Young, rich, bedridden Barbara Stanwyck dials a telephone number one night and overhears two men plotting the murder of an unidentified woman. She becomes frantic. Her terror is intensified by mysterious calls from an old college rival and a friend of her father. With time running out, Stanwyck pieces evidence together that leads her to suspect that it is her husband (Burt Lancaster) who wants her murdered. Sorry, Wrong Number is a classic, extraordinary example of cumulative suspense and sheer terror. Barbara Stanwyck received an Oscar nomination for her magnificent performance.
In director Anatole Litvak's superb thriller SORRY, WRONG NUMBER, Barbara Stanwyck stars as the alluring, wealthy, and irritating Leona Stevenson, a hypochondriac whose psychosomatic illness has her bedridden. Leona's only lifeline is the telephone, which she uses to excess. One evening, Leona impatiently tries to locate her henpecked husband Henry (Burt Lancaster), who is late in coming home. However, when phone lines cross, she overhears two thugs plotting a murder. Desperate to thwart the crime, Leona begins a series of calls--to the operator, to the police, and others--and eventually deduces the shocking identity of the victim. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Leona, Henry is having problems of his own--he's become involved in a swindle and is being blackmailed. Featuring stunning use of sound and lighting, SORRY, WRONG NUMBER follows Leona, trapped in her lush apartment, as she tries to prevent an innocent from being murdered.
An invalid heiress whose husband is being blackmailed overhears a murder plot on a crossed-wire telephone connection.
SORRY WRONG NUMBER was originally a 22-minute radio play, done in 1943 with Agnes Moorehead as Leona.
Lucille Fletcher wrote the screenplay from her own radio play.
Director Anatole Litvak shot all of Stanwyck's scenes in sequence over a span of 12 days.
Burt Lancaster convinced the producer that he would be right for the role of Henry--even though he was the strong and imposing type--because he thought it provided more motivation if a strong, confident man had allowed himself to be destroyed by his wife's shrewish behavior.