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Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)

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



(radio play), (screenplay)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
James 'J.B.' Cotterell
Elizabeth Jennings
Paul Fierro ...


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


Heiress to millions...who bought everything she wanted...including this man! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 September 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Du lebst noch 105 Minuten  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Anatole Litvak shot all of Barbara Stanwyck's bedridden scenes back-to-back in fourteen days. See more »


When Sally meets Henry for lunch at the fancy restaurant, she asks him if he is still married to Leona. However only a few weeks before this she is in the kitchen when her husband is reading the newspaper article about Henry & Leona being in New York and he quotes "Mr & Mrs Henry Stevenson" See more »


[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 »


Referenced in Minder: Sorry Pal, Wrong Number (1984) See more »


Jingle Jangle Jingle
Written by Joseph J. Lilley and Frank Loesser
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Disturbing -- In a Good Way -- Gorgeous Black and White Cinematography

"Sorry Wrong Number" packs the wallop of a creepy urban legend told around a campfire. It's cheesy and contrived and yet it gives you goosebumps and makes you scream and inspires nightmares.

It's a classic film study of claustrophobia, paranoia, and powerlessness.

Leona Stevenson (Barbara Stanwyck)is a bed-ridden rich woman alone in her Manhattan townhouse at night. She overhears a plot to commit murder ... and concludes that she is the intended victim.

The real star here is the old fashioned telephone, the kind we had before cell phones. It's attached to a stable spot in the wall; if you want to talk, you go to it; it doesn't go with you.

You stick your finger in and dial it. Busy signals sound very, very creepy. If you make a long distance call, you have to go through an operator, who is saddled with an ungainly apparatus and must stick plugs into a dystopic board of wires and holes.

And, by accident, your wires could get crossed, and you could find yourself conversing with someone who may be planning to kill you . . .and that someone could be downstairs in your very house.

Or, you could be suffering from an overactive imagination . . .

For the next ninety minutes, Leona, never leaving her bedroom, dressed in a fabulous lace negligee, makes contact with characters from her past and present. Flashbacks and voice-over narration of a motley crew of film noir-esquire usual suspects slowly put the puzzle pieces together.

There's Sally Lord (Anne Richards), as a too-good-to-be-true, vaguely accented blonde whom Leona had double crossed in her past. Sally seems to be trying to do something nice ... or is she just out for payback? There's Doctor Alexander (Wendell Corey), who tells Leona something she very much does not want to hear.

And then, in perhaps the film's creepiest, and most memorable performance, there is Waldo Evans (Harold Vermilyea), a mild mannered scientist who leaves a very, very odd message ... and a number for Leona to call that leaves her shaking in horror.

Leona writhes in her bed. Her town house closes in on her. She trembles ... she's an invalid ... she's alone ... shadows menace.

The climax is a real nail biter. Creepy. Distubring. But in a good way.

A real star here is the crisp, deep focus, black and white cinematography. It's as if you entered a time machine and traveled back to New York, 1948. Check out that vintage radio on Leona's night stand, the sand and surf on Staten Island, the neon signs. Film noir heaven looks something like this.

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