Sorry, Wrong Number

Sorry, Wrong Number

Infobox Film
name = Sorry, Wrong Number

imdb_id = 0040823
producer = Anatole Litvak
Hal B. Wallis
director = Anatole Litvak
writer = Lucille Fletcher play and screenplay
starring = Barbara Stanwyck
Burt Lancaster
Ann Richards
Wendell Corey
music = Franz Waxman
cinematography = Sol Polito
editing = Warren Low
distributor = Paramount Pictures
released = September 1, 1948 (U.S. release)
runtime = 89 min.
language = English

"Sorry, Wrong Number" is a 1948 suspense film which tells the story of a woman who overhears a plot for murder. It stars Barbara Stanwyck, Burt Lancaster, Ann Richards, Wendell Corey, Ed Begley, Leif Erickson and William Conrad. [ [ Internet Movie Database] ] The film was adapted by Lucille Fletcher from her radio play.

Plot summary

Stanwyck plays Leona Stevenson, a spoiled, bedridden daughter of a millionaire. The telephone is her sole connection with the outside world. One day, while listening to what seems to be a crossed phone connection, she eavesdrops on two men planning a woman's murder. Leona calls the phone company and police, only to be ignored. Adding to Leona's dilemma is the fact that her husband Henry (Lancaster) is missing.

After a number of phone calls, the terrorized Leona begins to piece together the mystery. Her uneducated husband, who works for her wealthy father, turns out to be not all he seems. She finally realizes that "she" is the intended victim.


The movie is shot in real time, with many flashbacks to flesh out the story.

Stanwyck's bedroom window overlooks the night skyline of Manhattan. The film is shot very dark, with looming shadows and circling camera shots used to maintain a high level of suspense. [ [ Film Noir of the Week article] ]

Radio play

Fletcher's play originally aired on the "Suspense" radio program on May 25, 1943, essentially a one-woman show with Agnes Moorehead as Mrs. Stevenson. The play was reprised seven times, each starring Moorehead. The final broadcast was on February 14, 1960. However, there was another radio version: on January 9, 1950, "Lux Radio Theater" broadcast an adaptation of the film, with Stanwyck recreating her big screen role. [ [ Jay Space article on the radio program] ]


Barbara Stanwyck was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. [ [ All Movie Guide biography on Barbara Stanwyck] ]

Other adaptations

"Sorry, Wrong Number" was made into a television play on a local New York station on January 30, 1946 starring Mildred Natwick and G. Swayne Gordon. [ [ IMDB article on the 1946 TV broadcast] ] A second live teleplay was broadcast on November 4, 1954, as the fourth episode of the CBS anthology series, "Climax!", starring Lillian Bronson, adapted by Fletcher herself, with music provided by her then-husband, Bernard Herrmann. [ [ IMDB article on the 1954 TV broadcast] ] It was remade into another television version in 1989, starring Loni Anderson, Patrick Macnee and Hal Holbrook. It was directed by Tony Wharmby and adapted by Ann Louise Bardach. [ [ IMDB article on the 1989 TV broadcast] ]


External links

* [ Film Noir of the Week]

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