The Gaunt Stranger

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The Gaunt Stranger
The Gaunt Stranger - UK film poster.jpg
British poster for The Gaunt Stranger
Directed by Walter Forde
Produced by Michael Balcon
S.C. Balcon
Written by Edgar Wallace (play)
Sidney Gilliat
Starring Sonnie Hale
Wilfrid Lawson
Louise Henry
Alexander Knox
Music by Ernest Irving
Cinematography Gordon Dines
Ronald Neame
Edited by Charles Saunders
Distributed by Associated British
Monogram Pictures (US)
Release dates
November 1938
Running time
73 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Gaunt Stranger is a 1938 British mystery thriller film directed by Walter Forde and starring Sonnie Hale, Wilfrid Lawson and Alexander Knox.

Production and release[edit]

The film was made at Ealing Studios,[1] the first release following Michael Balcon's appointment of head of production. It was based on the story The Gaunt Stranger by Edgar Wallace, which Forde had previously adapted as The Ringer in 1931. The film was released under the alternative title The Phantom Strikes in the United States. It was popular enough in Britain to be re-released in 1945.

Plot summary[edit]

A notorious killer, long believed to have died in Australia, returns to England seeking revenge for the death of his sister. The "Ringer" threatens to murder the criminal mastermind Maurice Meister. Detective Inspector Alan Wembury is assigned to the case and despite his strong dislike for Meister attempts to protect him with the reluctant assistance of another criminal, Sam Hackett, who has been released from prison as he is the only man able to identify the "Ringer". Even with his help Wembury struggles to unmask their target before the time at which Meister is due to be killed.



  1. ^ Wood p.98


  • Low, Rachael. Filmmaking in 1930s Britain. George Allen & Unwin, 1985.
  • Perry, George. Forever Ealing. Pavilion Books, 1994.
  • Wood, Linda. British Films, 1927–1939. British Film Institute, 1986.

External links[edit]