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The House on Telegraph Hill (1951)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 27 August 1951 (Sweden)
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) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Victoria Kowelska (as Valentina Cortesa)
...
Major Marc Bennett
Fay Baker ...
Gordon Gebert ...
Christopher
...
Dr. Burkhardt
...
Joseph C. Callahan
Kei Thin Chung ...
Kei - Houseboy
John Burton ...
Mr. Whitmore
Katherine Meskill ...
Mrs. Whitmore
...
Tony, the Grocer
Charles Wagenheim ...
Man At Accident
...
Mechanic
Tamara Schee ...
Maria
...
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. Living life in a new identity isn't without its dangers, however. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Where deceit...hate...murder lurk in every shadow! 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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Thr role of the real Karin Dernakova in the concentration camp was played by Natasha Lytyss who just a few years later was employed by Marilyn Monroe as her first on and off set drama coach until being replaced be Actors Studio guru Lee Strasberg and his wife Paula, who served as on set coach in the last 6 Monroe films. See more »

Goofs

Bergen-Belsen concentration camp was liberated and its prisoners looked after by British soldiers after the war.

No American soldiers were present as depicted in this film. See more »

Quotes

Victoria Kowelska: Everything will be all right, Margaret. I'll be your witness.
Margaret: My conscience will be my witness, Mrs. Spender.
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Soundtracks

Blue Moon
(uncredited)
Music by Richard Rodgers
Played immediately after the performance at the Chinese restaurant
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User Reviews

 
Okay suspenseful drama
30 June 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Valentina Cortese and Richard Basehart star in "The House on Telegraph Hill," a 1951 film also starring William Lundigan. It's probable that Cortese and Basehart met during the filming of this movie, since they were married in March of 1951. Cortese plays a concentration camp survivor, Victoria Kowelska, who takes the identity of her dead friend and travels to San Francisco to claim the woman's son, who is living with an aunt, and also her inheritance. When she arrives, the aunt is deceased,and the boy is being cared for by a snippy nanny (Fay Baker). Victoria and the estate's trustee (Basehart) fall in love, marry, and live in the aunt's mansion. It soon becomes apparent from a series of mishaps that someone is trying to do away with Victoria. She finally confides in the Army officer who processed her papers (Lundigan).

Robert Wise does a good job with this suspenser, which combines some diverse elements - hidden identity, romance, shady nanny and a murder plot - though the script isn't the best. It drags in spots. Cortese is an effective actress while not being a conventional beauty; her star shone brighter in Italy, where she worked until 1993 and then retired.

"The House on Telegraph Hill" does hold the viewer throughout. It's enjoyable but nothing special.


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