Sergio Leone Web Board
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 16, 2017, 10:08:34 PM
Home Help Search Calendar Login Register
News:


+  Sergio Leone Web Board
|-+  Other/Miscellaneous
| |-+  Off-Topic Discussion (Moderators: cigar joe, moviesceleton, Dust Devil)
| | |-+  Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 3 Go Down Print
Author Topic: Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)  (Read 886 times)
drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8297

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


View Profile
« on: May 24, 2017, 12:57:58 AM »

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040823/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorry,_Wrong_Number

Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)

The screenplay was adapted by Lucille Fletcher, based on her incredibly successful radio play

Cast and Crew

Barbara Stanwyck ..... Leona Stevenson
Burt Lancaster ... Henry J. Stevenson
Ann Richards ... Sally Lord
Wendell Corey ... Doctor Alexander
Harold Vermilyea ... Waldo Evans
Ed Begley ... James Cotterell

Director: Anatole Litvak
Producer: Hal B. Wallis and Anatole Litvak
Cinematography: Sol Polito
Production Design: Hans Dreier, Earl Hedrick
Music: Franz Waxman
Black and white, 89 minutes


---


Here is an essay about the movie from TCM.com http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article.html?id=518184%7C115773

I am cutting and pasting the text below, though I am editing it significantly (For example, I made some additions and deletions to the plot synopsis, as IMO the TCM.com synopsis spoils way too much.) If you've already seen the movie, you can click the TCM link rather than reading my edited version below




Leona Stevenson is a disabled woman who is left alone in her Manhattan apartment one night; it's her nurse's night off, and her husband Henry is late coming home from work. Frantic at being left alone, Leona tries calling Henry at his office; but the lines cross (remember those good old days of telephone lines crossing?  Wink ) and she accidentally overhears two men planning a murder on the telephone: The murder is set for 11:15 p.m. that night. She tries calling the police, but they are unhelpful.

Leona is alone on the third floor of her enormous house, getting more and more hysterical as the clock tick away, closer and closer to 11:15. Can Leona – armed only with a telephone – foil the murder plot before it's too late?

The movie takes place in (roughly) real time (though a big chunk of the movie is flashbacks), and there are frequent shots of the clock ticking away; perhaps an inspiration for High Noon three years later?



Sorry, Wrong Number was adapted from a tremendously successful twenty-two minute radio play performed by Agnes Moorehead in 1943 and translated into fifteen languages. Moorehead was, however, not leading lady material in Hollywood's eyes, and so Stanwyck was selected to play the invalid at the center of this gripping thriller plot. Stanwyck even consulted physicians to learn more about her character's mental instability.

To maximize the tension, director Anatole Litvak shot the entire film in sequence, over the course of 12 days. Stanwyck received a Best Actress Oscarฎ nomination -- her fourth, following nominations for Stella Dallas (1937), Ball of Fire (1941) and Double Indemnity (1944) -- but lost to Jane Wyman as a deaf-mute rape victim in Johnny Belinda (1948).

"If I get nominated next year," Stanwyck quipped, "they'll have to give me the door prize, won't they? At least the bride should throw me the bouquet."

Lucille Fletcher, who wrote the radio drama, adapted Sorry, Wrong Number to the screen, a task that meant taking the story beyond the confines of Leona's bedroom, out into the world. Fletcher accomplished that by using a number of flashbacks and parallel stories.

Sol Polito's cinematography was also central in establishing Sorry, Wrong Number's tense mood. Using Polito's nimble camerawork, Litvak establishes Leona's entrapment in her opulent bedroom as the camera roams everywhere she is unable to.


Lancaster and Stanwyck later reprised their roles in Sorry, Wrong Number for a one-hour Lux Radio Theatre Show in 1950. Of the film version, The New York Times heralded both performers, "Both of the principals succeed in holding Sorry, Wrong Number to its mood of savage and unrelenting horror." Variety called it "a real chiller."

But despite critical accolades and all the best efforts of writer, director and actress, the film was not a popular success, perhaps - as some have speculated - because it was ensnared in too many subplots.

In producer Hal Wallis's autobiography he discussed his rationale for producing psychologically intense films like The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) and Sorry, Wrong Number. "Movie-going audiences had matured during the war and no longer required false and sentimental portraits of human nature. I dealt again and again with the psychology of murderers. I showed, and encouraged my writers to show, how frustration, poverty, and a desperate need for money could drive people to psychotic extremes."


« Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 01:08:18 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

There are three types of people in the world, my friend: those who can add, and those who can't.
kjrwe
Gunslinger
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 179


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2017, 01:04:54 AM »

I like this film, but I admit that the details of the workplace are a bit confusing. This movie has one of my favourite endings ever. Barbara Stanwyck was top-notch in the leading role. I liked Burt Lancaster as well.

