Best Movies by Farr
Sorry, Wrong Number Poster
Released Runtime Category
1948 89 Film Noir, Mystery/Thrillers
Director Language
Anatole Litvak English
Barbara Stanwyck, Burt Lancaster, Ann Richards, Ed Begley

Sorry, Wrong Number

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What's it About

Worried when her husband Henry (Lancaster) fails to come home one night, wealthy, bedridden Leona Stevenson (Stanwyck) phones his office and overhears two men plotting a murder to carry out later that night. As she anxiously attempts to alert the authorities and pinpoint Henry's whereabouts, all through a series of increasingly jarring phone calls, she unravels a mysterious, deadly plot that hits closer to home than she ever imagined.

Why we love it

Based on the famous radio play by Lucille Fletcher (which made Agnes Moorehead an overnight star in 1943), Litvak's tense, unsettling thriller relies on extended flashbacks to relay the fragile nature of Leona's health and her fizzling marriage to penniless Henry, who feels oppressed by Leona and her controlling father James Cotterell (Begley), a drug manufacturer. But the central mystery, disclosed bit-by-bit, remains intact until the final moments of the film. Stanwyck is in top form here as a shrill, demanding, paranoid, and ultimately hysterical presence, while Lancaster is winning as the headstrong husband determined to carve a place for himself in the world. Litvak's fluid camerawork and taut direction lend menace too. For a great chiller, try this "Number."

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"