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The House on Telegraph Hill (1951)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,388 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 15 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:
...
Alan Spender
...
Victoria Kowelska (as Valentina Cortesa)
William Lundigan ...
Major Marc Bennett
Fay Baker ...
Margaret
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:

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:

The House on Telegraph Hill  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Julius Castle, a restaurant with a castle-like exterior located on San Francisco's Telegraph Hill, was used as the exterior of the house in the film. The filmmakers built a mansion-like exterior around parts of the restaurant to hide certain elements (such as the "Julius Castle" sign on the outside wall). Built in 1922, Julius Castle served as a high-class restaurant until it closed in 2008. (It is currently for sale.) See more »

Goofs

Nazi concentration camps routinely confiscated the identification documents and personal property of inmates. Yet Victoria's friend Karin has been allowed by the Nazis to keep a photograph of her son and other means of identification, which Victoria takes after Karin's death. And Victoria also kept her own passport during her time as a prisoner of the Nazis. 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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