Sorry, Wrong Number

 (1,563)7.41 h 28 min1948X-RayALL
Leona Stevenson is sick and confined to her bed. One night, whilst waiting for he husband to return home, she picks up the phone and accidentally overhears a conversation between two men planning a murder. She becomes increasingly desperate as she tries to work out who the victim is so the crime can be prevented.
Anatole Litvak
Barbara StanwyckBurt LancasterAnn Richards
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Wendell CoreyHarold VermilyeaEd Begley; Sr.
Anatole LitvakHal B. Wallis
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4.7 out of 5 stars

1563 global ratings

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Top reviews from the United States

JanReviewed in the United States on August 19, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Another classic gem! Please don't miss seeing this one.
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I'm a cheerleader for the older and usually black and white movies from 1920's through the 1950's (which is when we start getting color).

Barbara Stanwyck is fighting to be out from under her father's wing and out of his house.
She wants to prove she can marry the man she loves. But she's hiding something from her husband and she's not the only one with secrets. Oh I think you'll love it!
30 people found this helpful
Robert StreckerReviewed in the United States on January 23, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
this is overall very good-- with a great ending that makes up for some other things
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I will make this one short due to having slightly mixed feelings about this film. I have watched it 2 times and will wait awhile and update this after a few more viewings-
I really like Stanweck in general and like how her character is in a helpless type of situation but is rendered helpless rather than being that way from the beginning therefore shifting the norm when dealing with this type of suspense.
First off the photography is great and that long tracking shot that goes from Stanwecks room down the staircase through rooms and to the point of camera focus-- is way ahead of its time and marks a technique that will become standard with cgi implementation. Here we really see a camera move from the top of the house to the bottom and into the kitchen. Just for that scene this film is historically relevant.
I like how the film is structured meaning it starts off showcasing Stanweck then about halfway through shifts focus to the Lancaster character. This is creative due to most films - even today mix the main characters. It is interesting to note that due to both main leads being each undesirable and not the best people it is as if right when you are getting a little fed up with one it shifts just in time to the other and keeps the audience attention focused. There are a few minor characters that take over this pattern leading to very good character development.
I feel the "terror" buildup is overrated while something even better is going on. We get nothing but character development of the Burt Lancaster character rather than Stanweck and are forced to somewhat sympathize with him as well as Stanweck-- the dark mischievousness of the script is that both of the leads are not the best people. Stanweck is a spoiled unpleasant type while Lancaster will step on whoever he has to to get to the top. Lancaster is dealing with character defects in that his masculinity/male stereotype issues are so strong he will not be taken care of by his wife. This dynamic actually asks the audience to pick from the lesser of the 2 undesirable personalities or antiheroes making Stanweck appear as the best option.
This is more of a good character study rather than sheer terror which is how it is advertised from the ads from the time. The ending is what saves this and sends it into a classic category. I feel this film was watered down intentionally like a lot of commercial films were. I f Hitchcock directed it there would of not been and lagging.
I highly recommend this one.
21 people found this helpful
John FowlerReviewed in the United States on July 29, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
BLU-RAY REVIEW: Sorry, Wrong Number + Burt Lancaster Film Noir Checklist
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In 2002, Paramount released the 1948 film noir ‘Sorry, Wrong Number’ on DVD.
This Blu-ray from [Imprint] (the brackets are part of the name) makes no claim to be a new 2-K or 4-K digital transfer.
Even so, you can make out details not apparent on DVD.
I am generally pleased with the picture.
[Imprint] is an Australian company, but their Blu-ray is region-free.
The only thing really wrong with it is that it is ridiculously expensive ($45).
Disney Blu-rays cost more, but they at least are new 4-K transfers.

Blu-ray Bonus Features:
--- new audio commentary by Alan K. Rode of the Film Noir Foundation.
--- new introduction by TCM Noir Alley host Eddie Muller (2:30)
--- new documentary about the making of ‘Sorry Wrong Number’ (31:30) *
--- radio show from 1950 with Barbara Stanwyck & Burt Lancaster (60:00)
--- new staged dramatization of the original radio play (28:30) *
--- movie trailer - also on the old DVD
--- English SDH subtitles - also on the old DVD

* mystery: the documentary and the staged dramatization of the radio play are copyrighted 2009 by Paramount.
Perhaps they were part a planned DVD/Blu-ray release in 2009 that never happened.
I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the transfer of the new [Impact] Blu-ray also dates to 2009, but I’m just guessing.

