The Stranger
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The Stranger is often considered Orson Welles' most "traditional" Hollywood-style directorial effort. Welles plays a college professor named Charles Rankin, who lives in a pastoral Connecticut town with his lovely wife Mary (Loretta Young). One afternoon, an extremely nervous German gentleman named Meineke (Konstantin Shayne) arrives in town. Professor Rankin seems disturbed--but not unduly so--by Meineke's presence. He invites the stranger for a walk in the woods, and as they journey farther and farther away from the center of town, we learn that kindly professor Rankin is… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Adroitly directed by Orson Welles, who also plays the star, it is a grade A gooseflesh-raiser."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"The whole film, produced by S. P. Eagle, comes off a bloodless, manufactured show."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Welles is so technically proficient that even his second-tier works are well worth seeking out, and The Stranger belongs to this category."
‑ Gabe Leibowitz, Film and Felt
"As distinctively Wellesian as Citizen Kane."
‑ Fernando F. Croce, Slant Magazine
"Atmospheric thriller-noir has Welles, Robinson pluses."
‑ Steve Crum, Dispatch-Tribune Newspapers
"Orson Welles's 1946 film reproduces his personal themes of self-scrutiny and self-destruction only in outline, though it is an inventive, highly enjoyable thriller."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Welles' third film, often described as his worst, but still a hugely enjoyable thriller."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"Excellent post-war thriller, via Orson Welles."
‑ Phil Hall, Film Threat
"One of Welles' most conventional films: His fans don't like it because it's too plot-driven and linear but that was his goal, wishing to prove that he could make a mainstream film after the brilliant but failures, Citizen Kane and Magnificent Ambersons."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"It is a tightly-plotted and well-acted thriller that bears Welles' unique stamp, in spite of it being a director-for-hire project."
‑ J.D. Lafrance, Senses of Cinema
"The Stranger is socko melodrama, spinning an intriguing web of thrills and chills."
‑ , Variety
"Welles might not have had control in the editing room, but he indulged his penchant for long takes with the able assistance of ace cinematographer Russell Metty,"
‑ Christopher Long, Movie Metropolis
"Full of bizarre shots and fascinating little moments."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"The most restrained and conventional of Welles's films, but still a thrilling entertainment."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"A lot more Wellesian than is casually assumed."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
More reviews for The Stranger on Rotten Tomatoes