A writer meets a young socialite on board a train. The two fall in love and are married soon after, but her obsessive love for him threatens to be the undoing of both them and everyone else around them.
Leona Stevenson is sick and confined to her bed. One night, whilst waiting for her 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. Written by
Col Needham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
After Leona calls the police, she reaches to her bed table for medicine and water. The table extending over her bed immediately at her right hand, and the phone is on the bed at her left. In the next shot, the phone has moved, and the bed table is far away from her, under the window to her left. See more »
Operator! Operator! Operator!
Voice of Operator:
Your call please?
Operator, I've been ringing Murray Hill 35097 for the last half hour and the line is always busy. Will you ring it for me, please?
See more »
An expanded radio play and subsequent TV drama, this film builds terrific tension around a bedridden heiress and her telephone.
Sympathy builds for this unlikeable woman, Leona, played by Barbara Stanwyck. She is a spoiled heiress used to getting her own way, but as we come to see, very much created by her father (played by Ed Begley) who bows to all her wishes.
Her husband, Henry, played by Burt Lancaster, whom she chases and captures from her best friend, initially goes along with being an employee in her father's corporation but eventually starts chafing at the restraints imposed on him.
The movie just about plays in real time with the addition of many flashbacks, one of which secures the knowledge that there is nothing wrong with Leona, it is all psychosomatic based on her mother's fatal illness.
From the moment Leona accidentally overhears a plotted murder for later on that evening, the viewer is taken on a ride that builds suspense and tension to a terrifying conclusion and the movie's title.
Not to be missed. The cinematography is superb, a lot of play in light and shade. Barbara deserved an Oscar but lost. 8 out of 10.
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