Customer Review

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stanwyck is Incomparable in this Masterpiece of Isolation., August 31, 2004
This review is from: Sorry, Wrong Number (DVD)
In "Sorry, Wrong Number", Barbara Stanwyck turns in one of the many memorable performances that made her the Queen of Noir. Leona (Barbara Stanwyck) is the spoiled daughter of a pharmaceutical magnate, now a demanding invalid wife to Henry Stevenson (Burt Lancaster), who must live every moment to please her. One evening she overhears a telephone conversation between two men plotting a murder. Unnerved by the call, alone in her vast apartment, and increasingly worried when her husband doesn't come home from work, Leona uses the only means she has to communicate with the outside world: the telephone. She calls everyone she can think of to find her husband, but what she learns only makes her more anxious as to his fate and her own.

"Sorry, Wrong Number" is based on a popular radio play by Lucille Fletcher, who also wrote a novel based on the play and the screenplay for this film. Leona's confinement to her apartment, where her only means of figuring out what is going on is a telephone, is one of the most effective uses of isolation in cinematic history. Leona isn't a sympathetic character. But her physical and emotional isolation is so palpable that it's unnerving. She can't control what's happening to her. Her insular, dependent lifestyle has left her paranoid. So it's hard to say if anything is happening to her at all. Is paranoia with justification still paranoia? And who were the mysterious men on the phone talking about? Where is her husband? The fact that the audience doesn't know the answers to those questions any more than Leona does makes "Sorry, Wrong Number" a top-notch thriller and a masterpiece of empathy in the service of suspense.

The DVD: The only bonus feature is a theatrical trailer. Subtitles are available in English. Dubbing is available in French.
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