37 user 6 critic

Phone Call from a Stranger (1952)

While waiting on a delayed flight, David Trask, who has left his unfaithful wife, meets three of his fellow passengers. When the aircraft crashes, he is one of few survivors, and sets out to resolve their unfinished business.



(screenplay), (story)

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Binky Gay
David Trask
Dr. Robert Fortness
Eddie Hoke
Evelyn Varden ...
Sally Carr
Marty Nelson
Claire Fortness
Jerry Fortness
Mike Carr
Helen Westcott ...
Jane Trask
Marie Hoke


On a flight from Chicago to Los Angeles via Iowa, lawyer David Trask gets to know three of his fellow passengers as one technical issue after another leads to delays and unscheduled stops along the way. Those three are physician Dr. Robert Fortness, struggling actress with the stage name Binky Gay, and loud salesman Eddie Hoke, who is both quick with a joke and quick to show off a photograph of his beautiful wife, Marie Hoke. Below the surface, the three have deeper stories, which are bringing them back to Los Angeles and which Dr. Fortness and Binky divulge to David. Dr. Fortness, an alcoholic, is returning to own up to his drunken part in the death of a friend, and his wife Claire's complicity in the matter. Binky, after being away in New York for a year, is returning to her husband, Mike Carr, hoping to take him away from his overbearing mother, former vaudeville star Sally Carr, who still basks in her former but no longer shining glory, and who is the cause of any marital problem ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Five great stars in a masterpiece of bold and intimate emotions !


Drama | Film-Noir


See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 February 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Appel d'un inconnu  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Fox Movie Channel edition)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on Janaury 5, 1953 with Shelley Winters and Gary Merrill reprising their film roles. See more »


As the plane flies through the air, the wire it is suspended from can be clearly seen. See more »


Eddie Hoke: Hey, are you gonna sing someplace in L.A.?
Binky Gay: Why, you dirty old man!
Eddie Hoke: What do you mean, old?
Binky Gay: I got a good mind to write your wife.
Eddie Hoke: Go ahead. She can't read.
Binky Gay: Anybody marries you, I don't believe she can even see.
See more »


Version of The 20th Century-Fox Hour: Crack-Up (1956) See more »


The Old Grey Mare
Sung by the band at the nightclub
See more »

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User Reviews

A twisting, thoughtful movie.
29 December 1998 | by (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada) – See all my reviews

Phone Call From A Stranger will be worth the watch for any Shelley Winters or Bette Davis fans. I watched the old, 1952 black and white movie on a drizzling afternoon and surprisingly, the flick made me feel real good. Why, you ask? On back of the movie packet it tells you that "A plane crash puts an end to the sufferings of three ill-fated passengers ..." With that alone, one would assume that it's a totally 'down' movie. However, it is not. It's like that old saying that my grandmother used to make, "In everyone's life a little rain must fall". Well, I guess she was right if one is to enjoy the sunny days. Which, Phone Call From A Stranger turns out to be: a sunny day after much rain.

This movie will make you feel good about yourself. I promise. I think that's what so great about older movies; no special effects to disturb the real meaning of movies: the actors and actresses.

A must-see for classic movie fans.

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