Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Stranger


There were plenty of directors in Hollywood in the ‘40s and ‘50s that—mostly without knowing it or thinking about it—developed the distinctive look we’ve come to know as film noir. I don’t think any were better at it than Orson Welles. In fact, he pioneered many of the signature camera angles and lighting. This is one of the best noirs I know, with Edward G. Robinson a dogged pursuer of a Nazi extermination camp designer, costarring Loretta Young, and Orson himself as the bad guy, a role he always seemed to relish. As usual, somebody else got his hands on it and cut thirty minutes. I can’t say how much this damaged it; to tell the truth, it seems pretty complete at its current 95 minute running length.