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This month's Movie in The Public Domain is the 1946 noir thriller "The Stranger". Directed, co-written, and starring Orson Welles, it's the tale of a United Nations war crimes investigator who trails a high-ranking Nazi fugitive to a small town in
Connecticut. There, an electric game of cat and mouse commences. The star-studded cast includes Edward G. Robinson and Loretta Young in this suspenseful plotted picture.
For Welles, this would be his third completed feature film as director and his first noir genre picture. It also marks the first Hollywood film to feature documentary footage of the Holocaust.
Premiering on July 2, 1946 in Los Angeles, CA, the film would go on to be a box office success, grossing $3.216 million after its 15th month release. The critics loved it, giving it high praise.
The Motion Picture Herald stated:
"Welles does best acting of his career! Robinson surpasses himself! Suspense mounts to unbearable heights!"
While The Variety declares:
"Class Melodrama, Tops in Thrills and Chills with heavy box-office potential."
"The Stranger" would receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Story for screenwriter Victor Trivas. He would lose to Clemence Dane, who wrote "Vacation from Marriage".
Produced by Sam Spiegel, this movie would be the last International Pictures Production distributed by RKO and the only film made by Welles to be a box office success.
So, if you are ready for a well-produced, melodrama, kick up your heels, lean back on your sofa with your drink in hand, and click on "The Stranger" for free with YouTube.