7.0/10
2,005
45 user 7 critic

Phone Call from a Stranger (1952)

While waiting on a delayed flight, David Trask, who has left his unfaithful wife, meets three of his fellow passengers. When the aircraft crashes, he is one of few survivors, and sets out to resolve their unfinished business.

Director:

Jean Negulesco

Writers:

Nunnally Johnson (screenplay), I.A.R. Wylie (story)
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Shelley Winters ... Binky Gay aka Mrs. Michael Carr
Gary Merrill ... David L. Trask
Michael Rennie ... Dr. Robert Fortness
Keenan Wynn ... Eddie Hoke
Evelyn Varden ... Sally Carr
Warren Stevens ... Marty Nelson
Beatrice Straight ... Claire Fortness
Ted Donaldson ... Jerry Fortness
Craig Stevens ... Mike Carr
Helen Westcott ... Jane Trask
Bette Davis ... Marie Hoke
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Storyline

On a flight from Chicago to Los Angeles via Iowa, lawyer David Trask gets to know three of his fellow passengers as one technical issue after another leads to delays and unscheduled stops along the way. Those three are physician Dr. Robert Fortness, struggling actress with the stage name Binky Gay, and loud salesman Eddie Hoke, who is both quick with a joke and quick to show off a photograph of his beautiful wife, Marie Hoke. Below the surface, the three have deeper stories, which are bringing them back to Los Angeles and which Dr. Fortness and Binky divulge to David. Dr. Fortness, an alcoholic, is returning to own up to his drunken part in the death of a friend, and his wife Claire's complicity in the matter. Binky, after being away in New York for a year, is returning to her husband, Mike Carr, hoping to take him away from his overbearing mother, former vaudeville star Sally Carr, who still basks in her former but no longer shining glory, and who is the cause of any marital problem ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Five great stars in a masterpiece of bold and intimate emotions !

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 February 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Appel d'un inconnu See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Fox Movie Channel edition)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The plane used in the film is a former U.S. Army Air Force Douglas C-47A, no. 42-23853, built in 1943. After the war it was converted to civilian use with registration NC79077 as seen in this film. This plane was also used in This Island Earth (1955). At the time of this film it was owned by a private air firm in Long Beach, California. In 1965 it was sold to a private individual in Mexico and registered there as XA-PUR. It was scrapped in 1973. See more »

Goofs

As the plane flies through the air, the wire it is suspended from can be clearly seen. See more »

Quotes

David Trask: It's the memory of someone else always between us, and I don't believe I'd ever be able to support it.
See more »

Connections

References The Homestretch (1947) See more »

Soundtracks

The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze
(uncredited)
Music by Gaston Lyle
Lyrics by George Leybourne
Sung by the passengers on the airplane
See more »

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User Reviews

A twisting, thoughtful movie.
29 December 1998 | by Barry-44See all my reviews

Phone Call From A Stranger will be worth the watch for any Shelley Winters or Bette Davis fans. I watched the old, 1952 black and white movie on a drizzling afternoon and surprisingly, the flick made me feel real good. Why, you ask? On back of the movie packet it tells you that "A plane crash puts an end to the sufferings of three ill-fated passengers ..." With that alone, one would assume that it's a totally 'down' movie. However, it is not. It's like that old saying that my grandmother used to make, "In everyone's life a little rain must fall". Well, I guess she was right if one is to enjoy the sunny days. Which, Phone Call From A Stranger turns out to be: a sunny day after much rain.

This movie will make you feel good about yourself. I promise. I think that's what so great about older movies; no special effects to disturb the real meaning of movies: the actors and actresses.

A must-see for classic movie fans.


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