- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
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- Historical Importance
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It has often surprised me how easily members of the Nazi hierarchy could appeal to god. It was as if they we're totally oblivious to their own hatred, their own responsibility for the horrors of those years. In 1946 the mad determination of Nazi war criminals to find safe haven somewhere--anywhere--was very real. There are countless accounts of all levels of Nazi authorities hiding in plain sight for decades. This story is way ahead of that curve. Because it is so close to the actual events of the War, the fear and terror those fugitives sparked is dripping in this film. The New England village is hiding in plain sight in every possible way. That makes the story all the more dark and creepy. The monster walks among the unsuspecting. He's not a 95 year old man eight decades removed from the death camps. He is young, conniving, brutish, savage and unrepentant. He holds a position of some responsibility and merit. He haunts the town and is a deadly threat and the townsfolk have no clue. This is a powerful film. The acting is superb especially that of Edgar G. Robinson. The film has to be every bit of what Orson Welles wanted it to be. Everyone who has the chance should see this excellent movie.
Like the juxtaposition of the normal, homey, cozy, innocence of the all American New England town and the evil of the Nazi "stranger". Makes this movie all the more suspenseful and powerful.Loretta Young's performance very good but a little melodramatic. Mr. Potter added Comic relief , as the cagey proprietor of the local drugstore. Marjorie C.
Great to Have An Intro In Latest Showing
Thanks,Eddie Muller for your insight into this gem.No reason for anyone to object to subject matter,Nazi Fugitives showed an episode with Nazi collaborator from France,Lyon,who was basis for Michael Caine's character of 2003 movie "The Statement" with similar premise,but Kindler got his shortly after WWII ends,not free and enjoying himself for 50 years,only to die 2 years after sentencing for Crimes Against Humanity.Kindler total evil,terrorized wife,commits murder to cover himself,deserves no sympathy,esp in his speech about the German,and insinuation that Marx was not German because he was Jewish!Well-acted by all,always get a kick out of Mr Potter,get it yourself attitude.Philip Merivale a great actor as the Judge,Mary's dad.
The Fly and the Spider
- Dan Desjardins
"The Stranger," as plot, reveals fiction stranger than truth. A fugitive Nazi, "Franz Kindler," escapes to a small New England town, to become the husband of a judge's daughter, handy at clock fixing, but also handy at nefarious misdeeds. He kills an ex-associate Nazi, then kills the family dog who tries to uncover the shallow grave. The grave is discovered anyway, and the chase is on by "Wilson," Nazi-hunter extraordinaire, who picks up on the many little hints of Franz's true identity. At one point, to convince Franz's wife just what a cruel and inhuman man Franz was (and still is, of course), he shows films of dead persons in a mass grave (no, it couldn't be any of the 5,000 victims of typhus who died at Bergen-Belsen under British control after the war), as "proof" of Franz's butchery. "Wilson" also shows what at first blush appears to be a two-tiered U.S. penitentiary cell block, but no, we are told it is a series of showers, where prisoners were given hot shower baths to open their pores in order that when they are gassed the gas enters their pores more readily (never mind the breathing of the gas itself). In the end, Franz's wife, convinced of her husband's skullduggery, shoots "Franz" in the clock tower, wounding him in the arm. But wait, that is not all. He falls out an open window down onto the landing where mythical Teutonic life-size figurines are in motion going round and round thanks to Franz having ingeniously fixed the clockwork earlier, and one of those figurines with outward-pointing sword catches Franz off-guard, piercing him straight through. We are given to see poor Franz grimacing in pain, carried along on the brutal sword just long enough for all the righteous anti-Nazi persons to rejoice until somehow, in one last super-human effort (please know that Nazis are not generally to be regarded as "super-human"), Franz frees himself from the sword and falls to his death to create the fitting, dramatic ending. A worthwhile study in post-war mania.
Nice Star Vehicle for Loretta Young
The story is a good one. Nice hometown girl meets engaging intellectual and the two live happily ever after. Not quite. Orson Welles is good here as a small town professor with a secret past. Loretta Young is just right as his young bride mesmerized by his intellect, Alpha male personality, and fascination with clocks. Enter Edward G. Robinson as a Nazi hunter. He's on the trail of an escaped SS baddie who may possibly be hiding in this quaint little town. The film requires him to take his time (and our's) in deciding that Orson Welles is his man. Meanwhile, lovely Loretta Young, who was recently honeymooned, has to come to grips with the possibility that her Groom not only murdered her precious dog, Red (who discovers Welles' buried murder victim during a romp), but that her husband is a Nazi and their marriage is a sham. Good performances all around, particularly by Robinson who assembles the puzzle pieces and hones in on his target. The ending at the clock tower is dandy, with Welles pierced (literally) by the hands of time. Good stuff.
It's All About Perspective
- Curtis Alan
I've had the opportunity to see this film several times. It's compelling from beginning to end. Though I haven't seen many films of Welles, Young, or Robinson, they make a formidable team in "The Stranger." I feel all 3 give solid performances. I don't understand the criticism & dismissiveness by some on this thread, but hey, "Freedom of Speech." I feel the pace of the movie is appropriate for the plot. If you're a fan of any of the 3 lead Actors, I doubt you'll be disappointed by this film. Easily, "Oscar-worthy"....
A little known thriller
- film lover 293
Welles made this to show his movies could be profitable. I believe only Jane Eyre (1944) and Citizen Kane (1941) made their money back before this Welles film. This is a slow starting thriller, but be patient; film picks up pace and becomes more interesting in the story of an escaped Nazi and the woman he marries. Edward G. Robinson is restrained as the Nazi hunter. Loretta Young shows unexpected depth and range as the deceived wife. Welles is excellent as the Nazi in hiding;he always seems on the verge of spouting Nazi propaganda and giving himself away.Good, moody cinematography. Film really picks up momentum in the last 30 minutes. The last 15 minutes move this from ok to not quite a classic. Three stars out of five for my overall rating.
The "Brief Synopsis" is totally wrong.
"Small town schoolteacher suspects her new husband may be an escaped Nazi War Criminal" -- wrong on 2 counts that I will refrain from correcting lest I spoil it.
This is a good and suspense-filled film. I've seen it several times now and I still get chills toward the last thirty minutes. Robinson's role here reminds me very much of his role in "Double Indemnity" where he played an insurance investigator. Here, he's a Nazi hunter after WWII and Orson Welles is his prey. Loretta Young is excellent as the unknowing young wife of Welles. She displays a great deal of acting talent in this film and, frankly, I didn't know she could actually be this good in a role which required so many emotions. Welles, however, gives what I can only describe as a "flat" performance. He seemed tired in this film and his performance shows it. All that aside, I like this film very much and I do believe it is worth viewing.
Overall-3 and 1/2 out 5Lead Performers-3 and 1/2 out of 5Supporting Cast-3 and 1/2 out of 5Director-5/5Screenplay-3/5Cinematography-4/5Importance-3/5Recommendation for fans of the genre-3/5
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; thatcould 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.