THE STRANGER [1946] movie review

November 4, 2011 · Print This Article

The more movies I see Edward G. Robinson in, the more he is becoming one of my all-time favorite actors.  His role in THE STRANGER as an agent tracking down Nazis in hiding is one very well suited to his talents.  Orson Welles directed and played the villain, which to me seems like a very unusual move.  I cannot imagine an actor casting himself as the bad guy in a movie she/he directs nowadays.

Robinson using a clever scheme to track down Welles’ Nazi in hiding all the way to a very small Connecticut town on, believe it or not,  his wedding day.  Despite a mountain of circumstantial evidence, which to me longed seemed like enough to make an arrest, Robinson’s character needed one key piece of evidence held alone by the woman Welles married.  Again it seemed odd to me that Welles would stick around town knowing sooner or later he surely would be discovered.

Still, the story felt well paced even though most of the action was of a psychological nature.  The townspeople were interesting characters, especially the eccentric owner of the local soda shop.

A warning for dog lovers, a dog is murdered in the movie which seemed to upset me more than anyone in the film!

Welles directs THE STRANGER with skill and craftsmanship.  The movie definitely feels handmade.  As in most film noirs, shadows are almost a character in and of themselves, as is the town clock tower.

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