From my 2012 review: With the typical perversity of humankind, it follows that the only movie Orson Welles directed that turned a profit on its original release — The Stranger (1946) — is also his least celebrated. A film historian friend of mine recently grumbled that a “well-behaved Welles” wasn’t really Welles. I understand his point, but it’s my take that it was less a matter of Welles being well-behaved on The Stranger than it was the fact that the material was peculiarly suited to his cinematic world of obsessives. Here, after all, is a film that gave him two obsessives for the price of one — one a rank villain and the other a hero of dubious morality in his own right. It also afforded Welles the chance to bring his expressionist style to an otherwise Norman Rockwell-like New England, which allowed him to lay bare the corruption beneath the facade of a sunlit vision of small town America. In its own way, The Stranger is similar to Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt (1943) on one side and David Lynch’s Blue Velvet (1986) on the other. All this (and a grotesquely Baroque climax that must have warmed Welles’ heart) is simply unforgettable, and makes for a movie that I find hard not to love.
Full review here
The Hendersonville Film Society will show The Stranger Sunday, March 30, at 2 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community (behind Epic Cinemas), 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville.