The Noirathon – Sorry Wrong Number (1948)


This post is part of The Noirathon being held by Maddy of Maddy Loves Her Classic Films.

Tnx for letting me participate!

“You can’t live on dreams forever. Waiting only weakens you and your dream. My motto is: “If you want something, get it now!” ” – Henry Stevenson

Number of Times Seen – 1 (25 Jul 2019)

Brief Synopsis – An invalid woman overhears a conversation on the phone about a murder plot and sets out to try and stop the murder from taking place.

My Take on it – This is a film that I’ve been meaning to watch for a few months yet never got around to it until now.

This film manages to create a great noir atmosphere filled with lots of tension and suspense right from the first scene

It is mostly told in real time and they expertly use flashbacks to fill in lots of the details along the way that help us learn more about the events leading up the film itself which also adds to the suspense and thrills of it all.

The film also uses the fact that the main story all takes place in one room to its advantage by letting the story feel more and more claustrophobic as things move along.

Barbara Stanwyck is great in the lead here and was quite deserving of an Oscar nomination for Best Actress especially since her character spends almost the entire movie in one place and clearly carries the whole film pretty much all by herself.

Burt Lancaster is also pretty good ere as her husband even if he doesn’t have enough screen time to be even more effective.

Bottom Line – Great suspense/noir thriller that allows us to feel the claustrophobia of the character’s story since it mostly takes place in one room. They expertly use flashbacks in order to try and gather more information about the scheduled crime and that also helps raise the level of tension as the story moves along. Stanwyck is great in the lead and was quite deserving of an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her work here since she carries the film entirely from one room.  Lancaster is also quite good as Stanwyck’s husband yet doesn’t have enough screen time here. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Barbara Stanwyck claimed that the terror she played in the bedroom scenes is actually what made her hair begin to prematurely gray. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)

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5 thoughts on “The Noirathon – Sorry Wrong Number (1948)

  1. I think this was based on a radio play – and they did a great job of turning into a film. the suspense was palpable – especially in the last 15-20 minutes leading up to the final chilling line.Agree that Stanwyck and Lancaster were terrific.She lost the Oscar to Jane Wyman who played a mute woman in Johnny Belinda. Personally, I thought Stanwyck was better. I actually thought every actress in this category was better. I would’ve had Wyman in 5th place.

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  2. Pingback: The Noirathon Begins – Maddy Loves Her Classic Films

  3. You can find Agnes Moorehead’s performance (probably more than one) in the radio production on YouTube and you might enjoy comparing the two mediums and actresses.

    – Caftan Woman

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  4. One of the best uses of the multiple flashback technique – always clear what’s happening and never confusing. There are so many positives to take from this film. Aside from the direction and cinematography, these are great performances from Stanwyck, Lancaster, Begley ad Corey, not to mention a pathetically touching little piece from Harold Vermilyea.

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