obscenity" is former Nazi Franz Kindler (Orson Welles), a death camp mastermind who disappeared shortly after the war. Wilson wins his argument and Konrad Meinike, one of Kindler's Nazi subalterns, is allowed to escape, hoping that he'll lead Wilson to Kindler.
Like the best film noirs, this is a handsome movie of shadows and sunlight. Meinike does make a shadowy escape, and Wilson follows him to the bucolic town of Harper, Connecticut. The stakes are implied but clear - Kindler and his ilk are malignant cancers, and Harper is pure and uncorrupt. Evil can't be allowed to sink its rotted tendrils into Harper. Harper with its ivied walls and paper chases, with the boys whistling at pretty blondes and new brides hanging new curtains.
Meinike does find Kindler, now Dr. Charles Rankin, early on in the movie. Evil needs shadows and dark places to grow. "We must stay hidden 'til the day we strike again." Kindler/Rankin is hunted, he knows it, and Meinike is an unwelcome intrusion. The last thing he needs is an old army buddy with the thick German accent hanging around.
Kindler makes and shallow plants the first corpse of the film, and so we're off.
THE STRANGER is a slick little suspense movie that really shouldn't be subjected to intense scrutiny. For instance, it's probably better we believe that Kindler was able to "disappear" into Smalltown, USA so smoothly. It's best we ignore the nagging question of how Rankin was able to woo and win the heart and hand of the beautiful daughter of a liberal Supreme Court Justice so quickly. And, later on in the movie, it's better not to snort at Wilson's rationalization for putting Mary Longstreet Rankin's (Loretta Young) life in danger. And it's definitely better not to wonder how a woman who is astute enough to question someone's advocacy of a "Carthaginian peace" can be so blind to her husband's dark secrets.
Young is wonderful as a young woman who has to journey from naïve young bride to a confused woman torn between love and terror. Robinson is just right as the driven Nazi hunter. Welles, in the lead role, is another story. He's too much the ham for a role like this. He's a little too over the top. Rankin/Kindler is a man who is living a great lie, and the penalty is great if he's found out. The role calls for someone who can internalize dread and terror, and Welles was never a great internalizer. Gregory Peck probably would have been perfect in the role - Peck was always better at repressing, rather than expressing, emotions.
Quibbles aside, I strongly recommend THE STRANGER. There's enough going on here to forgive its minor excesses and inconsistencies. Besides, it LOOKS so darn good. Welles' movies always have something visually interesting going on.
This IS a budget dvd, so the print and sound quality are less than pristine. I've seen worse, and frankly I didn't notice the scratches and splotches and such until I started looking for them.
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on October 18, 2003
The quality of this DVD is adequate: more watchable than the other Welles "Laserlight Classics," but nowhere near as sharp as, say, the recent DVD releases of "Citizen Kane" or "The Third Man." The bizarro Tony Curtis introduction is perhaps worth the price of admission alone! The bonus documentary is fairly perfunctory, but does contain some interesting and rarely seen trailers of Welles films.
On to the movie itself: In a scenario reminiscient of (but far less effective than) Hitchcock's "Shadow of a Doubt," Edward G. Robinson pursues the title character (Welles), who may or may not be an escaped Nazi, through a sleepy Connecticut town. Although "The Stranger" illustrates Welles' concerns that World War II did not spell the end of fascism, the film is by his own admission more of an attempt at profitable Hollywood product than an artistic statement. Despite this and the film's failure to live up to the inevitable comparison's with "Shadow of a Doubt," "The Stranger" remains a well-paced thriller, more enjoyable when considered apart from the rest of Welles' oeuvre. The trademark Welles style is evident in the South American prologue and the drugstore scenes, and the film achieves genuine suspense during the "paper chase" scene and the grand finale.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon February 5, 2016
THE STRANGER [1946 / 2015] [Blu-ray + DVD] [UK Release] The Most Deceitful Man A Woman Ever Loved!

Having directed two undisputed masterpieces like ‘Citizen Kane’ and ‘The Magnificent Ambersons,’ Orson Welles delved into the suspense film, crafting a post-war, psychological noir that laid the foundations for his later “film noir” classics, ‘The Lady from Shanghai’ and ‘Touch of Evil.’

