Leona (Barbara Stanwyck) is an invalid woman stuck at home alone. She waits for her husband to come home from work at night, but for some reason he is running extremely late, and Leona has not been informed of his whereabouts. With a phone by her side table, she tries to find out where her husband could be but while making the many phone calls she is accidentally transfer into another conversation. During this conversation, Leona listens to what she thinks is some type of murder plot.
After hearing about this murderous plot, Leona is determined to get help and try and prevent what she has just heard. But with the mysterious people no longer on the phone, what can she do to get help? Will anyone believe her?
For those who are unaware, this film is based on a well-known play/drama originally presented on Radio. Based on the success of playing on the radio waves, it was turned into a feature film.
During one night, Leona will interact with people from the present and her past. The film is dialogue-heavy and likes to go back and forth to give its audiences a greater insight into its characters. One of these characters is Leona’s husband, Henry (Burt Lancaster); we see how the two met initially, but we consistently question if Leona’s husband is good or bad…
It’s genuinely pleasing when these films go back in time, and I enjoy seeing how certain characters met or how side characters come into play with this main mystery phone call that was received by Leona. The film also shows us a greater understanding of Leona’s medical condition and how she became to be invalid living in her bedroom. Basically, this film is detail-heavy and perfect to see in a thriller. No gaps are left in the plot.
Performances are great, partially Barbara Stanwyck, who plays Leona Stevenson. It’s fun to see how we as the audience can feel supportive of this character in one scene, but within a matter of minutes, our mindset on this character can actually change instantly. This is one element of the twists and turns which are enjoyable throughout the film.
Overall, Sorry, Wrong Number is quite an enjoyable thriller with additional elements of both drama and suspense. With only a few minor predictable elements, this film has surprising outcomes. The pace and style remind me of something we would see from the director Alfred Hitchcock made this film a must-watch for any movie lover.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden