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Stranger on the Third Floor

Stranger on the Third Floor(1940)

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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Reporter Michael Ward sends Joe Briggs to the electric chair by testifying that he saw the unfortunate Briggs fleeing the scene of a murder. Shaken by the verdict and by his fiancée Jane's intuition about Briggs's innocence, Michael returns to his room, where he begins to brood about the events that led up to Briggs's arrest. Lost in his thoughts, Michael recalls his meeting with Meng, his loathsome neighbor, when he notices a sinister stranger in the hallway and chases him from the rooming house. After returning to his room, Michael detects that Meng's snoring has ceased, and begins to fantasize that his neighbor has been murdered and that he will be convicted of the crime on circumstantial evidence. Michael's paranoia continues in his dreams, and he awakens to find that his nightmare has come true and that Meng's throat has been slit. Jane convinces Michael to report the murder to the police, who find Michael's presence at the scene of both murders suspicious and arrest him. Realizing that the only way to prove Michael's innocence is to find the stranger, Jane begins to search for the man. She finds him feeding a stray dog and learns that he has escaped from an insane asylum. Thinking that Jane has come to take him back, the stranger begins to chase her across the street but is hit by an oncoming truck before he can harm her. Before dying, the stranger confesses to the murders, thus exonerating both Michael and Briggs of the crimes.