Thursday, January 7, 2010

Capsule Review: The Stranger (1946)

While Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons are rightfully regarded as classics, they were not financial successes upon their release and Orson Welles had trouble financing his films for the rest of his career. With The Stranger he was given an opportunity to direct material that he hadn't written, and was promised more work if the film was a success. While fairly taut, the film – about an escaped Nazi who is living as a teacher in a small town, and the police officer (Edward G. Robinson) on his trail – is hardly notable compared to Welles' masterpieces. Similar ground is covered in Hitchcock's far superior Shadow Of A Doubt, and Welles goes incredibly overboard with his leering performance. Touches of Welles directorial bravado shine through, particularly in the shadowy climax, but those expecting a lost classic will be disappointed.

1 comment:

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