It's a strangely riveting—and also flat-out strange—portrayal of the trials and tribulations of Lucas Marsh (Robert Mitchum), a man driven by mysterious psychological forces and Dickensian beginnings to become a doctor. . . . Even though it's one of the few times Mitchum was miscast, Not as a Stranger still intrigues as a look at a limited man who becomes a doctor so he can avoid feeling things.
What a peculiar, remarkable film it is. Although it no doubt helped create a ‘young doctors in love’ genre that subsequently became wildly prevalent in both cinema and TV as both (melo)drama and comedy, the uncomfortable tone of proceedings here is closer to Eyes Wide Shut (1998) or The Knick (2015- ) territory.