Stranger on the Third Floor (1940)

Approved   |    |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir


Stranger on the Third Floor (1940) Poster

An aspiring reporter is the key witness at the murder trial of a young man accused of cutting a café owner's throat and is soon accused of a similar crime himself.


6.9/10
3,197

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  • Stranger on the Third Floor (1940)
  • Elisha Cook Jr. in Stranger on the Third Floor (1940)
  • Stranger on the Third Floor (1940)
  • Peter Lorre in Stranger on the Third Floor (1940)
  • Peter Lorre in Stranger on the Third Floor (1940)
  • Oscar O'Shea and Charles Waldron in Stranger on the Third Floor (1940)

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User Reviews


7 July 2003 | Infofreak
It may or may not be the first Film Noir but it's a very interesting and strange thriller whatever you call it.
I was curious to see 'Stranger on the Third Floor' when it was recently shown on TV after I read it described as "the first Film Noir". Whether it actually is that or not I'll leave up to more knowledgeable film fans to argue over, but whatever you call this movie it is a very interesting and strange thriller that deserves a lot more attention. Part courtroom drama, part murder mystery, with a memorable dream sequence, you can't but help wonder if David Lynch is extremely familiar with this film (something I also thought while watching 'Kiss Me Deadly', 'Carnival Of Souls' and 'Branded To Kill'). John McGuire plays a reporter who is the key witness in a murder trial. After finding a neighbor dead and noticing a mysterious figure lurking nearby (Peter Lorre) he comes to believe that the man convicted (Elisha Cook, Jr) is innocent, and sets out to clear his name. I really love thrillers that are stylized or nightmarish and become borderline surrealism, and this is one of those kind of movies. It isn't without a few flaws, but I still found it to be fascinating and really enjoyed Cook and Lorre's performances, though sadly I don't think they actually have any scenes together.

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