Love From a Stranger (1937)

Article #1561 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 6-23-2005
Posting Date: 11-20-2005
Directed by Rowland V. Lee
Featuring Ann Harding, Basil Rathbone, Binnie Hale

A woman discovers that winning the lottery has driven a wedge between her and her fiance. She leaves him and takes up with a mysterious stranger who appears on the scene unexpectedly.

The phrase ‘mysterious stranger’ in the above plot description should make you suspicious of the character right away, as does the fact that he doesn’t appear until after the woman has become rich. You should also have a good idea of where the story is going to go from here, and you’d most likely be right; the plot is fairly standard. However, what raises this one above the herd is the excellence of the performances; Rathbone isn’t only after her money, he’s mad as well, and this may be his creepiest performance. Ann Harding also does very well, especially near the end of the movie where she shows that she herself isn’t without resources, and as a result the ending is quite memorable. Rathbone and director Lee would reunite a couple of years later with SON OF FRANKENSTEIN. The fantastic element here is the madness of Rathbone’s character, which gives the movie a bit of horror atmosphere.


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