The Stranger

The Stranger (1946)

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Professor Charles Rankin: Who would think to look for the notorious Franz Kindler in the sacred precincts of the Harper School, surrounded by the sons of America's first families? And I'll stay hidden... till the day when we strike again.
Konrad Meinike: Franz! There will be another war?
Professor Charles Rankin: Of course.

Mr. Wilson: Forepaw's muddy. No mud on hind. Dry leaves mixed with the mud. Red must have been digging somewhere in the woods.
Noah Longstreet: Have you any idea what for, Mr. Wilson?
Mr. Wilson: A body, I think. Meinike's.

Mr. Wilson: Look out the window. Look.
Professor Charles Rankin: Well, that's... that's an old trick, Mr. Wilson, a very poor trick.
Mr. Wilson: Tricks. That's all you know is tricks. I don't need any tricks! And no matter what happens to me, tricks won't do you any good. You're finished, Herr Franz Kindler.

Judge Adam Longstreet: When she snapped those beads, she signed her own death warrant.

Mr. Wilson: Well, who but a Nazi would deny that Karl Marx was a German because he was a Jew?

Mr. Wilson: People can't help who they fall in love with.

Professor Charles Rankin: Murder can be a chain, Mary, one link leading to another until it circles your neck. Red was digging at the grave of the man I killed. Yes, your little man.
Mary Longstreet: You killed him?
Professor Charles Rankin: With these hands. The same hands that have held you close to me.

Mr. Wilson: In prison, in Czechoslovakia, a war criminal was awaiting execution. This was Konrad Meinike, one time executive officer for Franz Kindler. He was an obscenity on the face of the earth. The stench of burning flesh was in his clothes.

Mary Longstreet: In Harper, there's nothing to be afraid of.

Mary Longstreet: Hello, father. Has anybody seen my brand new husband?
Judge Longstreet: Don't tell me he's deserted you already.

Question: At the end, Orson Welles is wounded and flees up a ladder out onto the face of the church clock. The clock contains an automata of statues that move in front of the clock face. One statue holds a sword which impales Orson Welles. We have a distance shot in which the sword is sticking out of Orson Welles' back. Orson Welles presses against the statue to withdraw the sword and falls to his death. Is such an end feasible? Surely, for a sword to fully pierce a human body it would have to be very sharp and be driven with incredible force and speed. Would the statue be moving with anything remotely approaching such force and speed? And surely a statue on a clock would not carry a real sword, but a facsimile, meant to look like a weapon from a distance? And, if somebody was pierced completely through with a sword, could they press their body forward to fully withdraw the weapon? (01:34:45)

Rob Halliday

Answer: This is a fictional death, and it's unlikely a person could be killed in that manner. The sword might cause a severe wound, but it would take some force to completely impale a body that way. Movies often exaggerate reality to create drama.

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