House on Telegraph Hill
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Top Customer Reviews
Victoria Kowelska (Valentina Cortese; spelled Cortesa in the credits) is a Polish survivor of the Belsen concentration camp. Her husband was killed by the Germans and her home in Poland has been destroyed. Just before the camp is liberated her closest friend dies. This was a woman who had a wealthy aunt in America. Victoria's friend managed to smuggled her baby boy out of Poland and to the aunt just as the Germans invaded. Given a chance at a new life in America, Victoria grabs for it. She uses her friend's papers to assume her friend's identity. After spending time in a relocation camp, she learns the aunt has died. She makes her way to America and in New York meets the boy's guardian, Alan Spender (Richard Basehart). The boy will inherit the aunt's riches when he comes of age. Spender, who has adopted the boy, is initially suspicious of Victoria, but then he seems captivated by her. Victoria believes that she can love the boy as her own and find security with Spender. In a whirlwind decision they marry, return to San Francisco...and then suspicious things begin to happen.
If Victoria is not who she pretends to be, it may be than Alan Spender isn't either. Hovering in the background and living in the mansion on Telegraph Hill with them is Margaret (Fay Baker), the boy's nanny. Margaret is a tightly wound woman, controlling, and is not pleased with the marriage. Into this mix drifts Marc Bennett (William Lundigan). Before long, he and Victoria begin finding their way toward a relationship of their own.
The movie has several things going for it.Read more ›
In 1939, Victoria Kowelska (Valentina Cortesa) lost her home and husband to the German advance. In a concentration camp, she befriended a fellow Polish woman named Karin de Nakova whose infant son was sent to live with a rich aunt in the United States before the war. In spite of Victoria's efforts to keep her friend healthy, Karin died before the camp was liberated. Victoria assumed Karin's identity and tried to contact her aunt in the US, only to learn that Aunt Sophie had died. Four years later, Karin arrives in the US and finds that Aunt Sophie's American nephew Alan Spender (Richard Basehart) adopted young Christopher (Gordon Gebert) and lives in the aunt's grand mansion on San Francisco's Telegraph Hill. Alan romances Karin and proposes marriage, which she happily accepts.Read more ›
After a hard life in refugee camps she made her way to America where she learned that Karin's and now her great aunt was the matron of a huge family fortune. The son Chris was the sole heir seeing that the old woman had recently died. Ambitious and unctuous relative Alan Spender played by Richard Basehart was appointed the young boy's guardian. In a whirlwind romance Basehart and Cortesa are soon married and move into the palatial Victorian mansion atop Telegraph Hill. Cortesa and the the boy Chris played by Gordon Gebert hit it off but all is not well.
She befriends Basehart's longtime acquaintance Marc Bennett played by William Lundigan who is his lawyer and actually met Cortesa as a major involved with repatriating European refugees. She needs a friend because she almost immediately butts heads with the sinister and sketchy Margaret, the young boy's governess, played by Fay Baker. Cortesa also is becoming paranoid that Basehart is trying to kill her when the brakes in her car fail.
It all turns out well in the end as a righteous twist in the plot rights all that was wrong.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A mediocre, if strange film noir. Richard Basehart is the villain, Valentina Cortese is a Holocaust survivor who assumes the identity of a victim in the concentration camp she came... Read morePublished 2 months ago by N. Miller
Suspense and drama. I really love black and white movies. This is an excellent move to add to your collection.Published 3 months ago by Advocate Movie Lover
Awesome mystery movie. The seller was great, shipping good & timing very fast. Good quality.Published 6 months ago by Shaura R.
Pretty good mystery, love the scenes of San Francisco in the 1940's - no sidewalks onTelegraph Hill - also, good story line of a woman who does what she feels she has to do to... Read morePublished 8 months ago by shoplocal
Keeps you in suspense throughout the whole film. You can't go wrong with a Robert Wise flick!Published 9 months ago by KMGolf
Excellent taught movie. You remain tightly fixed on the story.Published 10 months ago by P. Harold Wallar