Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Blind Spot: The Stranger (1946)

Welles directs/stars in a great film noir.

Directed by Orson Welles
Produced by Sam Spiegel (S.P. Eagle)
Written by Anthony Veiller, Victor Trivas and Decla Dunning
Starring Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young and Orson Welles

Plot Summary: A war-crimes investigator (Robinson) tracks a Nazi (Welles), who is hiding out in Connecticut.

Significance: Generally considered one of the most underrated film noirs ever made, the film was nominated for Best Original Story at the Academy Awards, as well as the Grand International Award at the Venice Film Festival. It is in the public domain, but at the time of its release, it was Welles’ biggest commercial success as a director.

Thoughts: Given the iconic status of films like Citizen Kane and Touch of Evil, it’s no surprise that a film like this has fallen through the cracks. Welles directs and stars in a quietly deft film noir that also plays like a psychological thriller. Though Welles looks too young to play an aging Nazi, he and the rest of the cast give solid performances. The film also features a fine score from Bronislau Kaper and stunning cinematography from Russell Metty. At 95 minutes, the film is almost too limited in storytelling scope, but it’s still an engrossing, if a little underdeveloped, piece of filmmaking. While Welles has made better films, this is a must-see for his fans, as well as classic movie lovers.

Rating: A

This is the second film in my 2016 Blind Spot Series, as first started by Ryan McNeil.


  1. This was such a visual marvel. Like, that cinematography was so effective at creating a mood here. Glad you liked this one. It's not my favorite Welles', but it's one that more people should see.

    1. Um you're commenting on your own thing? Lol

    2. Wait I got confused and thought this was your blog for a sec, sorry Andrew! XD

    3. @Fisti: Yeah, the cinematography was one of the film's main strengths. So good.