Edward G. Robinson stars as a government agent tracking down a sadistic Nazi officer Franz Kindler [Orson Welles], who has evaded justice for running Nazi extermination camps. Rankin has crafted a new identity for himself in a quaint Connecticut town by marrying Mary Longstreet [Loretta Young], the daughter of a local judge, but as his past begins to catch up with him will his wife side with the investigators or her husband…

Circulated in poor versions for decades, this edition of ‘THE STRANGER’ was remastered in HD [1080p] from an original 35mm print preserved by the Library of Congress and this special edition to celebrate the 100th year of the birth of Orson Welles is accompanied by a wealth of extras including “Death Mills” documentary by director Billy Wilder. Original Theatrical Trailer and an excerpt from the TV series: “Around the World with Orson Welles,” plus the radio broadcasts by Orson Welles.

FILM FACT: Awards and Nominations: 19th Academy Awards®: Nomination: Screenplay for an Original Motion Picture Story for Victor Travis.

Cast: Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young, Orson Welles, Philip Merivale, Richard Long, Konstantin Shayne, Byron Keith, Billy House, Martha Wentworth, David Bond (uncredited), John Brown (uncredited), Neal Dodd (uncredited), Nancy Evans (uncredited), Fred Godoy (uncredited), Joseph Granby (uncredited), Ethan Laidlaw (uncredited), Ruth Lee (uncredited), Lillian Molieri (uncredited), Isabel O'Madigan (uncredited), Gabriel Peralta (uncredited), Gerald Pierce (uncredited), Robert Raison (uncredited), Rebel Randall (uncredited), Johnny Sands (uncredited), Erskine Sanford (uncredited), Pietro Sosso (uncredited), Brother Theodore (uncredited) and Josephine Victor (uncredited)

Director: Orson Welles

Producer: Sam Spiegel

Screenplay: Anthony Veiller, Decla Dunning (adaptation), John Huston (uncredited), Orson Welles (uncredited) and Victor Trivas (story/ adaptation)

Composer: Bronisław Kaper

Cinematography: Russell Metty

Video Resolution: 1080p [Black-and-White]

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

Audio: Blu-ray: English: 2.0 LPCM Dual Mono and DVD: English: Dolby Digital Mono

Subtitles: None

Running Time: 94 minutes

Region: Region B/2

Number of discs: 2

Studio: RKO Radio Pictures / OEG Classic Movies

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: Within just five years, Orson Welles had fallen from the position of Boy Genius with complete artistic control over his work to an industry-wide failure, forced to take on ‘THE STRANGER’ to prove he could work within the studio system as well as anyone. After a four-year hiatus and a lot of bad press, Orson Welles was eager to prove himself capable of bringing in a picture on time and within budget. The result was ‘THE STRANGER,’ Orson Welles's most conventional film but one which nevertheless bears some of his distinctive touches. There are also little jokes buried in each scene, as when Edward G. Robinson is knocked cold by a gymnast’s ring and the camera glances past a sign warning "use this apparatus at your own risk." But perhaps the most remarkable thing about ‘THE STRANGER,’ is that production proceeded without delays, incidents, hassles with studio executives, or the kind of scandals that marked the shooting. In that respect, it's the most un-Wellesian of any Orson Welles's film.

Orson Welles directed what is widely considered one of the all-time greatest films, ‘Citizen Kane,’ among several other acclaimed works, but his only bona fide box office success is the rarely-discussed ‘THE STRANGER.’ After the controversial debut of ‘Citizen Kane’ and the poor performance of his second directorial effort, ‘The Magnificent Ambersons,’ Orson Welles found it hard to get work as a director. He took a few years off to focus on acting and starting a family before returning to the director’s chair for the 1946 film ‘THE STRANGER.’

Orson Welles stars in ‘THE STRANGER,’ where he plays Franz Kindler, an infamous Nazi war criminal and after destroying all evidence of his past atrocities, Franz Kindler moves to a small town in Connecticut where he assumes the identity of a prep school teacher and marries Mary Longstreet [Loretta Young], the daughter of a Supreme Court Justice. He believes himself to be above suspicion, oblivious to the fact that a member of the Allied War Crimes Commission, Mr. Wilson [Edward G. Robinson], is on his trail and Mr. Wilson is charged with the task of convincing the naive Mary Longstreet of her new husband’s true identity in order to capture him.

With its game of cat and mouse and the exciting conclusion atop a clock tower, ‘THE STRANGER’ is ostensibly a standard drama-thriller. But further inspection reveals it to be more complex than that; it serves as a transitory piece in Orson Welles career. The film contains many of the artistic flourishes of his early works where Orson Welles keen direction includes several lengthy, albeit subtle, uninterrupted takes, while laying the groundwork for the “film noir” classics he would go on to create, including his follow-up feature, ‘The Lady from Shanghai.’

