Here’s a band my nephew pointed out to me. Pretty good. Some lyrics are a bit out there, but the music is great.
Back this week with another Edward G. Robinson film, this one from 1946. THE STRANGER is the story of one man’s hunt for a notorious Nazi war criminal, Franz Kindler, one of the Germans who were instrumental in the forging of the genocidal plans to exterminate Jews. Unlike most of them, though, Kindler had a mania for an anonymous life. Very few pictures were ever taken of him and before he fled Germany he destroyed every piece of evidence that could identify him. The only clue they had was Kindler’s one known hobby, an obsession with old clocks.
Edward G. Robinson is Mr. Wilson(never identified by any other manner), an agent for a group hunting down Nazi war criminals. He takes the huge step of allowing Conrad Meinike, an executive officer at Kindler’s concentration camp, to “escape” so that he might lead them to the big prize.
Meinike leads Wilson to the town of Harper, Connecticut, then disappears shortly after leading the agent to the Harper School For Boys, where he catches Wilson unawares and clubs him over the head, thinking he’d killed him.
Meinike had gone there to meet Kindler(Orson Welles), working there as a professor named Charles Rankin. He presents a problem to Kindler, having gotten religion and wanting his former friend to confess and throw himself on the mercy of God. Kindler ends up killing him, which produces more problems.
You see, the day Wilson and Meinike arrived in Harper is his wedding day to Mary Longstreet, the daughter of Judge Adam Longstreet.
He hastily hides the body, then returns for the wedding, then slips off to bury the body. Not very well as it happens. He thinks himself home free until he learns Mary met Meinike, who came by the house after clubbing Wilson and before the wedding. Further complications are Mary’s Irish setter, Red, tries to dig up the grave when Kindler is walking him. Mary doesn’t like him locking the dog in the cellar.
Mr. Wilson has begun his investigation, posing as an antiques dealer compiling a list of Revere silver. Judge Longstreet has a nice collection and that’s his way in. He already suspects Rankin as he’s narrowed the list of new arrivals in town in the last year to a half dozen and two are teachers at the school to where he’d followed Meinike. One, Rankin of course, is attempting to repair the ancient clock in the town hall tower. It hasn’t worked in years.
Red turns up dead, found by Mary’s younger brother(played by a very young Richard Long). An autopsy shows the dog had been poisoned, with enough that he couldn’t have gotten far before death. The mud and crushed leaves in the front paws gives Wilson his clue to find Meinike’s body, already suspecting the man dead.
Things really start to fall apart as he has to tell Mary something, coming up with a mix of truth and lies. Love is blind though and she believes every word, even when he admits to killing Red and Meinike. She won’t listen to her father and Wilson and seems on the verge of a breakdown. Wilson knows that would be her death sentence amd so plans to watch her, with help from her family. She’s the only evidence that Meinike knew her husband.
The final showdown happens, appropriately, in the clock tower between Kindler, Wilson, and Mary.
An interesting film directed by Welles and the only film of his to make a profit on it’s initial release. CITIZEN KANE only made back it’s budget and marketing.
For more overlooked films, check outTodd Mason over at Sweet Freedom.