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The Stranger (MGM Film Noir) (Bilingual) [Import]
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Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Release Date: 10-JUL-2007
Media Type: DVD
The legendary story that hovers over Orson Welles's The Stranger is that he wanted Agnes Moorehead to star as the dogged Nazi hunter who trails a war criminal to a sleepy New England town. The part went to E.G. Robinson, who is marvelous, but it points out how many compromises Welles made on the film in an attempt to show Hollywood he could make a film on time, on budget, and on their own terms. He accomplished all three, turning out a stylish if unambitious film noir thriller, his only Hollywood film to turn a profit on its original release. Welles stars as unreformed fascist Franz Kindler, hiding as a schoolteacher in a New England prep school for boys and newly married to the headmaster's lovely if naive daughter (Loretta Young). Welles the director is in fine form for the opening sequences, casting a moody tension as agents shadow a twitchy low-level Nazi official skulking through South American ports and building up to dramatic crescendo as Kindler murders this little man, the lovely woods becoming a maelstrom of swirling leaves that expose the body he furiously tries to bury. The rest of film is a well-designed but conventional cat-and-mouse game featuring an eye-rolling performance by Welles and a thrilling conclusion played out in the dark clock tower that looms over the little village. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
The movie is not a classic by any means. It is not in the company of The Third Man or anything similar but it was soewhat fun to watch. Read morePublished on Feb. 25 2014 by Terrence Edgar
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... Read morePublished on Jan. 20 2011 by J. Lovins
Welles made a little gem with this picture. He followed the lines about a nazi who assumes a new identity in a small town. Read morePublished on June 21 2004 by Hiram Gòmez Pardo Venezuela
ï¿½The Strangerï¿½ is certainly an appropriate title. The film IS a strange one for director/actor Orson Welles ï¿½ it was uncharacteristically completed on... Read morePublished on Nov. 14 2003 by A. Wolverton
This particular DVD version of "The Stranger" would have been much better without several of the so-called "extras. Read morePublished on Jan. 29 2003 by Jennifer M.
First of all, concerning the DVD edition of THE STRANGER -- the version I own and am reviewing is the Hollywood Classics release. Read morePublished on June 21 2001 by Andrew McCaffrey
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. Read morePublished on June 14 2001 by A*
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