Sorry, Wrong Number
Reviewed in May 2010
Director: Anatole Litvak. Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Burt Lancaster, Ann Richards, Harold Vermilyea, Ed Begley, Leif Erickson, Wendell Corey, Dorothy Neumann, William Conrad, Paul Fierro, John Broomfield, Jimmy Hunt. Screenplay: Lucille Fletcher (based on her radio play).

Photo © 1948 Paramount Pictures/Hal Wallis Productions
"Based on her famous radio play"; EHead, again on BS's low butt; Franz Waxman; prod HW & AL; "the telephone is the unseen link of a million lives"; (Agnes M); "life and happiness wait upon its ring... and loneliness... and horror... and death!"; our client wishes "simple robbery" waits till passing train to cover possible scream; not freaked out enough not to need a drag on her cigarette; "I've just heard the most dreadful thing - a murder"; "It's unnerved me dreadfully - I'm an invalid, you know"; she's only just figuring out that SHE lives by passing train; camera prowling around room; a little bit much "this GHASTLY conversation btw two killers" "they WEREN'T exactly GOSSIPING"; "all this idiotic red tape - YOU just sit there and let people DIE!"; black baby with an Amer flag in police station?; floating around father EB's house, full of BS photos; EB threatens talk with Henry in morning; ill phone convo w Elizabeth Jennings about BL's lunch date with AR, with obv soundtrack difference (EJ/DN is secretary); she calls EJ at 10:00pm; why such full use of her body?; not a good stumbler; shrill to SL: "IS THERE ANYTHING WRONG? YOU'RE NOT KEEPING SOMETHING FROM ME, ARE YOU?"; "ARE YOU TRYING TO MAKE FUN OF ME"; "JUST IN CASE YOU DON'T KNOW, I'M A HELPLESS INVALID"; BS cut in on BL dancing with AR, before they were married, and while Leona was still ambulatory; BL right away knows about Cotterell drug fortune; (cough-drop queen); Harvard some kind of joke; supposed to be a CAMPUS dance?; my mother's dead "That's strange, so is mine"; "You're young, healthy, ambitious, and you probably know the drug business up and down"; looks wickedly disbeliving that he can't figure what a dame like her wants with a guy like him; "I'm cutting my classes on Saturday" (!); pops off at EB for thinking only of his business; BL doesn't look remotely inerested, which makes her look stupid; half-dozen resp, "I Leona take thee, Henry" Euro honeymoon; over and over wedding march; he's still got Sally in ihs wallet; Lake Forest, IL; "Obv, the stage was all set for SOMEthing"; "It was one of the weirdest days I've ever spent. Have you ever been to Staten island, Leona"; fresh-painted scene on SIsland shack; "Yes, I'm here, but this is one of the queerest things I'e ever heard"; cam mov to sunglasses man behind BL at rest w Sally; BL drinks AR's martini when she doesn't want it; out of change AND shop is closing; doorbell! phone!; "THEN WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT WHY ARE YOU CALLING ME?"; she's hysterical (The Star); drug conention telegram; THIS is when she realizes she lives next to a train; "I explained in my letter over a week ago"; comp long periods of good health; flback within flback; BL: Will you get out please? (Maria); she locks him in her bedroom when he tries to get diff job?; she's scared and angered into getting sick?; near-fatal heart attack; attacks worse and more frequent; nothing org wrong with her; EB stymies attepts at other jobs, and BS won't move out on EB; "cardiac neurotic"; mother died of heart failure; BL unconsc winding phone cord around hand during diagnosis; she IS very sick; "LIARS, LIARS, LIARS, LIARS, LIARS, LIARS!"; shabby shocker; alarm clock fg over phone; over ph "WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABT, I CAN'T TAKE ANY MESSAGES NOW"; no neces for the money now; "DON'T YOU REALIZE IM A TERRIBLY SICK WOMAN?"; Waldo Evans - he starts spelling out misdeeds; FORMULAE (waldo); he wants horses; That's quite a truism (!); " making a mistake every once in a while"; BL seems v promising but not yet subtle or good, exactly; Waldo's pulling his weight; calls BL "young - and fine!"; I thought you were my kind of person, I guess I was mistaken; I wouldn't want to see you take a chance like that alone / may I come in?; Mar 9 - Sept 14; WE in Gene Lockhart role; Murano sugg wife's death; now SHE'S the insurance broad victim; Murano gives him no choice; IOU came due four days ago; why Waldo so flat in affect now?; MR EVANS WHERE'S MY HUSBAND, WHERE'S MR STEVENSON NOW? (through phone); zoom in on The Horse Fair over Evans's hotel bed; Evans gave her # for the morgue; 15min contracted into final 8 (reverse of usual); craning, panning, tracking; ALL I KNOW IS THAT I'M A SICK WOMAN, AND I'M AL AONE IN THIS TERRIBLE, EMPTY HOUSE; craning out of window; Panic Room; shadow on ext wall; Wait Until Dark; gloved hand; has to act scared enough to hang up on hospital staff; title's a weird misnomer; and now she takes call from Mr S, and we dissolve to BL in station; "evans said youw anted me to - to DIE" (hard TOO); BS: "I didn't meant to be so awful to you, Henry. I only did it because I loved you"; she's too sthril and unlikable for the admittedly exciting end; s/rs phone CUs; scream and whip pan to train; cut to her arms pulling everything off the night table; white phone and toppled wedding photo; white glove answers, and then "Sorry, Wrong Number," as police converge on BL in New Haven booth; she BIT IT C+

Academy Award Nominations:
Best Actress: Barbara Stanwyck

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