Stranger on the Third Floor is a 1940 film noir directed by Boris Ingster, starring Peter Lorre, John McGuire, and Margaret Tallichet, and featuring Elisha Cook Jr..


When upstart journalist Michael Ward (John McGuire) testifies that he saw Joe Briggs (Elisha Cook Jr.) at the scene of a murder, Briggs is jailed and sentenced to death. Later, Michael's conscience and troubling dreams get the better of him. He tells his girlfriend, Jane (Margaret Tallichet), that he isn't certain Briggs is guilty. They begin to investigate, but unfortunately, the couple soon makes the acquaintance of an ominous, enigmatic man (Peter Lorre) who wants the case to stay closed.


  • Peter Lorre as The Stranger
  • John McGuire as Mike Ward
  • Margaret Tallichet as Jane
  • Charles Waldron as District Attorney
  • Elisha Cook Jr. as Joe Briggs
  • Charles Halton as Albert Meng
  • Ethel Griffies as Mrs. Kane, Michael's landlady
  • Cliff Clark as Martin
  • Oscar O'Shea as The Judge
  • Alec Craig as Briggs' Defense Attorney
  • Emory Parnell as Detective