The Stranger (1946/Blu-ray/Kino Lorber) Review

Like you probably know by now I grew up on classic horror films and some classic films from other genres, but I was never very much into wanting to see classics like Citizen Kane. I finally seen Citizen Kane a couple years ago and it was a fine piece of cinema. After that I started looking into OrsonWelles filmography and one film caught my attention and that one was "The Stranger". I never got to see it because every copy I came across was very bad quality and so bad it was hard to watch. Finally I have a copy in my hands that actually is worth watching! Lets get into this autopsy!

The Stranger follows an agent named Wilson who is on the hunt for a former Nazi officer (Orson Welles) who has started a new life and identity in a small town in Connecticut. Set to be married to the local judges daughter (Loretta Young). Will Wilson be able to stop Charles Rankin (aka Franz Kindler) before he turns his new bride into his next victim or will she be a victim of his dark past?! The plot for this film is pretty simple but is quite perfect for the time it was made. This film came was made and came out just after the ending of World War 2 so the plot of an agent hunting down a Nazi war criminal was a very real thing. Aside from that it also touches on how when you love someone it can blind you and make you accept even the worst things in the world that your significant other did or does.
Like you would expect there is alot of suspense and great action going on in this film. The pacing is actually pretty damn steady and really doesn't slow down and become boring like some films in this genre does. This is definitely now one of my favorite noir films and has the beautiful look that noir films have. I think after my viewing of this film I will have to hunt down his other film "Touch of Evil". Aside from the plot the other thing that really worked well was the acting. Orson Welles does a great job of playing Charles Rankin and taking the character from being a calm and normal man into a desperate psychopath willing to do anything to hide his secret and get away. Lorette Young plays the devote newlywed Mary Longstreet who will stop at nothing to protect her husband. Then there is the great Edward G. Robinson who plays as Mr. Wilson the slick federal agent who is just a little too smart for Charles to shake. The cast is simply excellent and each of them play their roles spot on and perfectly.
The presentation of this blu-ray release is quite good and pleasing. Now that is not to say that it does not have it's set of problems. Through out the film there is a good amount of film damage and alot of the time you can hear a hissing sound which you can film with alot of films of the era. To me the film damage did not really bother me, but there is one thing that did and it was either some bad editing or it's just spots that maybe were spliced due to damage. Nonetheless this is a good release of this film and from what I have came to conclude after seeing screenshots of the Film Chest blu-ray release of this film that this is the one you want over the DNR slathered Film Chest release that has horrible detail and just looks bad. Overall this is a damn good release that has plenty of special features and a quite good presentation.

I give this film and release a 5 out of 5 scalpels!

-Daniel "Damnation" Lee

Director: Orson Welles
Lead Actor/Actress: Orson Wells, Loretta Young,Edward G. Robinson
Genre: Drama/Suspense
Blu-ray Release Year: 2013
Theatrical Release Year: 1946
Time Length: 94 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Region Code: A
Release Company: Kino Lorber
Website: www.kinolorber.com