Stranger On the Third Floor
Critics and fans agree: Stranger on the Third Floor is the little B picture that launched one of the greatest movements in cinema history: film noir. Peter Lorre plays the eerie title role in this once-neglected gem about a reporter (John McGuire) whose testimony sentences a small-time loser (Elisha Cook Jr.) 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? All the shadowy, shivery,angled angst of German Expressionism is here, married to the hard-boiled moral ambiguity that marks the genre. The highlight: a suspense-and-sweat-drenched dream sequence that jolted 1940 audiences into an exciting new way of looking at the movies.
Starring Peter Lorre, John McGuire, Margaret Tallichet
Director Boris Ingster