Dec. 20, 2008, 4:48 a.m. CST
I love THE STRANGER, and as blasphemous as it may sound I always imagined a remake of this with Tom Hanks in the Orson Welles role.
Dec. 20, 2008, 5:05 a.m. CST
by mr teaspoon
Is that what I was meant to take away from that?
Dec. 20, 2008, 5:29 a.m. CST
I also like this Welles movie more than most of his "superior" work. Though the posters all look good you should see some more stills from the movie. It has - at least to me- a very memorable New England look. And it was produced by S.P. Eagle which is a.k.a for Sam Spiegel the man behind "Lawrence of Arabia" and "River Kwai". Oh, and if you check out Orson, try to find his short film "Return to Glennascaul" it's my fav. short movie, directed in 1951 by a guy called Hilton Edwards.
Dec. 20, 2008, 6:39 a.m. CST
I thought the problem he had with it wasn't the studio taking over but the fact he played the studios game to prove he could bring it in on time, under budget with no problems - and then resented the fact it was possibly his most 'successful' film in their commercial terms. They didn't take it over. Parts of it are beautifully shot - you have to mention Russell Metty whose work in the trailing at the start of the film clearly foreshadows the stuff he did on Touch of Evil. I also love the moral ambiuguity - Robinson quite clearly has little problem using others and putting them in danger for what he considers the greater good. The end is really quite gruesome too - but you can see how much of his love of German expressionism he tried to shoehorn into the film. Funniest bit though has to be his 'to do' list for killing someone! Niiice big close up.
Dec. 20, 2008, 7:02 a.m. CST
by Drunken Rage
But still better than a lot. Robinson is very badly cast and Young is truly awful. Great lighting and use of shadows which works best on a large (theatre) screen. Welles is, of course, hammy but very good.
Dec. 20, 2008, 7:14 a.m. CST
Wow. That's dedication!
Dec. 20, 2008, 7:22 a.m. CST
And it's funny that you mentioned Shadow of a Doubt, because that dinner table scene where Welles' spiels out his anti-German rant (which included the quote you used in the title) really reminded me of Cotten's similar shocking over-the-table talk from a few years before.<p> It looks like it occasionally gets a bad rap, but to me, this is quintessential noir! Right up there with Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent and Apt Pupil as far as escaped Nazi movies go. It's probably the best of the three.<p> I just love the scenes the characters have over a game of checkers in the drug store. Some of the acting's a little on the hokey side, but Robinson really was an infinitely better protagonist than a gangster. In real life, he was quite a debonair kinda sort, whose main hobby was collecting art. While Welles puts in a real insidious performance here. I'm not sure I bought that he'd only been in America for a couple of years, but there was SOMETHING pulsing below the surface there. And that scene of him getting impaled on the clocktower was utterly classic; I bet Hitch wished he came up with it himself.
Dec. 20, 2008, 7:54 a.m. CST
and this is the sort of film that justifies the AMAD format. I caught it for the first time a few months ago on Turner Classic, they had a very good print/transfer, but they always do. Welles's line about Marx and the batshit look in his eyes when it pops out of his mouth is golden.
Dec. 20, 2008, 7:54 a.m. CST
Dec. 20, 2008, 8:18 a.m. CST
I caught this movie on late night when I was a kid. Even though it wasn't remotely what I was interested in, it's always stuck with me.
Dec. 20, 2008, 8:19 a.m. CST
For whatever it is worth....I have been coming to this site for awhile now and I thought now was the time to say.."I love this site!". AMAD is a fine example of why I love it. It just doesn't get any better. This is where people with passion for films can gather and share the joy. The mix of people who comment on AICN is fantastic. It isn't perfect, but that is what makes it perfect. The messy, passionate, informed, and uninformed discussions just continue to roll along. All of the contributors to the site bring a unique perspective with diverse writing styles. I come to this site every day, not to get any scoops..(although that is fun)...but to get caught up in the fun of it all. Thanks for this column and thank to everyone on this site. There...I said it.
Dec. 20, 2008, 9:51 a.m. CST
by alice 13
and wells creeped the hell out of me. that tower scene and its conclusion was imprinted in my brain.
Dec. 20, 2008, 9:52 a.m. CST
by Leafar the Lost
Since Kevin Bacon has been in 33% of every movie ever made, it should be quite easy to link him to Orson Welles in three moves. Shall I begin?
Dec. 20, 2008, 10:05 a.m. CST
Dec. 20, 2008, 10:10 a.m. CST
Always thought "Stranger" was one the best imitation-Hitchcock movies...Like "Shadow Of A Doubt" it's the story of a peaceful, gentle, all-American small town invaded by a heartless, soul-less psychopath. Compare the dinner-table scenes in both films...where Welles and Cotton briefly take off their 'fake human' masks and air out their darkest thoughts. (Their endings diverge though..Welles' climx is closer in spirit and execution to the spectacular "Strangers On A Train" finale whereas Hitchock's is more like an intimate death-dance between Cotton and Teresa Wright.) Also a little different is the depiction of the two towns ...Hitchcock's West Coast Santa Rosa with its gallery of benign eccentrics....as opposed to Welle's New England hamlet personified by Billy House as the jovial but hard-nosed crackerbarrel General Store manager. (His best line..."I don't get that..." when Robinson declares it VE day all over again) Anyhoo....just my way of saying "The Stranger" is one of my top ten all time favorites and not to be missed by anyone who loves movies....
Dec. 20, 2008, 10:44 a.m. CST
Have you seen that yet?
Dec. 20, 2008, 10:46 a.m. CST
Orson Welles was in Start the Revolution Without Me with Donald Sutherland<p>Donald Sutherland was in Animal House with Kevin Bacon.