I have heard both radio plays - the one starring Agnes Moorehead and the one based on this movie. I enjoyed both radio plays.

Logged
drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8297

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2017, 01:24:18 AM »

I did not like this movie very much, mainly because I cannot stand Barbara Stanwyck. The scenes with her frantic in her apartment irritated the hell out of me. But a big chunk of the movie takes place in flashback, including many scenes in which Stanwyck does not appear; those scenes are definitely better. I guess my overall rating would be 6.5/10. The Stanwyck scenes are excruciating; the non-Stanwyck scenes are good.


I like this film, but I admit that the details of the workplace are a bit confusing. This movie has one of my favourite endings ever. Barbara Stanwyck was top-notch in the leading role. I liked Burt Lancaster as well.

I have heard both radio plays - the one starring Agnes Moorehead and the one based on this movie. I enjoyed both radio plays.

there's no problem discussing the ending. In any movie's thread, we can discuss the ending without issuing any spoiler alerts. Spoiler alerts are only necessary for other places like the Rate The Last Movie You Saw thread or the Film Noir Discussion Thread; but only people who have seen the movie should be reading through that movie's thread; others read at their own peril  Wink

The whole premise of this movie is a ridiculously crazy: The movie asks you to accept the fact that out of a city of 8 million people, this woman happens to cross wires with someone planning her own murder. Way beyond any movie suspension of disbelief for me. Stupid. There should have been some way they perhaps could have made it more plausible. Remember, the crossed-wires call happens when she tries calling her husband at work; perhaps it would have made sense that the wires crossed to that call if the murderers had been at his office then; maybe it's easier to cross wires with someone in the same building you are trying to call. But that's not what happens there; there is no reason to believe the murderers are anywhere near her husband's building or hers at that time. Rather, we are supposed to believe that in a city in which there are probably hundreds of thousands of phone calls taking place at every moment, this woman hears a crossed-wire phone call about a plot to kill her.

« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 01:32:38 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

There are three types of people in the world, my friend: those who can add, and those who can't.
kjrwe
Gunslinger
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 179


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2017, 11:34:33 PM »

You don't like Barbara Stanwyck? Yikes! Different strokes for different folks. She's one of my favourite actresses! Very talented lady.

Sure the story is far-fetched. That's how I love my mysteries. The more far-fetched, the better.  Smiley

Logged
drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8297

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2017, 01:39:34 AM »

You don't like Barbara Stanwyck? Yikes! Different strokes for different folks. She's one of my favourite actresses! Very talented lady.

Sure the story is far-fetched. That's how I love my mysteries. The more far-fetched, the better.  Smiley

Can't stand her!


This movie goes way beyond the normally acceptable suspension of disbelief. It's a sloppy job by the writer (maybe this sort of stuff works for radio, but it should have been fixed for the movie) - she should have found some way to make it more plausible that these particular lines crossed. For example, perhaps she could've made it that we find out later that the guys making the call were right downstairs, and  it is more common to cross lines with someone in your own building. That would already be plausible. But they just have it that a woman in the city of 8 million people happens to cross lines with the one phone call that is plotting her own murder, it is just not even a movie anymore. That's stupid.

 On the other hand, we do not find out until the very very end that that's what happened, so it's not like it ruins the  enjoyment of the whole movie.

Logged

There are three types of people in the world, my friend: those who can add, and those who can't.
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13625

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2017, 05:23:31 AM »

On the other hand, we do not find out until the very very end that that's what happened, so it's not like it ruins the  enjoyment of the whole movie.
Exactly! Cinema is less about what and more about how. After you've seen a few films, maybe you'll finally understand that.

Logged


That's what you get, Drink, for lying in the middle of the road.
kjrwe
Gunslinger
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 179


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2017, 11:11:27 PM »

I've seen lots of films, and this movie has one of my favourite endings ever.

Logged
drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8297

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2017, 11:19:24 PM »

I've seen lots of films, and this movie has one of my favourite endings ever.

I agree that the ending is good. Very dark ending for a movie during this time period. To have a "good" character die at the end is rare.

As for me, I am always thrilled when Stanwyck is killed. I just wish it had happened sooner  Wink

Logged

There are three types of people in the world, my friend: those who can add, and those who can't.
T.H.
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1767



View Profile
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2017, 11:58:36 AM »

Someone hates Barbara Stanwyck, I guess it was bound to happen some time in the last 80 years.


I saw this movie years ago and I couldn't really tell you anything about other than I really enjoyed Stanwyck's performance.

Logged


Claudia, we need you to appear in LOST COMMAND. It's gonna revolutionize the war genre. What did you think of the script?
kjrwe
Gunslinger
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 179


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2017, 01:51:47 AM »

I agree that the ending is good. Very dark ending for a movie during this time period. To have a "good" character die at the end is rare.

