We’re still under the sway of Orson Welles. Take, for instance, the movie he starred in and directed in 1946. It’s called The Stranger, and Welles decided it was his least favorite of all the films he made. The critics and everyone else fell in line behind this pronouncement and the film fell into relative obscurity. (You can watch the film in its entirety online).

Welles made The Stranger to re-enter the good graces of Hollywood after fighting pitched battles over his previous film, 1942’s The Magnificent Ambersons. The studio wanted a happier ending for that film and Welles wasn’t having it. The final, compromised result was a box office disaster. He made The Stranger to show he could play ball.

The movie was aimed at postwar U.S. audiences still shell-shocked from World War II. Welles plays Franz Kindler, a Nazi hiding under an assumed identity in a… More…