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?


The film was the third on-screen pairing of Gary Merrill and Bette Davis. 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 Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze
Music by Gaston Lyle
Lyrics by George Leybourne
Sung by the passengers on the airplane
See more »

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User Reviews

My thumb is way up
19 May 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a great film. Not in the same sense that Bridge on the River Kwai, or 2001. This film delivers a great message in a very palatable form with only the last minute or two being a little over the top. Betty Davis had only a small part in this film, but what a part her character was the most flawed and learned the most, the hard way.

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