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The House on Telegraph Hill (1951)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 27 August 1951 (Sweden)
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Concentration camp survivor Victoria Kowelska finds herself involved in mystery, greed, and murder when she assumes the identity of a dead friend in order to gain passage to America.

Director:

Robert Wise

Writers:

Elick Moll (screenplay), Frank Partos (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Basehart ... Alan Spender
Valentina Cortese ... Victoria Kowelska (as Valentina Cortesa)
William Lundigan ... Major Marc Bennett
Fay Baker ... Margaret
Gordon Gebert Gordon Gebert ... Christopher
Steven Geray ... Dr. Burkhardt
Herbert Butterfield ... Joseph C. Callahan
Kei Thin Chung Kei Thin Chung ... Kei - Houseboy
John Burton John Burton ... Mr. Whitmore
Katherine Meskill Katherine Meskill ... Mrs. Whitmore
Mario Siletti ... Tony, the Grocer
Charles Wagenheim Charles Wagenheim ... Man At Accident
David Clarke ... Mechanic
Tamara Schee Tamara Schee ... Maria
Natasha Lytess ... Karin Dernakova
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Storyline

Victoria has survived Nazi concentration by assuming the identity of one who died there. She arrives in San Francisco to see her "son" just as the boy's great-aunt dies leaving a lot of money to be inherited. Victoria falls in love with the boy's trustee Alan Spender, and they move into the mansion on Telegraph Hill. Living life in a new identity isn't without its dangers, however. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Shame is the mistress of this house and betrayal its master! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 August 1951 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

A Casa da Colina See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox 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

Furnishings and props for the mansion interior were acquired by property master Tom Little from the estates of the Aga Khan III and David Belasco. See more »

Goofs

In the establishing shot of the house at the beginning, the fact that the water in the bay in the background never moves indicates is it a matte painting. See more »

Quotes

Alan Spender: [to Victoria/Karin] The trouble with you is you really don't know how to relax.
See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Moon
(uncredited)
Music by Richard Rodgers
Played immediately after the performance at the Chinese restaurant
See more »

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User Reviews

 
concentration camp survivor inherits a mansion
2 February 2015 | by RanchoTuVuSee all my reviews

A young woman who survives the concentration camp at Bergen Belsen (Valentina Cortese) assumes the identity of her friend, who died at the camp, and through the new identity inherits a mansion in San Francisco on Telegraph Hill. Thus the woman escapes the poverty of post World War II Europe but enters into a nasty and ongoing dangerous battle over control of wealth and property in San Francisco. The woman-in- distress story has Cortese marrying Richard Basehart, who manipulates everything as a means of climbing up the ladder of wealth and position which he feels he's entitled to and Cortese is potentially depriving him of. Her gradual awareness of Basehart's character are the primary focus of this movie. Also in the mix is the young son of her deceased friend and the friend's great aunt, who left the mansion to her. The photography by Lucien Ballard is terrific throughout, especially the close-ups of Basehart. The film features hilly San Francisco prominently in several location shots, but the best parts take place within the mansion and in its backyard and the dilapidated shed that's built over a cliff. Basehart, who had done an excellent turn as a ruthless techno-savvy killer in He Walked By Night (1948) carried that menace into this movie quite well.


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