- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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The Stranger - Tense, Dark And Suspense Filled
- Bruce Reber
"The Stranger", starring Loretta Young, Orson Welles and Edward G. Robinson is an excellent suspenser about an escaped Nazi war criminal (Welles) posing as a college professor in a small town. He marries the sister (Young) of one of his students in order to throw a government investigator (Robinson) off his trail. When she learns who he really is, that's when things turn dark, because he's already killed once to protect his cover, and you know she's going to be next on his hit list. I don't get some of the negative reviews I've read for "The Stranger", they must be from those who dislike Welles as both a director and actor, those familiar with his reputation as a maverick battling against Hollywood, or maybe just Welles haters in general. "The Stranger" isn't one of his worst films; IMO that honor goes to a toss up between "Mr. Anarkin" and "The Trial". One previous reviewer compared Welles to Hitchcock, which is ridiculous because you're talking about two totally different directors and directorial styles. All you classic film fans out there (Welles haters and otherwise), if you haven't seen "The Stranger", check it out sometime on TCM. If you like great suspensers, you'll agree this is one of the best.
- Dashiell B.
Welles stars & directs what may be his least-known film. Welles is a convincing Nazi war criminal pursued to a small town by Robinson's investigator, a shining performance. The Oscar-nominated screenplay includes Welles' striking photography from his earlier films, as well as shadowy scenes of a film noir & early footage of concentration camps. Well worth seeing. I give it a 4/5.
Cult film without cult
- Oliver Cutshaw
This is one of the more forgotten and to some degree forgettable Welles' films. Edward G. Robinson does a fine job, and for once Loretta Young is playing someone other than amiable farm girl or an aspiring actress. Welles makes the most of his part but his character is so evil it is hard to see him as anything other than a monster. Interesting note: Another Welles film in which we are trying to find out who is the real person behind the mask. There are nice cinematic touches, and the film moves at a nice pace. But as several reviewers have noted the plot seems passable but implausible. The ending in the clock tower is wonderful. But most of the film is just a well-done run of the mill thriller with a little Nazi hunting added in.
This Emperor Is Wearing Nothing But a Bikini
- Andy Moursund
Impossible and yet wholly predictable plot from beginning to end, with overacting so extreme that it verges on self-parody, this has to be one of the silliest excuses for a film in the entire TCM vault, and I've watched several thousand of them. Hitchcock stages much more interesting and complex finishes involving heights, Welles himself has made far better postwar suspense dramas (The Third Man in particular), and any second tier film noir will feature superior character development. Only the ongoing Welles cult among critics can possibly explain the relatively high ratings this sorry film has received, and even many of them acknowledge that this is among his weakest. If you want to watch an infinitely better film with Robinson from the same period, watch Robinson and Burt Lancaster in All My Sons. It has all of the serious moral qualities that this lame work sorely lacks.
Edward G. makes this film...
- Steve S.
Just because it's Orson doesn't mean it's great
The reviews here seem to me a little starry-eyed. Welles' cinematography and direction are as marvelous as ever. But to ignore the weakness of the plot devices is simply unjustified. Welles is marvelous, Young is great and Robinson is Robinson. But can it be that the detective would spend two weeks on this case alone? Is he really going to let Loretta serve as decoy at the risk of her life? Ah, yes, the clocktower scene. It just doesn't redeem the entire story.
Can't imagine why this didn't do well... besides Orson being sort of a rebel; that could be one reason. Sadly, I only saw the last 40 minutes which was intense enough for me. Who could ever yell like that at Loretta Young? She was great, too - nice to see some meat come from her once in awhile.
I think Wilson, not Noah, goes first up the ladder and almost is killed. Your review, which is otherwise wonderful, says Noah was almost killed. Noah was assumed to be in danger because he was supposed to go and go alone. But fortunately he took Wilson with him, and they saved each other. What a great flick.