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 <email@example.com>
Music by Richard Rodgers
Played immediately after the performance at the Chinese restaurant See more »
Okay suspenseful drama
Valentina Cortese and Richard Basehart star in "The House on Telegraph Hill," a 1951 film also starring William Lundigan. It's probable that Cortese and Basehart met during the filming of this movie, since they were married in March of 1951. Cortese plays a concentration camp survivor, Victoria Kowelska, who takes the identity of her dead friend and travels to San Francisco to claim the woman's son, who is living with an aunt, and also her inheritance. When she arrives, the aunt is deceased,and the boy is being cared for by a snippy nanny (Fay Baker). Victoria and the estate's trustee (Basehart) fall in love, marry, and live in the aunt's mansion. It soon becomes apparent from a series of mishaps that someone is trying to do away with Victoria. She finally confides in the Army officer who processed her papers (Lundigan).
Robert Wise does a good job with this suspenser, which combines some diverse elements - hidden identity, romance, shady nanny and a murder plot - though the script isn't the best. It drags in spots. Cortese is an effective actress while not being a conventional beauty; her star shone brighter in Italy, where she worked until 1993 and then retired.
"The House on Telegraph Hill" does hold the viewer throughout. It's enjoyable but nothing special.
The film "Phoenix" is based on the same story and is far superior.
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