Orson Welles

Start Free Trial

Roger Manvell

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

The Stranger, to which the critics looked forward because Orson Welles once directed two remarkable films, is no successor to those earlier achievements, though it contains many technical points of presentation which remind one of them. The Stranger is good, but not excellent, thriller entertainment, in the same class as Journey into Fear…. The earlier scenes are beautifully done: the small-town setting is alive and vivid, and the character of the shop-keeper who works a "self-serve" store is himself the best piece of cinema in the film. The Stranger is full of fine touches of melodrama …, but in the end we come back to the many, almost choric, scenes in the shop which fix the film's terrors into a frame of reality that sharply sets them off. This is the technical trick of Hitchcock which used to work so well during his period of British melodramas. For all his extravagance, Hitchcock knew where to stop straining our credulity. The Stranger soon outpaced mine.

Roger Manvell, "The Quarter's Film: Orson Welles," in Sight and Sound (copyright © 1946 by The British Film Institute), Vol. 15, No. 59, Autumn, 1946, p. 98.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Otis Ferguson


Philip Hope-Wallace