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Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery | 1 September 1948 (USA)
Whilst on the telephone, an invalid woman overhears what she thinks is a murder plot and attempts to prevent it.



(radio play), (screenplay)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Dr. Philip Alexander
Harold Vermilyea ...
Waldo Evans
James 'J.B.' Cotterell
Fred Lord
Joe - Detective
Peter Lord
Elizabeth Jennings
Paul Fierro ...


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 <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She overheard the plans for her own destruction! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 September 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Du lebst noch 105 Minuten  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The jewel-clasped cigarette case Leona offers to Henry was Barbara Stanwyck's own, A birthday gift from Joan Crawford, one of her dearest friends. See more »


Twice Barbara Stanwyck turns on a radio and they instantly begin to play music. Radios of the film's era would have required some time to warm up. See more »


[first lines]
Leona Stevenson: Operator! Operator! Operator!
Voice of Operator: Your call please?
Leona Stevenson: 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 »


Referenced in Behave Yourself! (1951) See more »


Wedding March
by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Lacks the tight suspense of the radio thriller...too much padding!
16 April 2001 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Sorry, but 'Sorry, Wrong Number' loses a lot in its transition to the screen. For one thing, there are too many flabby flashbacks--a form quite popular in the '40s but used extensively in this film, ad nauseum. All of the suspenseful action in the bedroom of the bedridden victim is held at bay while we watch another endless flashback attempting to show us how selfish and unworthy this woman is. If you heard the original radio drama with Agnes Moorehead giving a spine-chilling portrait of Leona, you'll see why the film becomes too diffuse in an attempt to give us "filler material". The fact that Lucille Fletcher adapted her own work for the screen would give the viewer hope that this is going to be just as good as the radio drama--but it's not. Barbara Stanwyck gives an excellent performance, bordering on hysteria toward the finale--but it's an actressy performance and not as controlled as some of her other film noir roles. Burt Lancaster has a colorless role and can't do much with it. Ann Richards is impressive as the woman who tries to warn Leona. By expanding the plot outside the bedroom, Fletcher created a confusing number of sub-plots that simply take away from the tension. Too much padding actually hurts the film. Anatole Litvak's direction is strong--but not strong enough to put the film on the same level with the classic radio drama. The plot is overcomplicated to the nth degree.

Trivia note: The only other film with such heavy use of flashbacks to tell a complicated story is THE LOCKET ('47), but it was done more efficiently than it is here.

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