Stranger on the Third Floor (1940)

35mm film, black and white, 1.37:1
mono, English

An American crime thriller with horror elements directed by Boris Ingster.

Plot Summary

An aspiring reporter is on the trail of a serial killer and of being convicted for the murder of a nosy neighbour.


Directed by: Boris Ingster
Copyright MCMXL [1940] RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc. presents
Produced by: Lee Marcus
Story and Screen Play by: Frank Partos
Director of Photography: Nicholas Musuraca
Edited by: Harry Marker
Musical Score by: Roy Webb
Recorded by: Bailey Fesler
Wardrobe by: Renié
Special Effects by: Vernon L. Walker
Art Director: Van Nest Polglase

Peter Lorre [stranger]
John McGuire [Michael Ward]
Margaret Tallichet [Jane]
Charles Waldron [district attorney]
Elisha Cook Jr [Joe Briggs]
Charles Halton [Albert Meng]
Ethel Griffies [Mrs Kane]
Cliff Clark [Martin]
Oscar O'Shea [judge]
Alec Craig [defence attorney]
Otto Hoffman [police surgeon]

Alternative Titles

El desconegut del tercer pis – Catalan Spanish title
El desconocido del tercer piso – Spanish DVD title
El extraño del tercer piso – Spanish title
O Homem dos Olhos Esbugalhados – Brazilian title
L'inconnu du 3ème étage – French DVD title
El misterio del tercer piso – Mexican title
Mordet i tredje våningen – Swedish title
Murha kolmannessa kerroksessa – Finnish television title
Não Matei – Portuguese title
Lo sconosciuto del terzo piano – Italian title
Stranac sa treceg sprata – Serbian Yugoslavian title
O xenos tou tritou – Greek title
Незнакомец на третьем этаже – Soviet Russian title

Extracts included in
Film Noir: Bringing Darkness to Light (2006)
The Rules of Film Noir (2009)



  • Kine Weekly no.1751 (7 November 1940)
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.48 no.571 (August 1981) pp.165-1666
  • Motion Picture Herald vol.140 no.10 (7 September 1940) p.40
  • Today's Cinema vol.55 no.4490 (6 November 1940)
  • The Velvet Light Trap no.5 (Summer 1972 ) pp.11-12


  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.376
  • by Walt Lee p.464 – credits
  • RKO Radio Pictures Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Films, 1929-1956 by Michael R. Pitts pp.311-313