Friday, November 1, 2013

The Stranger (Blu-ray Review) - Kino

Directed By: Orson Welles
Written By: Anthony Veiller, Victor Trivas, Decla Dunning, Victor Trivas, Orson Welles, John Huston
Starring: Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young, Orson Welles
Black & White/94 Minutes/Not Rated
Region A

The Film
Mr. Wilson is a government detective given the assignment to track down a high ranking Nazi officer who may be hiding out in a small Connecticut town having built himself a new life and identity while marrying the daughter of the local judge. Orson Welles co-stars as Professor Rankin in this tense post WWII thriller. 

The plot is simple with just a few main characters and one of their past's being the focal point of the film. Edward G. Robinson is the government agent on the trail of Rankin (Welles) who he believes could be responsible for several murders on top of the war time atrocities he committed. The cinematography is stark and the small town setting lends an air of claustrophobia in itself. There's nowhere to hide when everyone knows everyone. THE STRANGER is a really solid noir thriller directed by Orson Welles with many of the classic tropes of the genre. The ending is sure to be memorable and I personally loved it.  

The Audio & Video
THE STRANGER has been remastered from 35mm elements preserved by the Library of Congress by Kino Lorber. To put it simply this is probably the best the film will ever look again. If you've seen the film on home video before it was probably with a torn and tattered print that left much to be desired. This HD transfer is strong, with deep blacks and rich shadow play along with strong textures. The audio track is strong as well with only a couple of moments of background hiss and crackling interfering. Dialogue and music is crisp and clear. 

The Extras
This Blu-ray features a nice assortment of extras

- Audio Commentary by film historian Bret Wood
- "Death Mills" - A 1945 informational short film on the Nazi death camps
- Orson Welles' Wartime Radio Broadcasts - 4 complete programs 
- Theatrical trailer
- Image Gallery

The Bottom Line
The film and its presentation would be enough to warrant a recommendation on its own. The special features would also probably be enough to warrant a recommendation. Put them together and you have a great presentation of a solid noir thriller and a nice collection of historical extras. 

THE STRANGER is available HERE

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