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Phone Call from a Stranger (1952)

Phone Call from a Stranger (1952)

aka Phone Call from a Stranger

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 105 mins · English


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Small David Trask
Small Binky Gay
Small Dr. Robert Fortness
Small Eddie Hoke
No_movie_poster Sallie Carr
Small Marty Nelson
Small Claire Fortness
Small Jerry Fortness
Small Mike Carr
Small Marie Hoke
Small Jane Trask


No_movie_poster Nunnally Johnson Producer
No_movie_poster Franz Waxman Original Music Composer
Small Milton R. Krasner Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Hugh S. Fowler Editor
Small Jean Negulesco Director
No_movie_poster I. A. R. Wylie Story
No_movie_poster Hugh S. Fowler Editing


After his wife Jane (Helen Westcott) admits to an extramarital affair, Iowa attorney David Trask abandons her and their daughters and heads for Los Angeles. His flight is delayed, and while waiting in the airport restaurant he meets a few of his fellow passengers: troubled, alcoholic Dr. Robert Fortness (Michael Rennie), haunted by his responsibility for a car accident in which a colleague, Dr. Tim Brooks (Hugh Beaumont) was killed, is returning home to his wife Claire (Beatrice Straight) and teenage son Jerry (Ted Donaldson), and plans to tell the district attorney the truth about the incident; aspiring actress Binky Gay (Shelley Winters), who is hoping to free her husband Mike from the clutches of his domineering mother, former vaudevillian Sallie Carr (Evelyn Varden); and overly-loud traveling salesman Eddie Hoke (Keenan Wynn), whose photograph of his young, attractive wife Marie (Bette Davis) wearing a swimsuit proves to be quite different from reality. When a storm forces the plane to land en route, they continue to share their life stories via flashbacks during the unexpected four-hour layover. They exchange home phone numbers with the idea they may one day have a reunion.

Following a crash that kills his three acquaintances, Trask contacts their families by phone and invites himself to their homes. Despite Claire's objections, Trask tells Jerry the truth about his father's past, but assures him he was a good man determined to right the wrong he had committed. Hoping to change Sallie's opinion of her daughter-in-law, he tells her Binky had been cast as Mary Martin's replacement in South Pacific on Broadway and had recommended Sallie for a role. Trask's final visit is to Marie, who he discovers is an invalid paralyzed from the waist down. Marie reveals that early in her marriage she had left Eddie, who she found to be vulgar and tiresome, for another man, Marty Nelson (Warren Stevens), who deserted her after she hit her head on a dock while she was swimming. While in the hospital, she was confined to an iron lung and feeling hopeless about her future when Eddie arrived to take her home. Marie tells Trask that despite his often obnoxious behavior, Eddie was the most decent man she had ever known, and had taught her the true meaning of love.

Marie's story teaches Trask a lesson about marital infidelity and forgiveness, and he calls Jane to tell her he's returning home.

Release Dates: