The Stranger (1946)
Reviewed on 2013 May 12
This is a vintage thriller about a war criminal trying to hide in plain sight. It strains credibility in a few places, but if you can get past that, it’s a wonderful classic movie.
Mr. Wilson (Edward G. Robinson) — a War Crimes Commission investigator who’s set his sites on a particularly foul Nazi — winds up in Harper, Connecticut. His quarry is a monster named Franz Kindler, the diseased mind behind the death camps. Wilson fears the trail might have gone cold in the friendly hamlet of Harper, but he insists on finding this creature and bringing him to justice.
Orson Welles starred, directed, and has a writing credit, which is the kiss of death for most puny mortals, but not Orson. He carried a wonderfully creepy aura throughout the movie, and simply made my stomach turn looking at him and that’s probably the exact effect he sought. Robinson is even better as a sly, determined Nazi hunter. The epiphany scene (you’ll know it when you see it) is especially jolting. The character of Mary seems underdeveloped and a little dull in this, to put it mildly, but this was made in a more innocent time.
Three chocolate morsels and a soda in a vintage glass bottle. A little dated but still magnificent.