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Sorry, Wrong Number
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Sorry, Wrong Number (DVD)
When Lucille Fletcher took on the challenge of expanding her classic 30- minute radio suspenser Sorry, Wrong Number into an 89-minute feature fi lm, she opted on the Citizen Kane approach, filling the plotline to the brim with revelatory flashbacks. Barbara Stanwyck stars as bedridden hy pochondriac Leona Stevenson, who while trying to make a call from her be droom telephone gets her wires crossed and inadvertently overhears two men plotting a murder. Anxiously, Leona wades through telephone-company bureaucracy to trace the ca ll, never catching on — until it's too late — that the murder being planned is hers. A series of flashbacks details the disintegrati ng marriage between the wealthy Leona and her weakling husband Henry (Burt Lancaster), and Henry's subsequent disastrous get-ri ch-qu ick schemes involving chemist Waldo Evans (Harold Vermilyea) and a surly gangster (William Conrad). It would have been a near-sacril ege t o 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 stag e). Though disappointed tha t she wasn't chosen to star in the film version, Moorehead took some sat isfaction in the fact that a reco rding of the original radio program wa s played constantly on the set to help keep Barbara Stanwyck "in the moo d".]]>
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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!
Filthy-rich invalid Leona Stevenson (Barbara Stanwyck) picks up the phone during a sultry New York summer night, and overhears a plot to murder her. Could it be her husband Henry (Burt Lancaster), convieniently "out of town"; or someone out to settle the score with her former best friend Sally (Ann Richards)? As the night unfolds, a series of phonecalls guides Leona into a web of murder, drug theft and extortion. Who can she trust...and how will the bed-ridden Leona defend herself from a mysterious assailant?
Barbara Stanwyck delivers a perfectly-pitched performance, as the movie unfolds and the character of Leona grows more desperate and panicked, the sheer artistry and talent of Stanwyck comes bubbling to the surface. Burt Lancaster is also fine as the husband who may or may not be part of the plot to murder his wife. Australian-born character actress Ann Richards (not to be confused with the brunette American jazz singer), is a delight to watch as the jilted girlfriend who might also have an axe to grind with Leona.
Based around the popular radio play by Lucille Fletcher (which launched the career of Agnes Moorehead), SORRY, WRONG NUMBER benefits greatly from the added visuals of the motion picture. We can observe the way Leona visibly changes and crumbles during the course of events, and thanks to some well-shot flashback scenes, Ms Stanwyck can leave the bed and play Leona during her courting days with the Burt Lancaster character.
Clipping along at a brisk pace, SORRY, WRONG NUMBER will be a must-see for classic noir fans as well as admirers of Barbara Stanwyck. This is a tour-de-force from the amazing star of "Stella Dallas" and "Double Indemnity".
The DVD also features the trailer. (Single-sided, single-layer disc).
The movie is about a bed bound woman who over hears a plot to kill someone at 11:15 at night when her phone lines get crossed with another party. Through a serious of phone calls and flashbacks, the story builds as it pushes the viewer towards the edge finally unfolding in horrific fashion.
I really enjoyed the tension in SORRY, WRONG NUMBER and must say that it was fun to watch. Stanwyck is great as the nutty, spoiled rich wife and Lancaster is cast equally well as the hunky and kept husband.
The black & white movie is shown in full-screen format and I believe it falls under the film noir category. It also includes the trailer.
Anyway, it's a cool and creepy film! Perfect for fans of psychological thrillers and suspense movies. Watch it on a dark and rainy night with all the lights off.