7.2/10
1,434
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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 February 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Appel d'un inconnu  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Fox Movie Channel edition)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer-screenwriter Nunnally Johnson originally wanted to cast Lauren Bacall as Binky Gay, but she was unavailable. See more »

Goofs

The seaport or docking bay that Trask pays young Jerry a visit, to speak with the boy about his late father, is obviously a sound stage. Outside voices do not echo or sound slightly canned unless inside a cavern or a cave. See more »

Quotes

Binky Gay: I can peg a married man from as far as I can see him, unfortunately.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze
(uncredited)
Music by Gaston Lyle
Lyrics by George Leybourne
Sung by the passengers on the airplane
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Quirky and effective....
7 June 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Well-written "what-if" type story which consists of several varying vignettes and families that are affected by a plane crash.

Gary Merrill is excellent as usual. Soul-searching and perplexed, he learns the life stories of a few passengers and ultimately is the only survivor.

Michael Rennie was the cheating spouse. His wife is well-portrayed by Beatrice Straight. Then Keenan Wynn as the obnoxious passenger, hoping for redemption. A standout scene involves Evelyn Varden (the plump Mrs. Breedlove from "The Bad Seed"). A truly superb character actress who runs Carr nightclub, and regards Merrill with disdain and contempt as she felt her daughter in law (Shelley Winters) was after the Carr name. The sequence is amusing as it portrays the callousness, innate in some people. There are some truly memorable nightclub scenes.

The final vignette involves Ms. Bette Davis herself, and the story connected to her loss. She steals the finale.

I believe a remake was with Jeff Bridges and Rosie Perez, entitled "Survivor". This older version is superior and real in so many aspects. Do not miss. 9/10.


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