‘THE STRANGER’ was produced shortly after the conclusion of World War II, and although the war was over, the American people were still living in fear of another attack. The film plays on that fear, leading audiences to believe that the person sitting next to them could be secretly plotting to strike from within. The sense of unease is perpetuated by the inclusion of actual concentration camp footage; the first film to do so. It’s interesting to see Orson Welles take on a darker role rather than that of the hero, and he delivers a performance that is among his best. Edward G. Robinson’s portrayal of Mr. Wilson is equally commendable.

Years after ‘THE STRANGER’ was released Orson Welles and Edward G. Robinson spoke of how they disliked working with each other. Any conflict the two legendary actors had behind-the-scenes certainly did not show up on camera as they play off each other brilliantly. The strongest performances in the film come when the diminutive Robinson puts the lofty Welles on the defensive as he presses to learn the truth about his past. Another strong performance comes from the beautiful Loretta Young as the innocent Mary Longstreet whose steadfast will to defend her husband leads her gradually into madness.

Blu-ray Video Quality – OEG Classic Movies brings an 1080p encoded image that was mastered from archival 35mm elements which were preserved by the Library of Congress and this high-definition presentation offers a noticeable improvement, and it's apparent there were minimal restoration efforts done to this film and is presented here as is, warts and all, which is more or less a blessing in disguise. The 1.33:1 aspect ratio image displays strong definition and clarity for most of the film's runtime and overall resolution is really excellent. Fine lines and textures in various scenes are nicely detailed with some particularly revealing close-ups. A thin layer of natural grain washes over the picture and remains consistent throughout. Contrast is better balanced and accurate for the most part, as there a few instances of blooming in the highlights. Black levels too, are often rich and true with good gradational details, but some sequences appear a tad faded and murky. In the end, this is a good presentation of this film and you will not get anything better and I wish OEG Classic Movies had spent a lot more money on this classic Orson Welles film, as for me there are far too many white speckles and fine white lines running on the left hand side of the screen that keep appearing, as well horrible film gate dirt down the right hand of the screen, which too me sort of spoilt the enjoyment of the film, but unfortunately I expect other companies who have brought out this Blu-ray had the same problem, so sadly I am stuck with it, which is a shame as it is a totally brilliant tour-de-force espionage thriller film from Orson Welles. Playback Region B/2: This will not play on most Blu-ray players sold in North America, Central America, South America, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Learn more about Blu-ray region specifications.

Blu-ray Audio Quality – OEG Classic Movies brings you a choice of two audio soundtracks and on the Blu-ray it is 2.0 LPCM Dual Mono and on the DVD is Dolby Digital Mono, and very confused why they have done, which is all very strange. Vocals are cleanly and intelligibly delivered in the centre, and overall imaging comes with strong acoustical details. The design is not particularly dynamic, but the mid-range is nicely balanced and well-defined, providing the soundstage with an appreciably broad presence. Bass is pretty limited though there's just enough to give the music and the voices of actors some mild weight. All in all, it's still a good track and an improvement over its counterpart.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Special Feature: ‘DEATH MILLS’ [1945] [480i] [1.33:1] [32:40] This is an information film about the Nazi Death Camps with footage that appeared briefly in ‘THE STRANGER’ film. The film starts very badly with those countdown numbers and I cannot understand why they could not have edited this out and started it where the main title appears. Also another puzzle that I do not understand is that right at the end of the documentary you get short repeats of the documentary you have just viewed. This was originally made with a German soundtrack for screening in occupied Germany and Austria, this film was the first documentary to show what the Allies found when they liberated the Nazi extermination camps: the survivors, the conditions, and the evidence of mass murder. The film includes accounts of the economic aspects of the camps' operation, the interrogation of captured camp personnel, and the enforced visits of the inhabitants of neighbouring towns, who, along with the rest of their compatriots, are blamed for complicity in the Nazi crimes, one of the few such condemnations in the Allied war records. ‘DEATH MILLS’ [‘Die Todesmühlen’] is a 1945 American film directed by Billy Wilder and produced by the United States Department of War. The film was intended for German audiences to educate them about the atrocities committed by the Nazi regime. For the German version, Die Todesmühlen, Hanus Burger is credited as the writer and director, while Wilder supervised the editing. Wilder is credited with directing the English-language version. The film is a much-abbreviated version of ‘German Concentration Camps Factual Survey,’ a 1945 British government documentary that was not completed until nearly seven decades later.

