The Stranger

Critics Consensus

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96%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 25

80%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,241
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Movie Info

The Stranger is often considered Orson Welles' most "traditional" Hollywood-style directorial effort. Welles plays a college professor named Charles Rankin, who lives in a pastoral Connecticut town with his lovely wife Mary (Loretta Young). One afternoon, an extremely nervous German gentleman named Meineke (Konstantin Shayne) arrives in town. Professor Rankin seems disturbed--but not unduly so--by Meineke's presence. He invites the stranger for a walk in the woods, and as they journey farther and farther away from the center of town, we learn that kindly professor Rankin is actually notorious Nazi war criminal Franz Kindler. Conscience-stricken by his own genocidal wartime activities, Meineke has come to town to beg his ex-superior Kindler to give himself up. The professor responds by brutally murdering his old associate. If Kindler believes himself safe--and he has every reason to do so, since no one in town, especially Mary, has any inkling of his previous life--he will change his mind in a hurry when mild-mannered war crimes commissioner Wilson (Edward G. Robinson) pays a visit, posing as an antiques dealer. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Cast

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

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (24) | 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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