7.2/10
1,483
38 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:

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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
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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

Behind the opening credits, the taxi that's taking Trask to the airport passes two movie theaters at least three times, as if the rear projection of stock footage was on a continuous loop. The movies playing at these theaters are "Homestretch" and "The Two Mrs. Carrolls," both released five years before this film. See more »

Quotes

David Trask: It's the memory of someone else always between us, and I don't believe I'd ever be able to support it.
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

Again
(uncredited)
Music by Lionel Newman
Lyrics by Dorcas Cochran
Performed by Craig Stevens at the nightclub
See more »

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User Reviews

 
lesser known but an excellent film
17 October 2005 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

While Gary Merrill's main claim to fame was his brief marriage to Bette Davis, he was a minor Hollywood star on his own--playing a variety of bit parts. However, this film features him as a survivor of a plane crash who seeks out family members of victims he met on the trip. And, he does a competent job and proves he really could act. Unfortunately, he was far from a handsome leading man and once he was divorced from Ms. Davis, his career pretty much disappeared.

In addition to his excellent performance, the movie is so well-written. The vignettes where he meets the families are very touching and sometimes very ironic (such as the one he plays with Ms. Davis). It is a strange but well-executed film that deserves to be remembered.


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