|Haig Corp./International Pictures/RKO Pictures|
|Orson Welles: Charles Rankin/Franz Kindler|
|Loretta Young: Mary Longstreet|
|Edward G. Robinson: Wilson|
|Konstantin Shayne: Meineke|
|Billy House: Mr. Potter|
|Philip Merivale: Judge Longstreet|
|Richard Long: Noah Longstreet|
|Director: Orson Welles|
|Script: Anthony Veiller with Welles and John Huston (uncred.)|
|Editor: Ernest Nims|
|Photographer: Russell Metty|
|Producer: Sam Spiegel|
|Music: Bronislaw Kaper|
The Stranger saw Welles try to adapt his filmmaking method to a typical Hollywood product. Desperate to prove his commercial capabilities and fiscal responsiblity, he turned in the film on schedule and on budget, but it still saw severe cutting at the hands of the studio. Welles had surrendered his final cut as part of the condition for getting to make the film.
The film stands in its current form as perhaps Welles' weakest and most conventional film, but it still contains some great moments. It is also rooted in a passionate cause of Welles: the abolition of fascism. Despite trying to make numerous films that overtly involved the dangers of fascism (Heart of Darkness, Smiler With a Knife, The Way to Santiago), this was the only one to make it to the screen.
This project was also one that did not originate with Welles; the original story was by Decla Dunning and Victor Trivas, and the initial script by Anthony Veiller and John Huston. Welles constructed the film to move in a far more intriguing manner than what showed up on the screen; originally, the film was to begin with moments from the end of the film, and then segue into the sequence with Wilson wanting the release of Meineke in order to lead them to Kindler, as is seen in the film. From there however, a lengthy sequence set in Latin America and detailing Meineke's attempts to locate Kindler would be seen. All told, between 20 to 30 minutes was cut from the film, and (like Ambersons and Lady From Shanghai) unlikely to ever be discovered, as even the original negative appears to have gone missing. For more details on the missing scenes in The Stranger, check out Bret Wood's article in Video Watchdog, issue #23, May-July 1994, which also contains a similarly themed article on The Lady From Shanghai.
Cast publicity shot