Special Feature: Bull Fight in Madrid [1955] [1080p] [1.33:1] [15:12] This is an Extract from ‘Around the World with Orson Welles.’ Orson Welles pitches a film about the world of matadors, bullfights, and their spectators. Cast: Orson Welles, Kenneth Tynan and Elaine Dundy. The quality of the black-and-white 1080p image is spectacular; it is such a shame the main film could not of been of high quality standards as this particular special feature.

Special Feature: CBC Orson Welles's Wartime Radio Broadcasts [1941 – 1942] This particular extra includes four WWII-era broadcasts that Orson Welles voiced and was broadcast on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation apart from one, which is a great extra inclusion. Here you have four audio only radio broadcasts, which sadly are of very poor quality and they are as follows:

From The Series: Nazi Eyes on Canada [CBC]: ALAMEDA [29:00] Orson Welles performs in, but did not direct. This dramatization of the Nazi takeover of the small Canadian town of Alameda. It was produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, as part of the Third Victory War Drive. This was broadcast on the 25th December, 1942.

From The Series: Hello Americans [CBC]: BRAZIL [29:00] This is the Premiere episode of a lively variety program intended to foster Inter-American relations, and featuring an appearance by Carmen Miranda. The cinematic counterpart of this program was Orson Welles’s ill-fated film ‘IT’S ALL TRUE.’ This was broadcast on the 15th November, 1942.

From The Series: Ceiling Unlimited [CBC]: WAR WORKERS [29:00] In this episode of Orson Welles’s patriotic aviation themed program “He Swipes The Microphone” from a Nazi Spy point of view and broadcast to Berlin with a tour of the Lockheed-Vega Corporation plant. This was a light-hearted spin on “The War of the World” type spoof broadcast, where Orson Welles employs the pseudo-documentary approach for which he had become famous for. This was broadcast on the 14th December, 1942.

From The Series: Orson Welles Commentaries [ABC]: BIKINI ATOMIC TEST [14:00] Airing shortly after the release of ‘THE STRANGER’ film. This particular episode is of Orson Welles’s political opinion program discussing America’s further development of the Atomic Bomb, as well as the demise of The Office of Price Administration. This was broadcast on the 30th June, 1946.

Theatrical Trailer [1946] [480i] [1.33:1] [1:16] This is the original Theatrical Trailer of ‘THE STRANGER.’ Despite the grainy quality, it is still a great dramatic presentation trailer.

Special Feature: Stills Gallery [2015] [1080p] Here you get to view a gallery of black-and-white and colour images of a total of fifteen publicity photos, storyboards sketches, and Cinema Film Posters from different countries. To view them you have to keep pressing next with your remote handset.

