The Stranger
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
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

Available Online

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

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 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
"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
"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
"The Stranger is socko melodrama, spinning an intriguing web of thrills and chills."
‑ , Variety
"Film noir thriller, made with typical Welles creativity and visual style."
‑ Michael E. Grost, Classic Film and Television
"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
More reviews for The Stranger on Rotten Tomatoes