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critics consensus

The sins of World War II reemerge in an idyllic American setting in this diabolically effective noir, buoyed by Orson Welles' virtuosic direction and performance. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Immediately following World War II, ex-Nazi Franz Kindler (Orson Welles) is living under a false identity as a teacher in a small Connecticut town, and has even married the headmaster's daughter (Loretta Young) as part of his cover. But when one of Kindler's old German associates (Konstantin Shayne) arrives unexpectedly in town, bringing in his wake a sly federal investigator (Edward G. Robinson), Kindler resorts to desperate measures to preserve his secret.

Cast & Crew

Orson Welles
Professor Charles Rankin
Loretta Young
Mary Longstreet
Richard Long
Noah Longstreet
Philip Merivale
Judge Adam Longstreet
Byron Keith
Dr. Jeffrey Lawrence
Billy House
Mr. Potter
Konstantin Shayne
Konrad Meinike
Pietro Sosso
Mr. Peabody
Isabel O'Madigan
Mrs. Lawrence
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Critic Reviews for The Stranger

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (28) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for The Stranger

  • Mar 17, 2019
    Regarded as "Lesser Welles" and mostly I'm inclined to agree since it was clearly edited within an inch of its life by the studio. However, its beautifully shot and while it isn't fully explored there are some interesting comparisons made between Rankin's fascism and his obsession with clocks.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 08, 2018
    A small university town just after WW2 and one of the new professors (Orson Welles) is marrying one of the pretty local women (Loretta Young). However, a dark shadow falls over their nuptial bliss, a secret and a war crimes investigator (Eddie G. Robinson). This being a Wellsian directorial effort dark shadows and different camera angles add spice to a small story, but everything really hangs on the interesting performance of Young as a soul content with what she knows, surprised with shocking new information. See it for her.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 02, 2016
    Unlike like most of the color films today. The characters in this (1946) black and white thriller talk beautifully and not realistically. The story line is cool and the dialog is great. However I couldn't hear most of the dialog without subtitles. The film felt slow paced and long. It wasn't that suspenseful and some scenes didn't make any sense.
    Tarin P Super Reviewer
  • Sep 25, 2012
    As much as I hate to admit it, Orson Welles' "The Stranger" is a pretty unremarkable film. It has so much going for it, such as an excellent premise, a colorful cast and a well-equipped director, but these aspects are all squandered. Sure, the cinematography is interesting and lends the film its cold exterior, but other than that, "The Stranger" is shallow and lifeless. It's predictable and boring with an ending so tiresome and put on that it's sure to infuriate (and/or unintentionally amuse) its viewers. On top of that, the characters are near impossible to connect with, and the fact that the actors are so average in their performances makes it even harder to care about them. If there's anything in "The Stranger" worth talking about, that would be its cinematography. That's pretty much it.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer

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