The Stranger (1946)

ORSON WELLES

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5

USA, 1946International Pictures.  Story by , Screenplay by , Adaptation by Victor Trivas, .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1946.  

Exciting, absorbing drama that features a terrific screenplay and a first-rate cast. lets a Nazi war criminal of minor rank out of prison in the hopes that he will seek out his former leader, a mass murderer responsible for the design and execution of concentration camps who has gone undercover somewhere in America. The man turns out to be a stealthily hidden-in-plain-sight professor (Orson Welles) who, on the day that both the ex-convict and Robinson show up to find him, is about to be married to the lovely Loretta Young. Catching him red-handed, and getting his wife to believe the worst of him, are the main objectives for the heroes in this tale, but the playing out is complicated, fascinating and sometimes terrifying. Featuring the richest unveiling of the ugly underside of American small town life in the movies since Hitchcock’s Shadow Of A Doubt, this is one rip-snorting good film.

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