4 March 2005 | Snow Leopard
Good Thriller With Welles, Robinson, & More
It's quite interesting to see two acting legends like Orson Welles and Edward G. Robinson working together, and with a cast that includes those two plus Loretta Young, along with an interesting story, "The Stranger" is a pretty good thriller.
Welles and Robinson play an interesting cat-and-mouse game in the search for a former Nazi who is hiding out in a peaceful Connecticut town. It's fair to point out, as others have done, that the dialogue at times leaves a little to be desired, but Welles and Robinson have more than enough ability to carry it off anyway.
Loretta Young has a difficult role as the wife of Welles's character. The script does her no favors, either, but she gives a creditable performance as a character who is important to the story. Among the supporting cast, Billy House particularly stands out, getting surprisingly good mileage out of his role as the store-keeper.
Perhaps the most creative aspect of the movie is the effective use of the clock tower, both as a plot device and as an idea, along with the related themes of clocks and time. The tense climax makes good use of all of these elements.
Welles and Robinson were both parts of so many outstanding movies that sometimes their merely good movies can seem to suffer by comparison. As long as you don't try to compare "The Stranger" with some other film, but just watch it for itself, it's a good thriller and an entertaining movie.