Talk About a Stranger (1952)

Talk About a Stranger (1952)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Talk About a Stranger Photos

Movie Info

Young Robert Fontaine, Jr. (Billy Gray) lives with his hard-working father (George Murphy) and mother (Nancy Davis), who is soon to give birth to a second child, on their northern California citrus farm. He's lonely on the farm and has been saving to buy a dog. One day, a mysterious stranger (Kurt Kasznar), who gives his name as Matlock, moves into the empty house adjacent to the farm -- he's not only highly strung but downright hostile to any friendly overtures that Robert Sr. or anyone else makes. Meanwhile, young Robert finds a stray dog that he adopts, and his whole life seems to blossom with his new companion -- but one day he finds the dog dead. He becomes fixated on the notion that Matlock poisoned the dog, and insists that his father do something -- but when Matlock angrily denies knowing about it, the boy's frustrations start to build. He tries to report to the poisoning to the police; when they won't help, he tries to get Mr. Wardlaw (Lewis Stone), the owner of the newspaper that he delivers, to run a news story about it, and when Wardlaw tries to reason with the boy, his rage finally boils over and he goes out-of-control. The boy decides to try and gather evidence against Matlock and follows a trail that takes him across the state hitchhiking, to the home of the former owner of the house Matlock is living in, and there he confronts a rumor that the other man was murdered. Stories and whispers begin to spread through the town about Matlock that make him seem even more sinister. The populace are getting stirred up, and Robert Jr., in his rage, commits an act of vandalism that threatens the entire community.
Classics , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
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Billy Gray
as Robert Fontaine, Jr.
George Murphy
as Robert Fontaine, Sr.
Nancy Reagan
as Marge Fontaine
Kurt Kasznar
as Matlock
Lewis Stone
as Mr. Wardlaw
Anna Glomb
as Camille
Katherine Warren
as Dr. Dorothy Langley
Teddy Infur
as Gregory
Stanley Andrews
as Mr. Wetzell
Maude Wallace
as Mrs. Wetzell
Cosmo Sardo
as Barber
Margaret Bert
as Woman's Voice
Tudor Owen
as Policeman
Harry Lauter
as Canavan
Dan Riss
as Mr. Taylor
Charles La Torre
as Batastini
Burt Mustin
as Mr. McEley
Ralph Moody
as Short
Jack Williams
as Truck Driver
Jack Moore
as Sailor
Leslie O'Pace
as MacLarnin
Harry Hines
as Talmadge
Edward Cassidy
as Soloway
Virginia Farmer
as Mrs. Campbell
Nancy Davis
as Marge Fontaine
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Critic Reviews for Talk About a Stranger

All Critics (1)

A surprisingly effective cautionary fable.

Full Review… | February 4, 2013
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Talk About a Stranger

As the opening credits rolled and I saw John Alton was the cinematographer, I got very excited. The excitement wore off three minutes later. A young boy tries to prove that the creepy new neighbor poisoned his dog. Naturally, the boy is an obnoxious little brat, and most of this movie plays out like an episode of "Leave It to Beaver", moralistic ending and all. There is very little noir about any of this. However, Alton's photography is truly stunning, far far better than this film deserves. I guess if you have no noir expectations and a high tolerance level for irritating children, it's worth a watch. For me, it was a real drag.

Martin Teller
Martin Teller

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