Friday, July 8, 2011

Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)


- Confined to the luxurious prison cell of her sick bed, the wealthy but unhealthy Leona (Barbara Stanwyck) waits alone for her husband Henry (Burt Lancaster) to return home from work. Hours pass and Henry does not come home at the usual time, so Leona frantically calls his office to find out where he is. During one such attempt to contact Henry, the telephone operator accidentally connects Leona to the wrong line and she overhears a conversation between two men about murdering a woman at 11:15 that night. To explain much more would be criminal, but in short: Leona is in a pickle.

One might think that a film about a woman in bed talking on the telephone would be rather bland, but Sorry Wrong Number is anything but. Burt Lancaster does not act as much as just prove to everyone that he remembered all of his lines but Barbara Stanwyck is utterly compelling in her Academy Award nominated portrayal of the distressed Leona and the film sees many other strong supporting performances. It does not take long before the mystery deepens, the suspense grows, and our interest is fixed on Leona's desperate situation. Sorry Wrong Number is an absolutely chilling film and the suspenseful atmosphere and unkind camera-work keeps the viewer wide-eyed and at the edge of their seats.

CBC Rating: 9/10

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