Not every review I do has to be long I suppose. I just watched a film – Sorry, Wrong Number from 1948 – and I really don’t have too much to say about it. However, that shouldn’t preclude it from being added to the reviews I do on this site.
So here it is, for what it’s worth.
And there will be spoilers…
What’s This Film About?
Barbara Stanwyck plays a bed-ridden woman who – while trying to call her husband’s office – accidentally overhears a conversation between two men talking about a murder that would take place later that night.
Initially she just wants to report it, but as she tries to ascertain the whereabouts of her husband by having phonecalls with a variety of people, it dawns upon her that the murder she heard being planned could be her own.
As a concept this seemed quite interesting, which is why I recorded it. Unfortunately it didn’t really live up to my expectations.
The problems were two-fold…
First, Stanwyck – in trying to convey the desperation of a bed-ridden invalid – badly overacted. Her performance was the sorte that people who don’t like old films use to justify themselves. She was very annoying.
The second problem was the amount of flashbacks told from the perspective of the people she was on the phone to. They were too long, convoluted and quite frankly, dull. My mind began to wander around half way through, and to be honest it never really stopped until the very end.
Oh, and a third thing actually; the old-fashioned music was relentless and grating.
The only saving grace was the end. There are spoilers below, so if you want to read it you’ll have to highlight the text…
What was good about the end was that they seemed to be building up to everything being in Stanwyck’s mind in the same way as the Hitchcock film – Suspicion. The husband probably hadn’t planned on having her murdered, and despite what she said, she wasn’t really that ill and so if someone did come in to get her, she could at least try to defend herself.
But that’s not what happened. The husband did call, but he admitted that he had arranged for her murder but he’d changed his mind and was phoning to warn her.
But it was too late. The murderer was already in the house, and killed her without her putting up any sort of fight.
And that was the end of the film. Brilliant, eh?
A genuinely refreshing end to a film that I thought would end in a dull and predictable manner.
Should You Watch It?
Ultimately though, despite the ending being fantastic, the overall viewing experience was a poor one.
Despite imdb rating it at 7.5, I’d only give this 4/10, and that’s adding on a point for the ending.