The Stranger is socko melodrama, spinning an intriguing web of thrills and chills. Director Orson Welles gives the production a fast, suspenseful development, drawing every advantage from the hard-hitting script from the Victor Trivas story. Plot moves forward at a relentless pace in depicting the hunt of the Allied Commission for Prosecution of Nazi War Criminals for a top Nazi who has removed all traces of his origin and is a professor in a New England school. Edward G. Robinson is the government man on his trail. Loretta Young is the New England girl who becomes the bride of the Nazi.
Story opens in Germany, where a Nazi is allowed to escape in belief he will lead the way to former head of a notorious prison camp. Chase moves across Europe to the small New England town where Welles is marrying Young. When the escaped Nazi contacts him, Welles strangles him and buries the body in the woods. From then on the terror mounts as Robinson tries to trap Welles into revealing his true identity.
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A uniformly excellent cast gives reality to events that transpire. The three stars, Robinson, Young and Welles, turn in some of their best work, the actress being particularly effective as the misled bride.
1946: Nomination: Best Original Story