Finally, though not as celebrated as Orson Welles's two previous films, ‘THE STRANGER’ is a crucial part of the director's filmography, proving he could create a commercial success without fully sacrificing his artistic integrity. It's a slick, thematically substantial post-war thriller, and it holds up well next to some of the best noir films of its day. ‘THE STRANGER’ has had a chequered history with the home video format like many films in the public domain, Odeon Entertainment has treated this classic film with respect, giving us a detailed high definition transfer, a great audio track, and a disc that includes an informative series of vintage radio broadcasts. It's a definite upgrade from previous Blu-ray releases, which had DNR [Digital Noise Reduction] done to death and also featured an audio track that should have been upgraded. ‘THE STRANGER’ may not be Orson Welles’s best effort, and it’s certainly not his most celebrated work, but it’s a great film worthy of recognition. As it is in the public domain, there are dozens of poor-quality versions of the film floating around on home video, but OEG Classic Movies Blu-ray presentation is slightly let down quality wise, but you do get some nice extras as compensation. ‘THE STRANGER’ is a better-than-average spy-thriller and particularly relevant for the time period of its release and most definitely worth discovering for Orson Welles fans everywhere. Highly Recommended!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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on September 17, 2003
As with all the releases from laserlight, gotham, or alpha you can expect horrible picture and sound quality and a low,low price. So once again if you've never seen this film before orsimply just want a version for real cheapit is quite worth it to pick this up. If however, you're anal about sound and picture fidelity just do yourself a favor and wait until someone releases a cleaned up, remastered version of this fine film.
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on June 21, 2001
First of all, concerning the DVD edition of THE STRANGER -- the version I own and am reviewing is the Hollywood Classics release. This is the one that comes with the 30-minute documentary on Orson Welles and the (rather frightening) introduction by Tony Curtis. The picture and sound looked quite adequate to me though there is an annoying "Delta" logo that appears occasionally in the bottom right-hand corner. I had never seen the film before and purchased this DVD in a 3-pack of Orson Welles films. For the low price, the value is excellent and the video quality is quite good, though I'm sure it isn't as clear as the more expensive version. The customer will have to decide if they want to pay three times the price to get a cleaner version or get a serviceable copy for the lower cost.
Now moving on to the film. This movie is much more straightforward than the other Orson Welles films that I've seen. We have a standard good guy and a standard bad guy, and each character is set up in his role almost immediately. Edward G. Robinson plays the Nazi-hunter who has been tracking Orson Welles' character since the end of the Second World War. Welles' plays a Nazi who has gone into hiding and is now living in small town America as a schoolteacher. The acting from the two leads is spellbinding -- as good as any of their best work, with Welles in particular stealing the show. Welles triumphs in the difficult task of playing a man who has successfully integrated himself in a community, yet allowing the audience to see him as the villain that he is. The viewer never questions why the outlaw has been able to fool his friends and neighbors for months but can also pick up on the same clues that Robinson's character does.
The story is not overly complicated and this allows us to pay a lot of attention to the different characters in the movie. The townspeople, without exception, are all given their own motivations without slipping into repetition and the silly catchphrases that movies set in small towns tend to give to their characters. There are also some excellent shots that could only have come from Welles' keen directorial eye. The German's obsession with clocks is an interesting metaphor for the Nazi mindset, but this is kept to a minimum and never becomes overbearing.
I highly recommend this interesting film for anyone who enjoys good acting and intriguing storylines. The documentary included on the DVD is very superficial and most of the 30 minutes are taken up by trailers of films, some of which barely feature Orson Welles himself. It's not something that the Welles fan is going to get too much out of and it does not contain enough information for the casual viewer. The introduction by Tony Curtis is frighteningly odd.
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on June 14, 2001
Right off the bat don't buy this dvd go out and look for the Roan Group double dvd with The Stranger and Cause For Alarm on it. Now that that has been established let's delve into the film. This film is a great introduction into the world of Orson Welles. Welles' films are always visually stunning a bit confusing, stark and thought provoking. And The Stranger posess all of the above mentioned attributes but just a litles watered down making it the most easy to watch of all of Welles' films. Welles' plays a Nazi war criminal hiding out in a suburbia and he weds Loretta Young to seem even more in touch with Americana. But when a man from his past comes and pays him a visit all hell breaks loose! Welles' has a very unique face in most of his other films he is clean shaven and looks like a cherub but here he has a mustache which makes him look sinister but still trusting due to his angel like eyes and you never wonder why Young's character stands by her man even after he tells her he's a killer! The camera angles are a lot less perverse than Welles' other films but his visual style is still present here! The scene after he kills his former comrade and the wind grabs the paper trail is just haunting. And the final sequence is also well done. Welles was a Hollywood out cast due to his often abstract cinematic ventures and wanted to prove he could make standard Hollowood fluff but with this film he went above and beyond the call of duty.
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on November 20, 1998
The recut and re-released TOUCH OF EVIL has revived interest in the work of director Orson Welles, and rightfully so. But what's to be said of THE STRANGER, often sniffed at by Welles scholars as being "too conventional"?
Actually, quite a bit.
THE STRANGER was made at a time when Welles hadn't directed a film in nearly four years. At that time, rumors were circulating as to his unreliability (and lack of marketability). To a certain extent, his reputation for being an out-of-control highbrow was a deserved one; he was also, however, an undeniable talent.
THE STRANGER demonstrates this. While the story of the escaped Nazi Franz Kindler (played by Welles) is told in straightforward fashion, there are flourishes of camera and characterization worthy of the maker of CITIZEN KANE. It must be admitted that Welles himself in the lead is a bit hammy at times; however, Edward G. Robinson (as a Nazi-hunter) and Loretta Young (as Kindler's unsuspecting wife) have never been better. The plot, too, is quite suspenseful, aided by lively dialogue written by Anthony Viellor, John Huston, and Welles himself.
And Welles the director keeps the picture moving. Particularly fine are the scenes wherein the frightened Young discovers her husband's true identity; the ensuing cat-and-mouse game gets a grip on the audience that doesn't relax until the bravura finale.
Along the way are Wellesian touches that complement--rather than intrude on--the story. Billy House and Constantin Shane (in smaller parts) make significant impact; the scene near the beginning where Kindler murders a good friend is effectively done with crane shots; and a film- within-the-film introduces the Holocaust to American movie-goers. Good, too, is the performance of Richard Long as Young's little brother.
In later life, Welles brushed off THE STRANGER, calling it the most impersonal of his movies, done only to show that he could direct as well as the next fellow (which, according to some wags, meant coming in under budget and on schedule). This is unfair to THE STRANGER, which is a taught, intelligent, well-made thriller.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon January 20, 2011
RKO Radio Pictures presents "THE STRANGER" (25 May 1946) (95 min/B&W) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) -- The Stranger is often considered Orson Welles' most "traditional" Hollywood-style directorial effort --- Welles plays a college professor named Charles Rankin, who lives in a pastoral Connecticut town with his lovely wife Mary (Loretta Young) --- One afternoon, an extremely nervous German gentleman named Meineke arrives in town --- Professor Rankin seems disturbed, but not unduly so, by Meineke's presence --- He invites the stranger for a walk in the woods, and as they journey farther and farther away from the center of town, we learn that kindly professor Rankin is actually notorious Nazi war criminal Franz Kindler --- Conscience-stricken by his own genocidal wartime activities, Meineke has come to town to beg his ex-superior Kindler to give himself up.

