Who is franz kindler

Franz Kindler


Mr. Franz Kindler
Professor Charles Rankin


Nazi was criminal
School teacher

Powers / Skills



Erasing evidences about his war crimes
Repairing clocks
Playing chess


Get away with his war crimes (failed).


Animal cruelty
Attempted uxoricide

Type of villain

The German sees himself as the innocent victim of world envy and hatred, conspired against, set upon by inferior peoples, inferior nations. He cannot admit to error, much less to wrongdoing, not the German. We chose to ignore Ethiopia and Spain, but we learned from our own casualty list the price of looking the other way. Men of truth everywhere have come to know for whom the bell tolled, but not the German. No! He still follows his warrior gods marching to Wagnerian strains, his eyes still fixed upon the fiery sword of Siegfried, and he knows subterranean meeting places that you don't believe in. The German's dream world comes alive when he takes his place in shining armor beneath the banners of the Teutonic knights. Mankind is waiting for the Messiah, but for the German, the Messiah is not the Prince of Peace. No, he's ... another Barbarossa ... another Hitler.
~ Franz Kindler

Franz Kindler, known as Professor Charles Rankinwhat the main antagonist of the 1946 film The Stranger.

He was portrayed by the late Orson Welles, who also played Harry Lime in The Third Man, Hank Quinlan in Touch of Evil and Le Chiffre in the 1967 adaptation of Castle Royale.


Mr. Wilson has been alerted by the United Nations that Franz Kindler has been escaped. Konrad Meinike, an associate of Franz Kindler who has been repentant about his actions, went to the passenger ship as a part of Mr. Wilson's mission to catching Franz Kindler by saying to the authorities that he came to US for his health. After that, Konrad telephoning Mr. Wilson regarding the information about Franz Kinder, went to the postal office and find the postcard, belonged to Franz Kindler, that he planned to moved to Harper, Connecticut.

Mr. Wilson and Konrad Meinike were arrived at Harper, Connecticut to find Franz Kindler. Mr. Wilson and Konrad Meinike begin to searching Franz Kindler and went to a school. The former went to the basketball room until being hit by the latter so the latter will meet Franz Kindler. The latter came to the house of Mary Longstreet, the daughter of Judge Adam Longstreet, who is engaged to Franz Kindler, now known as Charles Rankin. Mary tell him that Charles is not here in her house and he will come back at 2 minutes. Konrad stay here at Mary's house to wait for Franz to returning home and Mary reveals to him that she will marrying Charles Rankin and that he work as a school teacher, causing him to searching him.

Konrad finally find Franz Kindler while Franz is walking. To protect his identity, Franz tell him to go to the wood so he and Konrad will talk. After talking with his students, Franz finally talk with Konrad in the wood and Konrad tell him to confessing and repenting his sins. While Konrad pray for repentance and forgiveness, Franz strangling him and hiding his body by putting leafs all over his body to make sure no one find his body.

Franz, as Charles Rankin, marrying Mary Longstreet in the church while Mr. Wilson finally wake up in the basketball room and find out that Franz marrying Mary Longstreet. After the wedding, Franz Kindler hiding the body of Konrad Meinike and returned home to be with Mary. Mr. Wilson look at the clock in his house as he is about to visit the church and befriend Noah Longstreet, Franz's brother-in-law. Noah told him regarding the honeymoon of Charles Rankin and Mary Longstreet. After that, Mr. Wilson work as an antique owner and see Mary and Charles Rankin visiting Adam and Noah Longstreet in his antique shop and Mr. Wilson came to the dinner with them. During the dinner, Mr. Wilson asked Charles about Germany and he said that he have "a way of making enemies", saying that German saw themselves as "innocent victims of world envy and hatred" that were "conspired" set upon by "inferior "People and" inferior "nations and saying that Karl Marx was not a German because he was Jewish, causing Mr. Wilson to become suspicious of Charles.

After the dinner, Charles taking Mary's dog, Red, with him to the wood while Mr. Wilson informed the UN regarding Rankin. While went to the wood to check the body of Konrad Meinike, he feeling relief that no one find Konrad's body until Red find it, causing him to kill Red by poisoning him which causes Mr. Wilson to wake up to informed the UN regarding Rankin's knowledge of Germany. After killing Red, Franz smoking a cigarette alone and returning home. When Mary hear the sound of her dog, Charles lying to Mary that he put Red in a cellar to ease Mary's worries and she went to sleep alone.

Mr. Wilson visit Noah Longstreet and went to a boat with him. While in a boat, Mr. Wilson warned Noah that Mary's life in danger when she is with Franz Kindler. After the boat, Mr. Wilson playing chess with Mr. Potter in the diner. While Mary and Charles visit the diner, Mr. Wilson noticed that Charles hold Mary's hand suspiciously and the couple leave to a church to pray, kissing together as they leave.

Noah find the body of Red in the wood and holding his body to the veterinary clinic with Mr. Wilson. The doctor reveals to Mr. Wilson and Noah that Red is poisoned. Mary discovered that Charles Rankin begin to packing his clothes to leave Connecticut to avoid being exposed as a Nazi war criminal. Charles reveals to Mary that he killed Red because Red find the body of Konrad Meinike that he killed to keep his secret as a Nazi war criminal, this shocked Mary deeply. Still, Mary continue to loved Charles no matter what and is always on his side, though unaware of his past as a Nazi war criminal. The police find the body of Konrad Meinike in the wood alongside Mr. Wilson, Noah Longstreet and Mr. Potter.