‘Sorry, Wrong Number’ is based on a 28-minute radio play starring Agnes Moorehead - essentially a one-woman show, broadcast on the CBS radio program ‘Suspense’, in 1943.
It created a national sensation, and was rebroadcast an additional seven
times before the final broadcast in 1960, each time starring Agnes Moorehead.
Orson Welles called ‘Sorry, Wrong Number’ “the greatest single radio script ever written.”
28 minutes is too short for a movie, so Paramount hired the author, Lucille Fletcher, to turn it into a 90 minute film, by fleshing out and adding supporting characters - in particular, Barbara Stanwyck’s courtship of husband Burt Lancaster is told in extended flashback.
Fletcher also devised a motive for the planned murder - illicit drug dealing by employees of Stanwyck’s father’s pharmaceutical business.
But the censor wouldn’t allow any mention of drugs.
This handicaps the film, resulting in a confusing plot.

‘Sorry, Wrong Number’ is an entertaining 90-minute film, but the radio play is a 28-minute masterpiece.
As a bonus feature, [Image] could have included one of Moorehead’s radio broadcasts (available on YouTube), but instead they chose a 1950 Lux Radio Theater broadcast with Stanwyck and Lancaster.
The 28-minute radio show was expanded to a full hour, but this is unnecessary padding.
In compensation, the [Impact] Blu-ray includes a 2009 filmed re-creation of the 28-minute radio broadcast starring Sandy York with the Shadowland Theatre (see color photo).
Very suspenseful.
Never thought I’d say this, but I recommend that you listen to (and watch) the 28-minute Shadowland Theatre staging of the original radio script before you watch the movie.

Between 1946 and 1949, Burt Lancaster starred in eight films noir, but avoided the genre completely in the ‘50s and ‘60s, branching out into adventure films, westerns and straight dramas.
[IMDB considers ‘Sweet Smell of Success’ (1957) to be film noir, but I have my doubts - it’s a showbiz melodrama, much like ‘Sunset Boulevard’ or ‘A Star Is Born’.]
All eight Burt Lancaster films noir are on Blu-ray.
The film titles in blue are Amazon links.
For the rest, enter the film title in the Amazon search bar.

1946: [[ASIN:B00W69F2VA The Killers [Blu-ray]]] (Criterion Collection)] with Ava Gardner, Edmond O’Brien, music by Miklós Rózsa - directed by Robert Siodmak

1947: Brute Force [Blu-ray] (Criterion Collection) with Hume Cronyn, Charles Bickford, music by Miklós Rózsa - directed by Jules Dassin (prison picture; actresses only appear in flashbacks)

1947: [[ASIN:B07KLQRNK2 Desert Fury [Blu-ray]]] with Lizabeth Scott, John Hodiak, music by Miklós Rózsa - directed by Lewis Allen (rare example of film noir in color)

1948: [[ASIN:B07CXDB7P8 I Walk Alone [Blu-ray]]] with Lizabeth Scott, Kirk Douglas, music by Victor Young - directed by Byron Haskins

1948: Sorry, Wrong Number [Blu-ray] with Barbara Stanwyck, William Conrad, music by Franz Waxman - directed by Anatole Litvak

1948: Kiss the Blood Off My Hands [Blu-ray] with Joan Fontaine, Robert Newton, music by Miklós Rózsa - directed by Norman Foster

1949: Criss Cross [Blu-ray] with Yvonne DeCarlo, Dan Duryea, music by Miklós Rózsa - directed by Robert Siodmak

