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House on Telegraph Hill
     

The House on Telegraph Hill

Director: Robert Wise

Cast: Richard Basehart, Valentina Cortese, William Lundigan

 

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After surviving the hell of a Nazi death camp, a refugee faces even greater dangers in America in this tale of murder, deceit, and assumed identities. Victoria Kopwelska (Valentina Cortese) is a Polish woman imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp near the end of World War II. Desperate to survive, Victoria learns that her best friend has family in the United States,

Overview

After surviving the hell of a Nazi death camp, a refugee faces even greater dangers in America in this tale of murder, deceit, and assumed identities. Victoria Kopwelska (Valentina Cortese) is a Polish woman imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp near the end of World War II. Desperate to survive, Victoria learns that her best friend has family in the United States, and if they are ever freed, she pledges to take Victoria to America with her. Victoria's friend, however, is killed shortly before American troops can liberate the camp. With nowhere to go, Victoria steals her friend's papers and sails to America, where she is accepted as her friend by her family. Victoria learns that she is now the godmother to a young boy, as well as the heir to a sizable fortune, following the death of her "aunt." Alan Spender (Richard Basehart), the boy's guardian, has been making secret plans to get his hands on the money, and Victoria's arrival causes him to draft a new scheme. Alan begins wooing Victoria, hoping to take her hand in marriage and then murder her, gaining her estate in the process. However, after several accidents befall the youngster, Victoria begins to believe that her new sweetheart is up to no good. The House on Telegraph Hill was directed by Robert Wise, who went on to helm such blockbusters as West Side Story and The Sound of Music.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
While The Hosue on Telegraph Hill fails to be the top notch thriller it wants to be, it nevertheless has a number of superior elements and fans of this genre should seek it out. Less than perfect, House is still quite entertaining. The chief culprit, as is so often the case, is the screenplay. This kind of film needs to be perfectly structured, with every scene making a point and/or serving a specific purpose but doing so in a manner that is not baldly obvious. House's screenplay lacks the finesse that would have elevated it. It also makes the mistake of starting with a fascinating premise -- the survivor of a Nazi concentration camp taking the identity of a slain campmate -- but it doesn't really develop it; after the first 20 or so minutes, this set-up makes no real difference to the plot, other than to give the female lead a secret that can prove damaging to her. But despite the script flaws, House still offers a number of thrills, thanks to its cast and direction -- and its editing. (The runaway vehicle sequence, especially, owes its effectiveness to very fine editing.) Robert Wise's direction doesn't cover the holes in the script, but it plays up its strengths, and he makes a number of segments quite good. And the cast, especially leads Valentina Cortese, Richard Basehart and Fay Baker, all turn in performances that make House worth a viewing.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/07/2006
UPC:
0024543227816
Original Release:
1951
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:33:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Audio commentary with noted film historian Eddie Muller; Poster gallery; On-set production stills; Unit photography gallery; Special shoot gallery; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Richard Basehart Alan Spender
Valentina Cortese Victoria Kowelska
William Lundigan Maj. Marc Anders
Fay Baker Margaret
Gordon Geberl Chris
Steven Geray Dr. Burkhardt
Kei Chung Houseboy
Herbert Butterfield Callahan
John Burton Mr. Whitmore
Katherine Meskill Mrs. Whitmore
Charles Wagenheim Man At Accident
David Clarke Mechanic
Natasha Lytess Karin
Ashmead Scott Inspector Hardy
Tom McDonough Farrell
Mario Siletti Tony
Henry Rowland Sergeant, Interpreter
Don Kohler Chemist
Harry Carter Detective Ellis

Technical Credits
Robert Wise Director
Lucien Ballard Cinematographer
Robert Bassler Producer
John De Cuir Production Designer
Nick De Maggio Editor
Paul S. Fox Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design
Sol Kaplan Score Composer
Thomas K. Little Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design
Elick Moll Screenwriter
Alfred Newman Score Composer,Editor,Musical Direction/Supervision
Ben Nye Makeup
Frank Partos Screenwriter
Renie Costumes/Costume Designer
Lyle Wheeler Art Director

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- House on Telegraph Hill
1. Main Titles
2. Dreams of America
3. Karin
4. The Refugee Ship
5. New York City
6. Mrs. Alan Spender
7. Meeting Chris
8. The House on Telegraph Hill
9. The First Night
10. An Old Friend
11. House Rules
12. The New Union Grocery
13. The Playhouse
14. Apologies
15. Strange Behavior
16. The Accident
17. Suspicion
18. Marc Bennett
19. Dinner and Dancing
20. Who I Really Am
21. Proof
22. Coffee in the Library
23. Operator!
24. Orange Juice Before Bed
25. Rightfully Mine
26. The Phone Is Dead
27. Witness
28. Aunt Sophie's Approval

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