Sorry, Wrong Number

1948, Movie, NR, 89 mins

Review

SORRY, WRONG NUMBER
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A gripping film version of the classic 22-minute radio play which was made famous by Agnes Moorehead in a tour-de-force performance in 1943. Because Moorehead was not a "star" in Hollywood, Barbara Stanwyck was given the role in the movie version and she made it her own. Leona Stevenson (Stanwyck) is a whining, domineering, paranoid, hypochondriac New York heiress who has developed a psychosomatic illness that has made her a bed-ridden invalid. She lives in a fancy apartment with her milquetoast husband Henry (Lancaster), her only contact with the outside world being the telephone. One evening, while trying to reach Henry at the office, she overhears two men confirming plans for a murder. She tries to contact the outside world--the police, the phone company, Henry--to warn them of the impending violence, but time is quickly running out and the hour of the murder is approaching. The film's title is also its last line of dialogue.

SORRY, WRONG NUMBER is a wonderful premise which made for a taut, fast-paced 22-minute radio play, but at 89 minutes, much of them told in flashback, the suspense ebbs somewhat. Both Lancaster and Stanwyck are excellent. leave a comment

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