As for me, I am always thrilled when Stanwyck is killed. I just wish it had happened sooner  Wink

I don't know if I'd classify her as good. She was extremely manipulative. Still, she didn't deserve what she got.

Logged
kjrwe
Gunslinger
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 179


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2017, 01:52:54 AM »

Someone hates Barbara Stanwyck, I guess it was bound to happen some time in the last 80 years.
.
.

I was a bit surprised at his comments about Stanwyck. He's the first person I've ever bumped into on any forum who dislikes her so much.

Logged
kjrwe
Gunslinger
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 179


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2017, 11:28:48 PM »

I was just thinking that maybe the fact that Leona overheard the conversation between the two killers wasn't all that coincidental. The plan had been arranged in advance and the hubby knew that his wife would be in bed. Maybe he did have the home phone set up to where the killers were stationed. I'm not sure if this would have been possible, but maybe the husband somehow arranged for the killers to have this conversation so that she would overhear it and so that she would be very scared. It would have to have been set up so that, when she picks up the phone, she overhears this dialogue. I'm not sure if this could have been managed back then (or even now, for that matter). Just a thought.

Logged
drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8297

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2017, 12:00:56 AM »

I was just thinking that maybe the fact that Leona overheard the conversation between the two killers wasn't all that coincidental. The plan had been arranged in advance and the hubby knew that his wife would be in bed. Maybe he did have the home phone set up to where the killers were stationed. I'm not sure if this would have been possible, but maybe the husband somehow arranged for the killers to have this conversation so that she would overhear it and so that she would be very scared. It would have to have been set up so that, when she picks up the phone, she overhears this dialogue. I'm not sure if this could have been managed back then (or even now, for that matter). Just a thought.

No way  Wink

Logged

There are three types of people in the world, my friend: those who can add, and those who can't.
kjrwe
Gunslinger
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 179


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2017, 04:49:31 PM »

In any case, it's a very far-fetched situation, but I certainly don't mind this!  Smiley

Logged
drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8297

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2017, 03:19:00 AM »

Okay ....  since we has this discussion about Stanwyck, I thought I'd write, once and for all, my view on acting, and the elements that make an actor enjoyable to watch. (This is not at all about Stanwyck per se, but having discussed her in this thread, i decided to write once and for all what IMO goes into being a good actor/actress) : Here goes:

In a nutshell, IMO there are two distinct elements, which I'll call A and B (not that A is more or less important than B. I just chose two random letters; it could be M and N or whatever).

A) the ACTING skills – can he/she convincingly portray or "become" a characters Do you absolutely believe that the character is the character, not just Actor X acting as the character.

B) How enjoyable is it to watch this person, unrelated to the issue of how well they can portray a character. This category can include many factors, such as: how good-looking they are, whether you enjoy looking at them – not just whether a girl is pretty; some women aren't pretty at all but they have a face that's artistically interesting, or at least they aren't irritating to look at. (One example off the top of my head is Meryl Streep. Nobody would call her pretty, but she isn't hideous; looking at her never bothered me, in the way looking at e.g., Shelley Winters is painful). And this doesn't only apply to women; some men have faces that just aren't fun to look at – how good the actor's voice is, whether you enjoy hearing them speak; how "cool" the person is. This category also includes whether they have the "IT," that certain something that makes them enjoyable to watch beyond merely whether or not they are a convincing actor.



There are many actors who have Element A – you absolutely believe that they are the character they are portraying – but you just cant stand watching them. This is how I feel about Stanwyck. I never said she was a bad actress, but I can't stand watching her. She's not particularly pretty, but that doesn't matter much. (Looks are rarely an automatic disqualifier for me). I find her voice and the way she speaks to be terribly grating.

Generally when I say a certain actor is not very good, I mean their acting skills. If I say I can't stand them, I mean they fail element B.

Of course, there is plenty of overlap between elements A and B. e.g., sometimes, whether you enjoy watching a person (element B) is related to how convincing the are as an actress (element A). But generally the great actors have both A and B : they give great performances, but they'd also be fun to watch if they were just reading the phone book. And there are some people who are great actors – element A; but whereas they are not great in element B, at least it's good enough that it doesn't annoy me. A great "Element A" with an average Element B can make a great actor/actress. A great element A with a terrible element B makes an annoying actor/actress.

And of course, there are plenty of movie stars who are the opposite, like action stars or the actors who play the same role over and over again: They're great fun to watch when their only job is being cool or just themselves, but they don't have the ability to act well enough really give a convincing portrayal of a character who isn't just "himself." I can still enjoy these people – great Element B, no Element A – as long as they are smart enough to stick to playing "themselves."

« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 03:47:18 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

There are three types of people in the world, my friend: those who can add, and those who can't.
Pages: [1] 2 3 Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Visit FISTFUL-OF-LEONE.COM

Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
Page created in 0.033 seconds with 19 queries.