The Stranger (1946) was produced by RKO and represented for Orson Welles a project that should demonstrate to the executive producer that a low budget movie could have a huge commercial success. Romanian-born actor Edward G. Robinson plays the character of an undercover government agent on the hunt of an ex-Nazi official, Franz Kindler. Orson himself plays majestically the role of Kindler under a new identity. The “übermensch” in his own conception gives up his mask eventually by expressing his true beliefs.
The movie is a typical film noir, making great use of shadows and other elements of the genre, but it also remains tru to the spectacular visual effects specific to Orson Welles. The fact that a little, quiet provincial American town becomes the scene of Kindler’s hideout creates an even more tensioned atmosphere for this classic movie benchmark.
The Stranger is a production of RKO