Tonight's Saturday Night Cinema is the taut noir postwar thriller, The Stranger, starring Edward G. Robinson, who we bloody adore, and the supreme Orson Welles (Welles directs as well). I. just. love. Welles. And I mean everything he did -- even his Paul Masson wine TV commericals. They amused me so.
Briliant cast, shot by film noir genius cinematographer Russell Metty (Touch of Evil).
"Orson Welles's feverish, politically uneasy noir remains an outstanding achievement; would that the same could be said about Film Chest's barely sufficient transfer of the film."
The Stranger (1946)THE SCREEN; 'The Stranger,' With Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young and Orson Welles, of Palace-- 'Renegades' Is Criterion Bill At Loew's Criterion
Orson Welles plainly gets much pleasure out of playing villainous roles, to judge by his choice and performance of bogey-men in the past. And now, in his new film, "The Stranger," which he directed and in which he plays the title role, he is proving beyond any question that he loves to scare people to death. For in this custom-made melodrama, which came to the Palace yesterday, he is playing the role of the big-brain behind the Nazi torture camps. Nothing less, mind you! He's the inventor of their monstrous mass-murder machine.
Only—this is the crux of the story—all that is behind him now, and he is living successfully incognito in a little Connecticut town, teaching school at a peaceful little college and married to the daughter of a judge. And, indeed, everything is going nicely until a G-man blows into town, tailing a former Nazi prisoner who is the unconscious finger-man. Then Mr. Welles, as the erstwhile monster, begins to feel hot breath on his neck, and his nostrils begin to flange out and his eyes to pop and roll. The first thing you know he is plotting the murder of his knowledgeful wife—and he would, indeed, kill that poor innocent if the G-man did not step in. At the end Mr. Welles, puffing wildly and sweating at every pore, is impaled on a sword held by a figure atop a church—a critic, no doubt.....
THE STRANGER, screen play by Anthony Veiller, from a story by Victor Trivas and Decla Dunning; directed by Orson Welles; produced by S. P. Eagle for International Pictures and released by RKO-Radio. At the Palace.
Wilson . . . . . Edward G. Robinson
Mary Longstreet . . . . . Loretta Young
Professor Rankin . . . . . Orson Welles
Judge Longstreet . . . . . Philip Merivale
Mr. Potter . . . . . Billy House
Noah Longstreet . . . . . Richard Long
Konrad Meinike . . . . . Konstantin Shayne
Sara . . . . . Martha Wentworth
Dr. Lawrence . . . . . Byron Keith
Mr. Peabody . . . . . Pietro Sosso