Director: Orson Welles
USA / 1946 / 94 min
Though Welles’s creative control on The Stranger was muted, this noir about a Nazi who didn’t come to the United States through Project Paperclip offers the pleasures of not one but two scene chewers: Edward G. Robinson as Wilson, a government agent who ventures to small-town Connecticut, and Orson Welles as Kindler, the clock-loving Nazi Wilson has come searching for. Wilson discovers that Kindler isn’t a heartless sociopath living on the edges of society, but, though unrepentant of his crimes against humanity, has become a beloved prep-school teacher and fiancé to Mary (Loretta Young), the daughter of a local judge. It’s a portrayal of Nazi evil that was far ahead of its time. Though the stylistic brio of other Welles-helmed projects is diminished, the intricacies, suspense, and the baby-faced heavy at the center of The Stranger all make for a captivating experience.