Thursday, July 14, 2011


I really enjoyed posting two straight weeks of blogs on Hollywood films from the 1930's, and so for the 1940's I'm going to up the ante and try for three weeks worth. Looking at titles I have left from the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die book, this shouldn't be a problem. As before, I’ll list my expectations for each film going in and state whether these expectations are reached or not. And I’ll once again give each film my Elisha Cook Jr. supporting player award because there was such a bounty of great supporting performers from this period and I just like doing it.

The Stranger (1946)

Expectations: Another in the it’s been years since I’ve seen it category. Orson Welles stars and directs. Curious to see how it stands up.

After Viewing: The opening sequences of this film do have the stylish touches associated with Mr. Welles. The general plot involves Edward G. Robinson as Nazi hunter tracking down Nazi war criminal Franz Kindler (who Welles plays without an ounce of redeeming qualities) hiding as a teacher in a small town America. You gotta like that.

I thought that since this film has an important climactic scene at a clock tower, it might make a good double feature with Back to the Future…or not.

And the Elisha Cook Jr. supporting player award goes to…Billy House as the middle aged, balding, paunchy proprietor/pharmacist of the local general store whose biggest thrill is finding someone to play checkers with him for a quarter a game and snooping into other people’s business. I honestly thought I had seen Mr. House in other movies, but as I looked at his IMDB resume, it seems I was mistaken. But he brings some well-needed humor to a film with grim subject matter.

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