7.4/10
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160 user 95 critic

The Stranger (1946)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | August 1946 (USA)
An investigator from the War Crimes Commission travels to Connecticut to find an infamous Nazi.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Konstantin Shayne ...
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Dr. Jeffrey Lawrence
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Storyline

Wilson of the War Crimes Commission is seeking Franz Kindler, mastermind of the Holocaust, who has effectively erased his identity. Wilson releases Kindler's former comrade Meinike and follows him to Harper, Connecticut, where he is killed before he can identify Kindler. Now Wilson's only clue is Kindler's fascination with antique clocks; but, though Kindler seems secure in his new identity, he feels his past closing in. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Deceitful Man A Woman Ever Loved !


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

August 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Date with Destiny  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,034,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The quote recited by Mr. Wilson (E.G Robinson) is from Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay titled Compensation. "The league between virtue and nature engages all things to assume a hostile front to vice. The beautiful laws and substances of the world persecute and whip the traitor. He finds that things are arranged for truth and benefit, but there is no den in the wide world to hide a rogue. Commit a crime, and the earth is made of glass. Commit a crime, and it seems as if a coat of snow fell on the ground, such as reveals in the woods the track of every partridge and fox and squirrel and mole. You cannot recall the spoken word, you cannot wipe out the foot-track, you cannot draw up the ladder, so as to leave no inlet or clew. Some damning circumstance always transpires. The laws and substances of nature - water, snow, wind, gravitation - become penalties to the thief." See more »

Goofs

In the final checkers game between 'Professor Charles Rankin' and 'Mr Potter', parts of a crew member's back and head can be seen reflected in the mirror behind Potter. Potter stands up, Rankin says "You know, uh, Mr. Potter, you're a bad influence", and as the camera pans to follow Potter, the crew member (probably the focus puller) can be partially seen in the mirror. He leans out of view momentarily, but then leans into view again as the camera pans back with Potter. See more »

Quotes

Mary Longstreet: Why wasn't it I... Franz Kindler? Kill me. Kill me, I want you to. I couldn't face life knowing what I've been to you and what I've done to Noah. But when you kill me, don't put your hands on me!
[Picks up a fireplace poker]
Mary Longstreet: Here! Use this!
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Connections

Featured in Schlock! The Secret History of American Movies (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

As Dark as Noir Gets
15 March 2002 | by (Out there in the dark) – See all my reviews

No question about it, "The Stranger" is film noir. This oppressive narrative is shrouded in what must surely be among the darkest visual styles ever. Outdoor, sunlit scenes are few and far between. Most of the picture takes place inside the shadowy mansion of Loretta Young's guardian, inside the town's general store, or within the nearly pitch-black church steeple, where the film climaxes in a highly dramatic manner. This movie is noir, without a doubt.

Orson Welles, Edward G. Robinson and Loretta Young--are all beyond criticism as well, giving finely tuned, subtle performance. Also standing out is a very young, understated Richard Long--proving he had acting chops way back then.

Bronislau Kaper contributes a score to rival other, more highly-regarded composers. There are moments in it of ethereal beauty as well as intense drama.

Yet, apart from its visual style, how is "The Stranger" noir? The answer may lie in another question: who is the hero? If it's the Welles character, then he is an anti-hero and it fits pretty well. However, his new wife, played by Loretta Young, finds herself in a situation most noir, when Welles confesses the murder to her (and later plots her death as well). But Young does not seem like the main character in this tale, nor does Robinson, who is clearly a heroic figure. Perhaps what makes this one noir is the visual style in combination with character situations that complement each other.

"The Stranger" is only a few short steps below "Touch of Evil" in the Welles pantheon.


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