Stranger on the Third Floor

Stranger on the Third Floor

DVD - 2010
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A reporter provides eyewitness testimony that helps sentence a small-time loser to the electric chair for murder. When the reporter himself is fingered in a second murder, he realizes both crimes are the work of a furtive stranger - but will anyone believe him?
Publisher: Burbank, CA : Distributed by Warner Home Video, 2010
Edition: Remastered ed
Branch Call Number: DVD STRANGE
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (63 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in

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theorbys Jun 09, 2014

Despite some minor flaws, this is something of an overlooked masterpiece. It does have a lot of what would become film noir, but also, like Peter Lorre's M, is deeply (German) expressionist. To my mind Stranger should easily be in the noir canon. The very long dream/nightmare trial scene was great and yet merely intensified the noir/expressive qualities already present. Peter Lorre was at his creepy best, Elisha Cooke Jr had ANOTHER outstanding supporting role, and the film was chock full of those great old studio regulars who are such total pros. Subtitles would have really been nice since a lot of the important speech is quite soft spoken interior monologue, making the film a pioneering psychological thriller too. I thought it was quite brilliant the way the tough reporter was made to experience the criminal justice system from the outside and then, in an almost exact parallel, from the inside.

j
JacquesRemi
Oct 26, 2013

to bbailey yup. i'm hard of hearing and in my small apt. its better for me to use close captions that blow out my speaker woofers and drive neighbours nuts, but many films of substance in the collection are void of CCs. worse, many are french only, or in a foreign language only. bloody useless, that. so, yes you have mentioned something that perhaps people in the acquisitions can take heed of. (though they can only acquire what is available and many distributors go the cheap route and sell dvds with no features at all.)

m
Monolith
Aug 30, 2013

This 1940 shadowy murder mystery is credited as being "the first true film noir" of the genre as quoted by a Mr. Robert Portfirio, on the DVD jacket. I assume he might've meant first *English language* film noir, because my understanding is that the outstanding 1931 German (Fritz Lang) film "M", also with Peter Lorre, nine years prior to this, was the first. Oh well, whatever the case may be, Lorre was extra creepy in this one, ordering raw hamburgers, and his memories of straitjackets and ice water baths... It is a very short, bare bones 'B' movie with no bonus trivia goodies included, sadly.

b
BertBailey
Apr 20, 2013

No closed captions for the hearing impaired. Pity, as it's one of those obscure noirs spoken of with respect.

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m
Monolith
Aug 30, 2013

The Stranger: "...They send you to take me back?" Jane: "No, who?" The Stranger: "Don't you know? The people who lock you up." Jane: "Why do they want to lock you up?" The Stranger: "Oh, so they can hurt me. They put you in a shirt with long sleeves, and they pour ice water on you."

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