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
Herb Butterfield ... Joseph C. Callahan (as Herbert Butterfield)
Kei Thin Chung Kei Thin Chung ... Kei - Houseboy
John Burton John Burton ... Mr. Whitmore
Katherine Meskill ... Mrs. Whitmore
Mario Siletti ... Tony, the Grocer
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:

This is the house forbidden to every woman with a conscience, forbidden to every man with honor! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Other actresses considered for the Fay Baker role of Margaret include Andrea King, Jayne Meadows, Audrey Totter, Nancy Reagan, Mercedes McCambridge, Marsha Hunt, Ann Savage, and Uta Hagen. See more »

Goofs

Victoria's opening narration states that San Francisco and Warsaw are 7000 miles apart, when in fact the distance is about 5800. See more »

Quotes

Victoria Kowelska: Everything will be all right, Margaret. I'll be your witness.
Margaret: My conscience will be my witness, Mrs. Spender.
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Connections

Edited into The Green Fog (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Moon
(uncredited)
Music by Richard Rodgers
Played immediately after the performance at the Chinese restaurant
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User Reviews

 
Okay suspenseful drama
30 June 2008 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 August 1951 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The House on Telegraph Hill 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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