Stranger, The (1946)

The Stranger (1946), directed by Orson Welles.

A nazi war criminal has the perfect new identity as a distinguished professor in a small New England college town. His survival senses start tingling on his wedding day when an old death camp comrade catches up with him and he learns that a G-man has arrived in town. If he is quick and vicious can he still survive? Would you want to be digging a grave in the woods on your wedding night?

This was a rare money-maker for Welles, but a straight thriller was not the type of film he wanted to make, and he didn't think much of it.

As is often the case, Edward G. Robinson is the best thing in the movie. The deep character and gravitas in that observant, ugly face.

Critics at the time were unkind. I seem to like it more than they. The hunter being hunted is always a good plot, with justice remorselessly closing in. As in The Lady from Shanghai (1947) the action finish is dramatic but overblown.

The Kino Blu-ray shows much print damage, variable black levels and whites that are sometimes blown out and too bright. Detail is often good, although I suspect a sharpening technique that also accentuates grain. Commentary track but no subtitles.

Even so, the Kino disc is said to be better than another version from Virgil Films. The film is in the public domain. ClassicFlix has the Kino.