Other Sellers on Amazon
Sorry, Wrong Number
|Additional DVD options||Edition||Discs||
|New from||Used from|
|Watch Instantly with||Rent||Buy|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
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".]]>
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Maybe the operative lesson to be learned, a cautionary tale if you will, in this 1948 Anatole Litvak-directed film is that you should not marry the boss’ daughter, period (or if you are the boss’ daughter let your man find his own way in the world, period). Here Leona (played by a suitably fear-struck and frantic Barbara Stanwyck) as a very fragile and sickly young woman, although according to a confidential doctor’s report she is physically fine so the symptoms seem to be psychosomatic, whose father has doted on her all her life is attracted to rough-hewn Henry (played by Burt Lancaster). Now Henry is from nowhere, a working class guy whom Leona eyes at a dance (and “steals” away from another woman). They meet and she, used to getting her own way always, draws a bee-line for him. Being from nowhere Henry, whatever attractions she holds for him, is ambitious, has a million ideas about becoming his own man, can also see that she can through her father help him along in his ambitions to be somebody.
And that is where the boss’ daughter angle gets full play, and gets the story-line moving to its fateful end. Leona and Henry marry and settle down with her father. A big mistake. Henry desperately wants to be his own man at something and holding a job in the father’s company, a big time pharma operation and under his roof makes him edgy. Makes him want to get out on his own. Leona though, her father’s daughter to a tee, takes a fit when Henry proposes they move out on their own. That set her heart problems going full throttle until she had become so overwrought that she had become bedridden as we see from the opening scene.
Henry though has decided, come hell or high water, to make it on his own by fair means or foul. He gets involved, gets involved way over his head, with some bad hombres to whom he sells stolen chemicals from his father-in law’s plant. They pressure him into signing an I.O.U. for big dough which he had not got when he tries to cut them out of the cycle. They, not the kind to be left standing with no dough, “suggest” that his sick wife has a big insurance policy issued on her life, a policy that should be come due very soon. Hence the conversation on the telephone that she had overheard as she pieces everything together is a plan to murder her, murder her that very night. As she learns more she gets more frantic, particularly when she hears a prowler downstairs whom she can’t do anything about (or won’t if you go by the doctor’s report). In the end despite a last minute call from Henry who tells her go to the window and yell bloody murder (almost literally) to save her life the villain’s work is done. Henry who had been under investigation about the stolen chemicals is as she is being murdered apprehended by the cops. Yeah, maybe it is best to just not marry the boss’ daughter and leave it at that. Sorry, Henry, sorry but your pleas were too late and you are going to take the big step-off on this one, no question.
Exciting 1948 thriller based on a 45 minute radio play, starring Barbara Stanwyck as the paranoid, controlling rich woman, daughter of a rich drug company tycoon. She falls in love and steals a man from a girlfriend of hers played by Ann Richards. The Ann Richards character reminded me of Inger Stevens in a lot of ways -- sneaky, shy and cute. Burt Lancaster plays the rough man from a poor neighborhood who becomes a milk-toast of a husband to Leona.
There is a lot of flashback in this story that detracts somewhat from the thriller aspect of things. The Ann Richards character really does not add a lot to the story, except her following people around, spying on her husband (who is a police detective) and sneaking into beach houses and train stations.
The mysterious party line where Leona listens to a plot of murder at 11:15 that same night freaks out Leona. What seems to freak her out even more is learning that her illness is psychosomatic -- "Liars, liars!!" Wow!
With a few slow points that are a bit hard to handle for the modern viewer, the ending is quite a tour de force. Definitely a four star film, not on par with a Hitchcock thriller in my opinion, but still you gotta see a young Burt Lancaster (Birdman of Alcatraz).
Seeing a young William Conrad (Cannon TV series) as the gangster Moreno was a treat as well.
The DVD I had had minimal features, just a film trailer.
Some Lancaster Flicks!
Burt Lancaster - The Signature Collection (The Flame and the Arrow / Jim Thorpe All-American / His Majesty O'Keefe / South Sea Woman / Executive Action)
Birdman of Alcatraz
Some Barbara Stanwyck Movies:
Barbara Stanwyck - The Signature Collection (Annie Oakley / East Side, West Side / My Reputation / Executive Suite / Jeopardy / To Please a Lady)
Double Indemnity (Universal Legacy Series)
William Conrad! (was original Matt Dillon in radio's Gunsmoke).
Cannon: Season One, Vol. 1
Barbera Stanwyck deserved an Oscar for her performance as the bed ridden woman who overhears her planned death over the telephone and tries to piece together her ensuing fate. Will she die or is it her imagination?
The film is very well handled and far from conventional. The characters are complex and the mystery that unravels is both intriguing in it's harsh expectedness and yet, surprising as well.
The cast all perform well including Burt Lancaster in an early role as the suspicious husband of Stanwyck, who is set up as her would be murderer.
Ending is a classic bit of dark cinema with a deliciously, blackly comic final line.
This film serves an important role in the evolution of film Noir in the presentation of it's central characters. Neither one is very likeable. Stanwyck henpecks Lancaster throughout and belittles him. She allows him absolutely no freedom and little in the way of confidence. She also turns out to be something of a hypochrondriac. Lancaster is aloof and maddening in his desire for financial freedom. His willingness to try ANYTHING to obtain security and escape disgrace and the law make him a somewhat despicable character.
Normally such things do not add up to create a good film, but the payoff becomes that much more satisfying in a morbid way and that much more intriguing. Seen as a reflection as the corruption of the spirit through ruthless ambition and apathy, the film remains fascinating. In this film that old saying remains true: Money IS the root of all evil.