I was inspired by Landshark's choice of noir, and what I could find on Hulu at work. So The Stranger was my choice to kick off Horrorthon. And an excellent choice if I do say so myself!
Edward G. Robinson, in all his Edward G. Robinson-y glory, plays Mr Wilson, an agent from the War Crimes Commission who wants to find the Nazi mastermind Franz Kindler. He pushes for Franz's right-hand man, Herr Meinike to be released from prison because he believes Meinike will lead him to Franz. Herr Meinike does not disappoint.
We find Franz as a college professor in a small town in Connecticut, about to marry Mary, (heh) the daughter of a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Needles to say he is none to thrilled when his old comrade shows up. Nor to find out that Meinike was followed. Mr. Wilson ingratiates himself in the little town and slowly starts to close his trap on Franz. Enlisting the help of Mary's kid brother and eventually her family as things start to unravel. I don't really want to give too much away, on the off chance there are others who haven't see this movie. Not that there are any "Sixth Sense" plot twists or anything, I just don't want to spoil the beautiful execution of this film.
I realized that I don't think I have ever seen a movie directed by Orson Welles. Holy shit, was it pretty. The play of light and shadow, the angles of the shots. It was really amazing. Orson was stellar as Franz. The nice professor who slowly exposes himself for the monster he is. And Loretta Young - what a beauty! This isn't the best picture (damn the fact that I cannot do screen shots!!) But isn't she stunning? And her turn as the woman who realizes she has fallen in love with a psycho Nazi is impressive.
I struggled a bit on the rating with this one. As much as this had truly suspensful moments, I kind of don't really think of noir as "horror." But I do highly recommend this as an amazing tribute to the talent of Welles.