In 1946 film was released in which Orson Welles played lead and was also the director:
In a nutshell:
Franz Kindler (Orson Welles) - infamous Nazi war criminal - lives a happy and peaceful life in the little town of Harper, Connecticut. He is known as Professor Charles Rankin, a very popular college teacher and weds Mary (Loretta Young), the daughter of Judge Adam Longstreet (Philip Merivale).
Then old Nazi pal Meinike (Konstantin Shayne) arrives. To avoid being unmasked by Meinike, Kindler kills him. When Mary's dog becomes far to nosey, Kindler slays him too. He now could be save but then War Crime Commision's investigator Wilson (Edward G. Robinson) appears, who was following Meinike to uncover Franz Kindler and is now trying to convince Mary that her husband is a Nazi.
- You may know Richard Long (who is here perfoming the role of Mary's brother Noah) as Tom Kettle from the Ma & Pa Kettle series.
- Erskine Sanford, who plays one of the party guest was a regular at Orson Welles pictures. He acted also in CITIZEN KANE (Herbert Carter), JANE EYRE (Mr. Briggs), THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI (Judge) and some others.
- This is the first picture to show concentration camp footage after WWII.
- Philip Merival died in march, 1946 - two month berfore this film was released in the USA. UK start was in August 1946.
There is a scene in the movie where Orson Welles lifts Loretta Young only onehanded - this was no trick and no stunt men/women were appointed.
- Loretta Young, born Gretchen Young, was 32-33 years old when she played in this movie.
- You may recognize Konstantin Shayne for he was playing the part of Pop Leibel in VERTIGO (1958).
In Germany the film was released in february 1977. It is also known to German viewers as DIE SPUR DES FREMDEN (= "The trace of the stranger").
Orson Welles was not pleased with this movie - he liked his other works far better.
- Sam Spiegel produced this film under the name of S. P. Eagle.
- After the projected film is finished the light still flickers on Loretta Young face - though it might be a bright non moving light.
- The swastika Franz Kindler is drawing is in the wrong direction - maybe designedly.
The final scene is worth to look at - though it is rather drastic.
"Commit a crime and the earth is made of glass."
I have a feeling that when the last sentece is delivered it ends to abrupt. Two or three seconds fade out wouldn't have hurt. I like Edward G. Robinson very much so I naturally enjoyed his performance. If I was in place of Mary I would have left my husband after he killed my dog - even if he was as great as Orson Welles. Sorry, but hurting (to say nothing of murder) an animal is a BIG No-Go in my little world! Of course the movie would have been much shorter then..And - again - I would have loved to see Agnes Moorehead doing the Edward G. Robinson part - she would have been a real mean anti to Orson Welles' devilishly Franz Kindler!
Goodbye, I'll go and watch another movie - or maybe this one again?
"People can't help who they fall in love with."