The House on Telegraph Hill (1951)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  27 August 1951 (Sweden)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,746 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 19 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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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Victoria Kowelska (as Valentina Cortesa)
William Lundigan ...
Major Marc Bennett
Fay Baker ...
Gordon Gebert ...
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
Tamara Schee ...
Natasha Lytess ...
Karin Dernakova


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Shame is the mistress of this house and betrayal its master! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 August 1951 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

A Casa da Colina  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Furnishings and props for the mansion interior were acquired by property master Tom Little from the estates of the Aga Khan III and David Belasco. See more »


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 »


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


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

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User Reviews

The talented Mrs Kowelska
23 September 2010 | by See all my reviews

This movie begins a little like William Irish's aka Cornell Woolrich's " I married a dead man " (the novel was released well before Leisen's movie ,in 1948),the concentration camps replacing the derailment:and then a poor girl becomes an impostor in a wealthy family;then after introducing a Rebeccaesque governess,the story takes a divergent turn ,recalling sometimes "gaslight" "suspicion" (the glass of orange juice replacing the glass of milk) and "sudden fear" which would be released the following year.

That said,the movie is good,suspenseful,sometimes excellent and shows how great Robert Wise is as a director when he creates a disturbing atmosphere in an old house;he would take his skill to its absolute perfection with "the haunting" (1963) IMHO the best movie ever made about a haunted house (the remake should be carefully avoided);his talent emerges here and there: the playhouse where a wall is missing,the branch behind the curtain,the shadow on Valentina Cortese's white dress in the garage and the picture of the late old lady who seems like a judge beyond the grave ;her expressive face seems to have changed in the last pictures .Best performance comes from Richard Baseheart who shines in his last minutes on screen and the rest of the cast rises to the occasion.

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