The Stranger, while not too complicated, offers a thrilling, suspense-filled plot --- It must have been eerie to viewers who watched it when first released.

Oscar nominated for "Best Writing, Original Story" by Victor Trivas

Under the production staff of:
Orson Welles [Director]
Anthony Veiller [Screenplay]
Victor Trivas [adaptation]
Decla Dunning [adaptation]
Victor Trivas [Story]
Sam Spiegel [Producer] (as S.P. Eagle)
Bronislau Kaper [Original Music]
Russell Metty [Cinematographer]
Ernest J. Nims [Film Editor]

BIOS:
1. Orson Welles [aka: George Orson Welles]
Date of Birth: 6 May 1915 - Kenosha, Wisconsin
Date of Death: 10 October 1985 - Hollywood, California

2. Edward G. Robinson [aka: Emmanuel Goldenberg]
Date of Birth: 12 December 1893 - Bucharest, Romania
Date of Death: 26 January 1973 - Hollywood, California

3. Loretta Young [aka: Gretchen Young]
Date of Birth: 6 January 1913 - Salt Lake City, Utah
Date of Death: 12 August 2000 - Los Angeles, California

the cast includes:
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

Mr. Jim's Ratings:
Quality of Picture & Sound: 5 Stars
Performance: 5 Stars
Story & Screenplay: 5 Stars
Overall: 5 Stars [Original Music, Cinematography & Film Editing]

Total Time: 95 min on DVD ~ RKO Radio Pictures ~ (02/15/2011)
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on April 18, 2015
Very good ending.
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on November 14, 2003
�The Stranger� is certainly an appropriate title. The film IS a strange one for director/actor Orson Welles � it was uncharacteristically completed on time and under budget. It is also a fairly straight-ahead thriller that just barely has the �Welles touch.� In fact, compared to Welles� other work, it seems�well, ordinary.
Welles plays a Nazi war criminal who has found refuge as a professor in a sleepy college town. This is the type of town where nothing much ever happens and the owner of the town�s general store knows everyone and everything about them. When Edward G. Robinson comes to town looking for �antiques,� suspicions are aroused, especially Welles�.
The best parts of �The Stranger� are the cat-and-mouse game between Welles and Robinson as well as the relationship between Welles and his new wife Loretta Young. The film still holds up as a good thriller, but not a great one. The second half of the film feels too manipulated. You might say, �But Welles was a MASTER of manipulation,� and you�d be right. But the difference here is in the manipulation of supporting characters who aren�t given sufficient room to develop or to think.
The commentary track by Jeffrey Lyons is, unfortunately, unremarkable. Lyons spends much of his commentary giving us a resume of each film the actors made, rather than discussing the merits and qualities of the film. I was hoping that someone with the knowledge and expertise that Lyons possesses would give us more.
Although not as good as other Welles films, every film lover should watch the film to catch glimpses of greatness from Welles, Robinson, and Young.
95 minutes
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