Sorry, Wrong Number

Sorry, Wrong Number ★★★½

"I've just heard the most dreadful thing. A murder."

As famous as the radio play it's a based on is/was, the screen adaptation of Sorry, Wrong Number is more convoluted than it needs to be, which may or may not be a function of how it's been "opened up" for the pictures. (Late in the game, there's a flashback in which there are two other flashbacks.) Still, it's built on a solid premise -- a bedridden woman overhears a murder plot when her telephone line gets crossed with another while she's trying to get hold of her husband and eventually comes to realize she's the intended victim -- and the actors all commit to making even the most far-fetched developments seem plausible in the moment. At times it seems like Stanwyck is playing two completely different characters, though: the helpless hysteric who can't get anybody to take her seriously in the present-day scenes and, in the flashbacks, the spoiled socialite who probably deserves what's coming to her.