Mary become conflicted regarding her relationship with Charles Rankin and was invited by her father and Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson asked her regarding Konrad Meinike, but she deny it and Mr. Wilson showing her the picture of Konrad Meinike, she still deny it again. Mr. Wilson begin to show her the footages of the Holocaust which Franz and Konrad were involved, tell her about Franz Kindler and convince her that Charles Rankin was actually Franz Kindler by mentioning one of his passions: Clocks. He tell her about how he released Konrad Meinike to catching Franz Kindler, but Konrad hit him which left him unconscious so Konrad can find Franz but was killed and buried so no one find him until Red, Mary's dog, find him. Mary refuses to believe that Charles Rankin is Franz Kindler and tried to running away, but her father comforted her and take a walk with her while telling her that Charles will not be with her afternoon, causing Mary to running away in denial and went to a clock tower to informing Charles Rankin regarding her meeting with Mr. Wilson and her father. Charles Rankin saw the people coming to praised him for repairing the clock and leave with Mary.

Mary begin to close the curtains from sunlight and see her friends come to the party while Charles Rankin was at a diner with Mr. Potter. Mr. Wilson came to the house of Mary Longstreet and Charles Rankin returned home, discovering that Mr. Wilson was there and went to the room with Mary to keep away from the public, asking her why she invited Mr. Wilson but she deny it. After the party, Mary begin to cry regarding the truth that Charles Rankin is Franz Kindler which Sara witness it and telling Mr. Wilson and the Longstreet family about it. Charles begin his plan to kill Mary.

Charles Rankin teaching the class and calling Mary Longstreet while drawing a pad regarding the church tower, tell her not to calling anyone and playing a chess with Mr. Potter. Sara tried to stop Mary from going to the church tower, but it was unsuccessful until Sara faking a heart attack to stop Mary from going to a church tower. Mr. Wilson and Noah Longstreet went to a church tower while Charles is playing chess with Mr. Potter at a diner. While going to the clock, the ladder was broken. Luckily, Mr. Wilson was saved.

Charles returned home, discovering that Mary isn't going to a church tower because of Sara. Mary tell Charles that she called Noah regarding the church tower, causing Charles showing his true colors to Mary as she finally know that Charles Rankin is Franz Kindler and knew that he planned to kill her. She begging him to kill her for what he did to her and her family, Mr. Wilson and Noah Longstreet were rushing to save Mary from Franz. Franz later escaped from the house and Mary was fainted while Noah find her.

In midnight, Mary waking up to going to a church tower, causing Sara to called Noah regarding Mary and Noah came to informed Mr. Wilson that Mary's life in danger when she goes to a church tower. Mary finally came to the church tower to see Franz and reveals to him that she want to kill him, Franz tried to strangle her until Mr. Wilson came to the church tower to save Mary, causing Mary to stop Franz but it was unsuccessful. When Mr. Wilson tell Franz that Franz is finished, the people came to see what's happened as Mr. Wilson tell Franz that they come after him and Franz tried to justify his actions by saying he followed orders, but Mr. Wilson tell him that Franz is the one who gave orders. Mary shot Franz eight time and Mr. Wilson grab it and tried to shoot Franz, but there is no bullets. As Franz see the people out there, he is trying to escape until he is getting impaled. As he push the clock mechanism, he falls off to death. In the end, Mr. Wilson smoking a pipe as he refuses to leave a church tower until they find a new ladder so he can leave.


They searched the woods. I watched them, here, like God looking at little ants.
~ Franz Kindler
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.
~ Franz Kindler, as Charles Rankin, admitted to Mary that he killed Konrad Meinike and Red, Mary's dog
I too am different, comrade. I - you know how I gathered and destroyed every single item in Germany and Poland that might have served as a clue to my identity; well, guess what I'll be doing at six o'clock tonight? Standing before a minister of the gospel with a woman's hand in mine, the daughter of a Justice of the United States Supreme Court, a famous Liberal. The girl is even good to look at. Yes, the camouflage is perfect.
~ Franz Kindler to Konrad Meinike
The basic principals of equality and freedom never have and never will take root in Germany. The will to freedom has been voiced in every other tongue: "All men are created equal" "Liberté, égalité, fraternité". But, in German? No.
~ Franz Kindler
As a rule, men leave their wives because they don't love them; but, I must leave you because - I do.
~ Franz Kindler, as Charles Rankin, to Mary as he trying to leave Connecticut
Oh Mary, I - I should have gone away and lost myself in a world where he could never find me. But - I loved you. I was weak.
~ Franz Kindler manipulating Mary Longstreet
It's not true the things they say I did. It was all their idea. I followed orders.
~ Franz Kindler
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.
~ Franz Kindler to Konrad Meinike
I can't believe the people can be reformed except from within.
~ Franz Kindler
Well, as a historian, I must remind you that the world hasn't had much trouble from Carthage in the past 2000 years.
~ Franz Kindler, as Charles Rankin, to Mary
If he is to live with us, he must be trained. At night he will sleep in the cellar. In the daytime he'll be kept on a leash.
~ Franz Kindler on Red
You are a fool ...
~ Franz Kindler to Mary
Well, that's ... That's an old trick, Mr. Wilson, a very poor trick.
~ Franz Kindler to Mr. Wilson


  • A scene of Franz Kindler meeting Mary Longstreet in the wood while he look at the clock was filmed, but cut from the film.
  • His surname, Rankin, was named after John E. Rankin, an Democratic politician who was well known for his support of segregation and is also accusing Orson Welles of being a communist, which cause Welles being blacklisted on Hollywood.
  • Ironically, his actual first name Franz was meaning a free man.