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Markshark Written by Markshark
Apr. 8, 2008 | 4:09 PM

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Bedding Down with Barbara Stanwyck

I admit it. The idea of a film featuring a bed-ridden protagonist didn’t thrill me. But the star was Barbara Stanwyck, a woman who could go from charming grifter (THE LADY EVE) to steely murderess (DOUBLE INDEMNITY). So I shouldn’t have worried.

SORRY, WRONG NUMBER grabbed me (and the audience) from the first frame to the last. Stanwyck plays a shrill, dependent, filthy-rich invalid stuck in a penthouse prison. Her telephone is her sole lifeline to the world. Stakes are raised when - courtesy of some crossed wires - Stanwyck overhears a murder being planned. But is it someone else’s or her own? Too bad her husband (Burt Lancaster) is nowhere to be found. 89 minutes later, lots of wicked grins emerged from the theatre, my own included. Hopefully there was a studio exec around to witness the audience satisfaction and say to himself: “why can’t WE make a taut thriller like that?”

First Comment:

  1. Sorry, Wrong Number is one of those psychological thrillers that preys more on the fear of what can’t be seen. It was a huge shift for Barbara to play the hopeless type, seeing as how we know her best as a hard-as-nails fighter. I was fortunate enough to see it on the big screen. If I remember correctly, Barbara wasn’t the first actress considered for the role. But in retrospect, can we imagine anyone else playing Leona Stevenson?

    I’ve just gotten comfortable with the idea that I’ll like anything Barbara is in.

    Posted by TheMidnightPalace on 05/15 at 12:10 AM