- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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stranger on the third floor
- kevin sellers
Good start to a wonderful genre (that is if Eddie Mueller is right when he says this is the first noir, and who am I to argue with the resident TCM night and shadows maven)? Nicolas Musuraca's haunting cinematography, a must for this kind of film, is wonderful throughout and never more so than in the Kafaesque trial sequence. The screenplay by Frank Partos and some uncredited dude named West, as well as director Boris Ingster's pacing, is first rate as well, never getting bogged down in lovey dovey stuff with the two leads or undue preaching and speechifying, while managing to convey, in under an hour and ten minutes and without excessive violence, a nightmare urban hell of corruption and paranoia. The sizable Achilles heel of this movie is the acting. Joseph O'Connor is decent as the guilt tormented reporter but Peter Lorre and Elisha Cook overdo their creepy and scared rabbit schticks, respectively, while Margaret Tallichet is merely dull as the Loyal Girlfriend who cracks the case. And speaking of girlfriends and noir, where the hell's the femme fatale? Guess we had to wait a year for Mary Astor to supply that indispensable noir ingredient. So, weighing the good with the not so hot, let's give this one a B plus, mostly for a nice kickoff to 18 years of light and dark disturbance.
Good Movie Noir
Great introduction of twice a week noir.Liked the leads,John McGuire and beautiful Ms Tallichet.If she was considered for Gone With The Wind,probably would've been less full of backstage drama due to Miss Fiddle-dee-dee and old sour breath Gable.Watched both midnight Saturday and 10am Sunday,plus whatever's.Lorre may have owed 2 days or whatever on his contract,but he was SCARY! and the best acting in this noir.Thanks for showing it!
have mercy on my soul.
this story feels like a merge of the work of val lewton and dr. seuss. let me see..they say justice is blind and cannot bend. maybe that is good because the symbol is a woman and might be ogled and groped by men.a murder trial is going on. the judge and juror are having a snore.to them the life of Elisha cook jr. is a bore. the defendant is so angst ridden he does not know what to do. he might develop a thing of a personality disorder or thing 2. a reporter testified against him. he thought his word was legit. but Elisha thought ..this guy is full of snipple berry mint. the jury found him guilty. they had nothing to dread. but poor Elisha was like the horse head in godfather.. about to be dead. the reporter went to his small apartment in an emotional snit.but he had an old nosy nay zomber lomber next door who does not care a bit. peter lorre is the real is the real bad guy and that is a fact. the man comes off like a lorax on crack. there is a lady who says she likes the park. be careful a huge ferra zoobla may show up and cut a fart. the nosy nay zomber lomber had his throat cut.. what gore. if only he had not slept like he was playing with a snore zooka or snore zoomba until 4. the reporter chased the evil doer with extra pip but the horrid being disappeared like a magical cora bip nip. the reporter had a dream almost no one could explain..except the newspapers going down the drain..because too many people think they are lame. everything worked out by the end. that is all I will say not because it was hazy. it is because I am tired of this..i am lazy.
Stranger On the Third Floor (1940)
- James Higgins
This was dismissed in 1940, and fortunately is no longer that way. Awesome pace and cinematography, fine performances from all, great lighting and taut direction. Good score and very engrossing.
And Man this Stranger is strange
- Oliver Cutshaw
Engrossing little film noir is worth viewing. But it is Lorre's performance that is the main reason to see this cult classic. Though not on the screen that much, he dominates the film. He is the quintescence of the sad, isolated, half-crazed man who haunts your nightmares.