1949: [[ASIN:B00OUOA7CI Rope of Sand [Blu-ray]]] with Corinne Calvet, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, music by Franz Waxman - directed by William Dieterle
9 people found this helpful
Lambie's MOMReviewed in the United States on November 4, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
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Up until recently, I have only watched bits & pieces of this film. The actors, are gorgeous, the scenery is lush and the (Edith Head) costumes are so fabulous. B. Stanwyck's engagement ring is sparklingly stellar. We have NO question on who paid for this ring. Not her downtrodden husband!. Her controlling and manipulating, rich girl ways are unnerving and disturbing. Burt Lancaster as her poor boy, put upon, but very sinister husband, is remarkable and difficult to watch at times. Burt, is super handsome, very young and so swarthy. He is sharp as a tack, highly intelligent, and plays a bored out of his skull employee, in his Father-in-Law's company. His wife, B. Stanwyck denergrates and demeans him, constantly with her sharp tongue and snobbish ways. She is always reminding about HER Father, His company and HER $$$$$$$. Divorcing her is not an option. There are no children (heirs) to consider. Barbara Stanwyck's shrill voice and ongoing cries for Burt's immediate and constant attention, makes the viewer aware of her deep insecurities, the narcisissim and her intense, profound selfishness. I will watch the film again, because I was stunned by the bone chilling effects of this film. I love film noir, and this is the most intense and most bone chilling out of all of the older film noir movies that I have ordered. I cannot even imagine, how the original audience perceived this film when it was first released? The performances from all of the actors is outstanding. Edith Head's designs are lovely and beautiful. The bedroom setting for B. Stanwyck is lush and luxurious. while she fritters away her life whining about being an invalid, with a terrible heart condition. She has no heart condition and is NOT really an invalid. What she really is? a deeply disturbed and manipulative wife. I felt sorry for Burt L. It's a great film, so intricate and enthralling with a very intense script, the ending is truly chilling, even today.
6 people found this helpful
ClarityOfMindReviewed in the United States on July 19, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Conversation overheard on a party line… OMG 😲
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I love Barbara Stanwyck. She is a supposed invalid, but it appears she is unconsciously making herself that way.

⚫️SPOILER: She is a wealthy woman used to getting her way and frightened when she overhears a conversation about somebody getting murdered. The conversation is somewhat vague, but frightening enough for her to try to get authorities to act... Obviously, an overheard conversation, BUT not enough to substantiate police response or even get a respectful response from some of them.

The tension gets worse and worse and many viewers will figure it out sooner rather than later. Still, a lot of fun. Enjoy!
14 people found this helpful
RescuepetsruleReviewed in the United States on February 8, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
The great Stanwyk- Burt wasnn't bad either...
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This is a classy movie about some seedy people. We see what a controlling wife does to her unsophisticated husband, and what her father had done to control her. It has a good plot with many details interwoven nicely. Classic Hollywood with my favorite actress showing all her facets in short order.
As a jewelry/Gemstone collector I am going to see about that big rock on our star's hand- I hope it is discussed somewhere in movie history, starting with the jeweler's name. I'm glad I'm not the only one that wears a full compliment when I am sick in bed! :)
Wally Westmore makeup and Edith Head costumes are like guarantees that nothing is 2nd rate.
Great film-enjoy!
One person found this helpful
Jil PenningtonReviewed in the United States on October 6, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
A classic that is still a classic must see movie.
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I enjoyed this movie growing up and I'm still enjoying it. A woman is to terrorized by telephone. Is her husband attempting to get rid of a sick wife or are the phone calls meant for another woman? Barbara Stanwyck turns in a chilling performance as a woman who 1st dismisses the calls as a prank , but then becomes increasingly frightened and panic stricken as the calls intensify as a stranger stalks her via phone. Is she in danger of being murdered or not? And who is behind these calls: a husband trapped in a marriage to a continuously ill wife? Or is she the innocent victim receiving calls meant for another woman? You won't forget this movie; you'll easily see yourself as her, especially in our modern world where no limits to behavior seems to be the rule.
Haley S.Reviewed in the United States on February 21, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Wild ride of a movie! Loved it!
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My boyfriend is on a noir film kick and so I decided to purchase this movie to surprise him. I read the reviews and was excited to watch it but holy moly, I was surprised - what an awesome ending!! It moves a little slow but otherwise I loved everything about this film. I enjoyed seeing Leona’s wardrobe and jewelry and her fathers belongings too (how bout that taxidermy?!?) Any way, if you’re thinking about purchasing this movie, just do it, you’ll like it. The very end had me and my boyfriend yelling and throwing our hands in the air haha such badass ending
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