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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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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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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:

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

The grocery store where Tony worked was an actual store called Speedy's. It was open 94 years from 1914 to 2008 at 301 Union Street San Francisco, CA 94133. Google Maps Streetview shows that the corner store building still looks similar to the movie. 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

Alan Spender: [to Victoria/Karin] Is there something going on in that funny little head of yours - something you're keeping from me?
See more »

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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