7.4/10
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104 user 46 critic

Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery | 24 September 1948 (USA)
Trailer
2:39 | Trailer
While on the telephone, an invalid woman overhears what she thinks is a murder plot and attempts to prevent it.

Director:

Anatole Litvak

Writers:

Lucille Fletcher (radio play), Lucille Fletcher (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Barbara Stanwyck ... Leona Stevenson
Burt Lancaster ... Henry J. Stevenson
Ann Richards ... Sally Hunt Lord
Wendell Corey ... Dr. Philip Alexander
Harold Vermilyea ... Waldo Evans
Ed Begley ... James 'J.B.' Cotterell
Leif Erickson ... Fred Lord
William Conrad ... Morano
John Bromfield ... Joe - Detective
Jimmy Hunt ... Peter Lord
Dorothy Neumann ... Elizabeth Jennings
Paul Fierro Paul Fierro ... Harpootlian
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Storyline

Leona Stevenson is sick and confined to her bed. One night, whilst waiting for her husband to return home, she picks up the phone and accidentally overhears a conversation between two men planning a murder. She becomes increasingly desperate as she tries to work out who the victim is so the crime can be prevented. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

She overheard the plans for her own destruction! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 September 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sorry, Wrong Number See more »

Filming Locations:

Hollywood, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Wallis Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Barbara Stanwyck shot her part over an intense twelve-day period. Since her character was mostly confined to her bed with only the company of a telephone, it presented a challenge for the actress. Anatole Litvak, whom Stanwyck liked and trusted, asked her how she would prefer to shoot her scenes. Stanwyck chose to shoot them in chronological order. Doing this, she believed, would help her build the terror of her character most effectively. "Almost from the word go," said Stanwyck, "she is way up there emotionally, and stays there day after day...I decided I'd prefer to jump in, bam, go, stay there, up, try to sustain it all the way and shoot the works." See more »

Goofs

Though no justification is officially given for why Sally Lord would betray her husband, Fred, and warn Henry about being investigated by the DA, it is clear throughout the movie she never got over her love affair with Henry, even jeopardizing her marriage to try to save him. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Leona Stevenson: Operator! Operator! Operator!
Voice of Operator: Your call please?
Leona Stevenson: Operator, I've been ringing Murray Hill 35097 for the last half hour and the line is always busy. Will you ring it for me, please?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Behave Yourself! (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

My Ideal
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting and Newell Chase
Lyrics by Leo Robin
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Strangers In the Night
23 April 2001 | by telegonusSee all my reviews

Anatole Litvak directs the movie version of Lucille Fletcher's radio war-horse Sorry, Wrong Number was gusto and drive. The photograpy is deceptively simple at first blush, but soon evolves, giving each scene an individuality and clarity not unlike deep-focus. There's an overall feeling of gloom in this largely nocturnal movie, which is stylistically a sort of vest-pocket film noir Citizen Kane. Some of the touches border on the surreal, such as Lancaster's (among others) repeated references to his home town of Grassville, which happened at least thirty-six times and grows alternately funnier and more disturbing with each passing mention. The feel of New York in summer has seldom been so well captured in a studio-bound film, as scene upon scene appears to be enveloped in fog or cigarette smoke, and the horns of boats moving down-river or out to sea are often audible, at times suggesting, not wholly inapprpriately, the world of Eugene O'Neill and his theme of universal frustration. For all this, there is little actual movement in the film, which reflects the heroine's bed-ridden state, as scenes are acted out semi-theatrically, with characters talking to one another continuously, and whether wicked or benign seldom communicating clearly, as each little chat leaves someone more in the dark than before. The story moves, one might say, from one misinterpretation to another, until the climax, when all becomes clear, as tragedy trumps melodrama, giving the viewer a much needed jolt of reality.


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