Thursday, March 23, 2006

Must-See Movie: Sorry, Wrong Number

Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)
(The picture to the left doubles as a wallpaper for you, thanks to TCM! Formatted at 1024 x 768)

I got in to the mood to watch only film noir movies for a couple months, and besides Sunset Boulevard, I bought this flick on DVD. I was not dissapointed, primarily because of Barabara Stanwyck's performance. Stanwyck plays Leona Stevenson, a sick woman who is trapped in bed by her illness. While her husband (played by Burt Lancaster) is out, she is alone in a huge house. She overhears a phone conversation of two men planning a murder that night, and she does all she can to prevent it, although she is stuck in bed alone.

Burt Lancaster's performance is riveting, and not just because he looks fantastically handsome in 1948. It's hard to tell what his role is in the drama, or what his motives are.

Stanwyck has been called "The Best Actress Who Never Won an Oscar," and this movie is a true testament to that. (Stanwyck was nominated as Best Actress for this movie, but was passed over for Jane Wyman.) There is some doubt raised of how sick her character is: is it real illness or just psychosomatic? And Stanwyck's portrayal of Leona demonstrates the many ways that a person can be trapped.

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