Sorry, Wrong Number

Sorry, Wrong Number

5.0 4
Director: Anatole Litvak

Cast: Anatole Litvak, Barbara Stanwyck, Burt Lancaster, Ann Richards

     
 

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When Lucille Fletcher took on the challenge of expanding her classic 30-minute radio suspenser Sorry, Wrong Number into an 89-minute feature film, she opted on the Citizen Kane approach, filling the plotline to the brim with revelatory flashbacks. Barbara Stanwyck stars as bedridden hypochondriac Leona Stevenson, who while trying to make a call from herSee more details below

Overview

When Lucille Fletcher took on the challenge of expanding her classic 30-minute radio suspenser Sorry, Wrong Number into an 89-minute feature film, she opted on the Citizen Kane approach, filling the plotline to the brim with revelatory flashbacks. Barbara Stanwyck stars as bedridden hypochondriac Leona Stevenson, who while trying to make a call from her bedroom telephone gets her wires crossed and inadvertently overhears two men plotting a murder. Anxiously, Leona wades through telephone-company bureaucracy to trace the call, never catching on -- until it's too late -- that the murder being planned is hers. A series of flashbacks details the disintegrating marriage between the wealthy Leona and her weakling husband Henry (Burt Lancaster), and Henry's subsequent disastrous get-rich-quick schemes involving chemist Waldo Evans (Harold Vermilyea) and a surly gangster (William Conrad). It would have been a near-sacrilege to alter the radio play's ironic ending, which fortunately remains intact on film. Sorry Wrong Number was first heard on radio's Suspense series in 1943, with Agnes Moorehead as the harried Mrs. Stevenson (a role she'd repeat several times on radio and on stage). Though disappointed that she wasn't chosen to star in the film version, Moorehead took some satisfaction in the fact that a recording of the original radio program was played constantly on the set to help keep Barbara Stanwyck "in the mood."

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Adapted by Lucille Fletcher from her popular radio play, Sorry, Wrong Number (1948) gave film noir leading lady Barbara Stanwyck one of her greatest roles, as a tough-as-nails invalid heiress who inadvertently overhears a murder plot through a botched phone connection. Wielding said phone like a weapon, Stanwyck's Leona Stevenson alternates among demanding, hysterical, and tremulous moods as she slowly discovers the truth while sitting alone in her palatial Manhattan apartment. Expanded from the original play, Leona's phone conversations lead to flashbacks, and flashbacks within flashbacks, revealing weak husband Burt Lancaster's downfall and the shifting allegiances and tangled plot that implicate Leona in her own fate. Director Anatole Litvak tightly maintains suspense throughout the fractured time structure, leading up to the ironically chilling ending. Praised for her best performance since Double Indemnity (1944), Stanwyck received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress, while Paramount's then-unheard of use of TV ads helped turn the Oscar season reissue of Sorry, Wrong Number into a box office hit.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/01/2013
UPC:
0883929304950
Original Release:
1948
Source:
Paramount Catalog
Sales rank:
17,741

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Barbara Stanwyck Leona Stevenson
Burt Lancaster Henry Stevenson
Ann Richards Sally Lord Dodge
Wendell Corey Dr. Alexander
Ed Begley James Cotterell
Harold Vermilyea Waldo Evans
Leif Erickson Fred Lord
William Conrad Morano
John Bromfield Joe, Detective
Jimmy Hunt Peter Lord
Dorothy Neumann Miss Jennings
Igor Dega Actor
Kristine Miller Dolly, Dr. Alexander's Girlfriend
Suzanne Dalbert Cigarette Girl
Joyce Compton Blonde
Tito Vuolo Albert
Garry Owen Bingo Caller
Holmes Herbert Wilkins
Neal Dodd Minister
Louise Lorimer Nurse
Yola D'Avril French Maid
Pepito Perez Boat Operator
Ashley Cowan Clam Digger
Grace Poggi Dancer
Cliff Clark Sergeant Duffy
Paul Fierro Harpootlian

Technical Credits
Anatole Litvak Director,Producer
Sam Comer Set Decoration/Design
Hans Dreier Art Director
Lucille Fletcher Screenwriter
Bertram Granger Set Decoration/Design
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Earl Hedrick Art Director
Gordon Jennings Special Effects
Warren Low Editor
Richard McWhorter Asst. Director
Gene Merritt Sound/Sound Designer
Walter Oberst Sound/Sound Designer
Sol Polito Cinematographer
Hal B. Wallis Producer
Franz Waxman Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Wally Westmore Makeup

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