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The Stranger1946

  • 4.1
Having directed two undisputed masterpieces, CITIZEN KANE and THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS, Orson Welles delved into the suspense film, crafting a baroque postwar thriller that drew upon the style of his previous work, while laying the groundwork for his later film noir classics THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI and TOUCH OF EVIL. Edward G. Robinson stars as Wilson, a government agent who tracks down a high-ranking Nazi officer who has managed to craft a new identity for himself in a quaint Connecticut town, marrying the daughter of a local judge. Circulated in poor versions for decades, this edition of THE STRANGER was mastered in HD from an original 35mm print preserved by the Library of Congress, and is accompanied by a wealth of supplemental material.

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"Welles’s Nazi marks an early postwar appearance from an archetypal baddie which the American cinema has still not exhausted; the setup of a foreign enemy within our midst..." - Mark Asch, Keyframe


7 members like this review

I'm troubled at how sexy I find Orson Welles in this movie. I'm redeemed though by how much I root for Edward G. Robinson to persevere.

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (19)

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top reviewer

I'm troubled at how sexy I find Orson Welles in this movie. I'm redeemed though by how much I root for Edward G. Robinson to persevere.

7 members like this review
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staff

Ooooooooh.... Orson Welles at his creepiest! Minute by minute, it's a great nail-biter.

3 members like this review
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top reviewer

Excellent film! Orson Welles, Loretta Young and Edward G. Robinson are all brilliant! Also has fantastic supporting cast.

3 members like this review
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top reviewer

Time has done an injustice to this overlooked noir thriller. The world that was 1946 and the fears and anxieties of neo-nazi counterinsurgency, and post-war chaos in battered Europe seem distant and faded. Yet time is one of the themes of the “The Stranger.” Clocks are broken; hands run backwards. Our time—our destiny—seems to be out of our control…and we must be wary of those who try to set the hands of the clock to schedule their own agenda.

The centerpiece of “The Stranger” is the performances. There quiet strength and nobility of Edward G. Robinson as the detective and Orson Welles’ wide-eyed manic portrayal as his quarry, a human monster in our midst. For these reasons, “The Stranger” is timeless.

2 members like this review
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top reviewer

Masterpiece classic! Orson Welles, Edward G. Robinson, and Loretta Young--nonstop suspense and psychological thriller. Probably one of the first movies to deal with the horror of the Nazi holocaust in a realistic way. Prophetic about the fate of warring nations. Welles captures expressions vividly.

2 members like this review

the best movie I've seen on Fandor yet .. Edward G. Robinson was very good and so was Orson Welles , Loretta Young was just ok . The suporting cast was very good ... no one I recognized from old 1950s low budget TV series .

2 members like this review

Wow. Orson Welles sure did know how to make a movie!

2 members like this review
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top reviewer

totally corny & hammy overacting all the time_Mr. Wilson(Edward G. Robinson) smoking a pipe when you are tailing someone_not too smart_there are a lot of just dumb things put together in this film_but for the time it's interesting_and it's shot pretty well _love all the shadows and dark lighting

1 member likes this review

Timeless classic about the enemy within. Somehow strikingly relevant in 2017. The clock turns all the way around, and we find ourselves back at the beginning.

1 member likes this review

Excellent. Love old movies!

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

A great movie. All the famous Orson Welles gimmicks are here and done with perfection. If you haven't seen it, you truly must. It is replayed in dozens of more recent movies, but no one does it better.

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top reviewer

Orson Welles's The Stranger (1946) has no "hidden message" or great "symbolism". It's just a damn good "yarn" of the Spy Thriller genre. This film is very well crafted in all aspects. The acting, particularly by Orson Welles, Edward G Robinson, and Loretta Young, was really great. In fact, the whole supporting cast gave the whole story a very convincing "small town" feel. Every role in this film, big and small, was cast and performed perfectly. Very believable and "tight" storyline with no fantastic coincidences, and no unexplainable "holes" in the storyline, and the story had just the right amount of plot twists.. Robison plays a very convincing "G-man", going undercover to catch a Nazi war criminal hiding incognito in a small Connecticut town. Being released in 1946, it was very topical to the post WWII era, before "Soviet aggression" reared its ugly head. This film is still a very exciting, compelling, and engaging film today, being a true spy thriller for the ages. The Stranger (1946) is Orson Welles at his best.

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top reviewer

Pretty good for a mid-century Hollywood film, but not one of Welles' most important.

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top reviewer

fun to watch while doing something else

There are suspenseful moments to be sure, but “thriller” is maybe an overstatement. Despite this, the film has some great dialogue – “Who but a Nazi would deny that Karl Marx was a German because he was a Jew?” – as well as some good performances from Loretta Young and Billy House.

The function of the film as a representation of “the enemy within” is interesting to consider, as this framing is precisely homologous with how Jews and communists were portrayed by Nazi propaganda, and also how communists would come to be portrayed by American Cold War propaganda: “They look like other people and act like other people… when it’s to their benefit,” cautions Edward G. Robinson. There appears to be a displacement at work here, one in which an etiological enemy is displaced by a symptomatic one, in which class struggle is displaced by anti-fascism (a displacement all too relevant today). But even this anti-fascism feels somewhat dissonant in retrospect, since we can at the same time fault the constitutive historical revisionism of the film, knowing that in actual fact it was the U.S. that was responsible for pardoning many of the worst Nazi war criminals.

Tremendous direction. Loved the use of the clock/time throughout the film. If only the story and acting were more compelling. Even for the time, this is some seriously bad acting (with the exception of Robinson, the store clerk, and the brother).

Great film!

If your a fan of old movies you'll like this one ( I think)

Wonderful performance by Mr. Welles.

Maggie Snyder