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Saturday, June 24, 2017

"Sorry, Wrong Number" (1948)

Oh, the perils of life before smartphones and caller I.D. It could get you murdered. Barbara Stanwyck, in a performance that starts at frantic and goes up from there, is a wealthy heiress to a pharmaceutical fortune, "the Cough Drop Queen" as the tabloids dub her. She's a bedridden invalid all alone in her Sutton Place swankienda who overhears a couple of thugs plotting her death on a party line. The whole movie is then told in flashbacks and flashbacks within flashbacks to show us how she got in this pickle. Director Anatole Litvak keeps this noir thriller moving as the moments tick by leading up to the time Stanwyck thinks she's a goner. The suspense is pretty nifty. Burt Lancaster plays her patient husband who may or may not have something to do with the set-up and Ed Begley is her no-account father. Put it on a double bill with "Rear Window", another shut-in in peril flick.

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