Saturday, 18 September 2010

"I'm quite safe - if you say nothing."

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 wanted Agnes Moorehead (you know: Endora from the BEWICHTED series and also a Orson Welles regular) to play the investigator - gee, would I love to see that!!

  • 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.

Murphy's Law:

  • 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.
Scene to see:

The final scene is worth to look at - though it is rather drastic.

Quotes Corner:
"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."


  1. Today a little mosquito settled down on my netbook screen. I had the feeling she wasn't feeling well, so I fed her with honey and she really liked it. Then I let her fly on the balcony. Well, I sometimes feed bugs with honey - wasps, ladybugs &ct. Love all animals. - But yes, to kill a dog is murder in my opinion. I never eat meat, would feel like a cannibal then. Couldn't look in the eyes of my bird then. She is not a common pet, just a wild animal - but she would be dead now 16 years ago if I had not adopted her. She's just a person to me -- my daughter.

    I have the film THE STRANGER too and find it very good. Yes, the scene with that dog makes me very sad too, but this shows how crazy love can be. I find it very interesting how they found out, that history teacher was the Nazi: He had even racist ideas about the Germans, that they would never change. "Marx was not a German, but a Jew", that was the point where he finally was caught.

    They made a lot of 'get-the-nazi' films at that time. Jean's A FOREIGN AFFAIR is actually one of those.

  2. I am unsure if this carthaginian peace-speech (which means in this case: erasure the Germans completely = genocide) is to reveal that he is a Nazi or to camouflage that fact. The anti-Semitism sure is clear without ambiguity.

    And now that you mentioned it: I have got to watch A FOREIGN AFFAIR again - it is way to long since I watched it for the last time..

  3. You're right, Irene: It's camouflage, but he can't hide his racist ideas at the same time - always thinking: Germans are so, Jews are so &ct.

    Wasn't the nazi's idea of the German character kind of merciless beast - like a wolf? The history teacher acted that way and I guess he felt Germans always had to be like that and could never be different - as kind of part of the law of nature.

    My health was tottering too, but thanks God my bronchitis wore off. Hope you're better too. Our fellow G---I. made me worry. You try to help, but maybe the words you use are wrong... :(

  4. Thank you. I am much better now and I am happy to hear that you are well again, too. :")

    Our fellow G. made me worry, too. I might use the wrong words, but if you are dealing with depression you are crucifying yourself so you need someone who gives you ease.
    A depressive person will take every advice to pull him/ herself together and every remark what his/her behaviour means to the people around him as a proof for his/her disability to deal with such EASY things - which will make him/her even MORE depressive. So my intention was to give G. good feelings - that really concerned me.


I really appreciate your comments - I'll read them all and if I can think of an answer I'll post it. :")