Dec. 20, 2008, 10:55 a.m. CST
Orson Welles acted in "Catch-22" with character actor Bruce Kirby (father of Bruno) who also acted in "The Big Picture" starring Kevin Bacon!
Dec. 20, 2008, 10:56 a.m. CST
I was going to go with Start the Revolution too, but I figured Orson was only narrator...
Dec. 20, 2008, 12:09 p.m. CST
Orson Welles in MUPPET MOVIE, Steve Martin in MUPPET MOVIE, Steve Martin in PLANES TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES, Kevin Bacon in PLANES TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES. And I didn't even imdb it.
Dec. 20, 2008, 1:17 p.m. CST
Yeah, yeah, I know -- the "You've never seen.....?" question is probably verboten at AMAD, but NOTORIOUS is a pretty darned towering maserpiece to have missed. You're in for a real treat. It's easily one of Hitchcock's best five movies, and some could make the argument that it's his best, period. (I'd probably have to go with REAR WINDOW or NORTH BY NORTHWEST, or maybe PSYCHO or... etc. etc.).
Dec. 20, 2008, 1:22 p.m. CST
by Lazarus Long
This is definitely Orson's most minor work (compare it to the layered genius in another "B" thriller The Lady From Shanghai), but it's a very pleasurable film to watch. As for the notion that the film wasn't taken out of Orson's hands and chopped up, that's total bullshit. It was cut as heavily as every other film after Kane that he did with the studios. If I'm not mistaken, in Bogdanovich's book This Is Orson Welles, he talks about how there was much more material about the eccentricities of the small town (in the opinion of many, the general store/chess playing scenes are the best in the film) that were cut out, as well as a section in Latin America. Up to 30 minutes may have been taken out. Bottom line is that this could have been an even better film had the Powers That Be not interfered so harshly.
Dec. 20, 2008, 3:28 p.m. CST
make today's "stars" look like stinky-winky ass. And you can quote me on that.
Dec. 20, 2008, 3:47 p.m. CST
A nice warm-up for TOUCH OF EVIL (Welles' civility is a facade for corruptive influences; saddled with a non-extravagant budget, Welles works wonders). But even Welles can't steal a scene from Edward G. Robinson!
Dec. 20, 2008, 4:17 p.m. CST
Discovered this on Netflix about a year back, what a pleasant surprise! Not quite as good as The Lady From Shanghai, but a nice little post war thriller.
Dec. 20, 2008, 5:42 p.m. CST
Thanks for including this movie. I saw it when I was in Jr. High and really liked it. I saw it not too long ago and I thought it really held up. I love the scene with Loretta Young's pearls. 'Notorious' is one of my favorite movies too. Can't wait to hear the AMAD input on that great film.
Dec. 20, 2008, 9:24 p.m. CST
by Grammaton Cleric Binks
seen him act in Citizen Kane, which I find to be an overated movie. The Liev Shrieber movie about the making of Kane was better in my humble opinion.
Dec. 21, 2008, 1:17 a.m. CST
You have profaned God and his fat, visionary offspring (i.e. Mr. Welles). Furthermore, I have it on good authority that your favorite movie ("of all time") is ABBOTT AND COSTELLO IN THE FOREIGN LEGION. So there.
Dec. 21, 2008, 1:34 a.m. CST
I'm not saying this to be a Devil's Advocate or total contrarian, but I agree with him (probably for different reasons).<p> If this column proves anything, it's that all these "TOP 100 MOVIES OF ALL TIME" lists do is preclude the need to search out for lost gems. And there are hundreds and hundreds of movies that, for whatever reason, have been left behind by time. To my tastes, some of these match up to the classics like Kane in every area. Kane was abso-fucking-lutely revolutionary in terms of filmmaking; it helped bring back the magic of CINEMA that had started to get a little run-down by the studios' workaday demands and the advent of sound (if sound had come along 10 years later, I'm betting that filmmaking would be a completely different beast right now). But still, I personally think there's a little spark missing there. I watch Kane and I don't get that feeling that I'm a different person afterwards than I was before viewing, like I'll get with some movies. That's completely subjective of course. But I can't really call it the "greatest movie of all time" like the circle-jerk film critics have. That doesn't mean a whole lot to me. I find Touch of Evil evokes more of a rise out of me than Kane.
Dec. 21, 2008, 2:43 a.m. CST
_Brother Orchid_ will be a serious step down from this movie. Waaaay down.
Dec. 21, 2008, 3:03 a.m. CST
It's when you sit on your hand until it becomes numb from blood loss and then...you know. Since your hand is numb it feels like someone else is...you know. For further information please consult Scott Caan's character from Gone In Sixty Seconds (Extended Edition).
Dec. 21, 2008, 7:11 a.m. CST
by Grammaton Cleric Binks
I don't hate Citizen Kane. I liked it well enough. I just didn't find it to be one of the greatest movie experiences of all time. I give Welles credit for being the actor and director at the young age of 24 I believe it was. It's a good movie, but does not reach god-like greatness.
Dec. 21, 2008, 7:13 a.m. CST
by Grammaton Cleric Binks
That was it. I guess I found it more enjoyable because I think Liev Schrieber is a great actor. Malkovitch also, who was in it, and the details about the background, the infighting. I guess I enjoyed it more because I found myself more intrigued.
Dec. 21, 2008, 7:16 a.m. CST
by Grammaton Cleric Binks
Now that was a great movie about a great book. They don't make them like that anymore. They can't, it has a white person using the word nigger. Spike Lee says he owns the word.
Dec. 21, 2008, 7:34 a.m. CST
An Orthodox Jew!!!
Dec. 22, 2008, 1:50 p.m. CST