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The House on Telegraph Hill (1951)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  27 August 1951 (Sweden)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,619 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 18 critic

Concentration camp survivor Victoria Kowelska finds herself involved in mystery, greed, and murder when she assumes the identity of a dead friend in order to gain passage to America.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 4 more credits »
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Title: The House on Telegraph Hill (1951)

The House on Telegraph Hill (1951) on IMDb 7/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Victoria Kowelska (as Valentina Cortesa)
William Lundigan ...
Major Marc Bennett
Fay Baker ...
Gordon Gebert ...
Christopher
Steven Geray ...
Dr. Burkhardt
Herbert Butterfield ...
Joseph C. Callahan
Kei Thin Chung ...
Kei - Houseboy
John Burton ...
Mr. Whitmore
Katherine Meskill ...
Mrs. Whitmore
Mario Siletti ...
Tony, the Grocer
Charles Wagenheim ...
Man At Accident
...
Mechanic
Tamara Schee ...
Maria
Natasha Lytess ...
Karin Dernakova
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Storyline

Victoria has survived Nazi concentration by assuming the identity of one who died there. She arrives in San Francisco to see her "son" just as the boy's great-aunt dies leaving a lot of money to be inherited. Victoria falls in love with the boy's trustee Alan Spender, and they move into the mansion on Telegraph Hill. She then learns that Alan and his lover, the boy's governess Margaret, murdered an aunt and are planning the same for her. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This is the house forbidden to every woman with a conscience, forbidden to every man with honor! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 August 1951 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

A Casa da Colina  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Other actresses considered for the Fay Baker role of Margaret include Andrea King, Jayne Meadows, Audrey Totter, Nancy Reagan, Mercedes McCambridge, Marsha Hunt, Ann Savage, and Uta Hagen. See more »

Goofs

In the establishing shot of the house at the beginning, the fact that the water in the bay in the background never moves indicates is it a matte painting. See more »

Quotes

Alan Spender: You think it's easy to kill somebody? It takes time and patience and a strong stomach.
See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Moon
(uncredited)
Music by Richard Rodgers
Played immediately after the performance at the Chinese restaurant
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good Gothic Thriller
28 February 2012 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Effective Gothic thriller. I especially like the set-up, where Vicki (Cortese) gains admittance to the US by impersonating a dead fellow prisoner in a WWII concentration camp . That way she not only has her own secrets, but is also no unblemished young thing, which is usually the case in these woman-in-danger films. Once in the US, however, she marries into great wealth—a dream come true—but in the process gets more than she bargained for.

A lot of the story depends on appropriate emoting. Fortunately, it's a powerhouse cast, but I especially like Fay Baker's icy nanny Margaret. She's quietly intimidating without overdoing it. Too bad she didn't get bigger roles in more movies. I can't help noting, however, that Cortese may be the only Hollywood leading lady without a perfect nose. It's a fine regal beak and I'm glad she hung on to it. I can also see why Basehart fell for her in real life.

The San Francisco locations make a good open air contrast to the dark mansion interiors that dominate the characters. I expect director Wise applied his noir skills from the great Val Lewton series of horror flicks. Also, the ending amounts to a delicious twist, both unpredictable and very well thought out. My one problem was figuring out who's related to whom since that's important to the plot. I don't know if that's the screenplay's fault or mine.

Anyway, it's an effective thriller with a fine cast and an imaginative ending, worth tuning in for.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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