January 20th, 2011: Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)

Cast and Crew:   Anatole Litvak (Director); Hal B. Wallis (Producer); Ed Begley, Leif Erickson, William Conrad

What It’s About: Leona Stevenson (Barbara Stanwyck) is a wealthy, nervous invalid.  One night when her husband Henry (Burt Lancaster) is working late, she overhears two men plotting a murder when the phone wires cross.  She will spend the night frantically trying to get someone, anyone, to listen to her before it is too late…

Why Watch it Today?: Barbara Stanwyck was one of the most flexible actresses of the 1940s, able to handle hard-boiled parts, dizzy dames in screwball comedies and even parts like this one which require her to be shrill and hysterical with equal aplomb.  She died today in 1990; what better way to remember her than with a film in which she is, more or less, the whole movie (and for which she received an Oscar nomination).

Where to Get It:  Netflix (rental only) or your local library You can also listen to the original (and repeat peformances with different casts) radio show that Sorry, Wrong Number was based on here.

The Trailer:

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