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The House on Telegraph Hill

  • Drama
  • 1951
  • Robert Wise
  • 89 mins
  • U

Summary

A concentration camp survivor assumes the identity of her dead friend and travels to San Francisco to stay with the deceased woman's distant family. However, her appearance scuppers the plans of a devious man to get his hands on a hefty inheritance, and he embarks on a mission to woo and then murder the new arrival. Thriller, starring Valentina Cortese, Richard Basehart and William Lundigan.

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Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

In this richly layered film noir, Richard Basehart plays the manipulative guardian of a young heir, with Valentina Cortese as the war refugee who enters the US on the purloined papers of the boy's dead mother. Basehart and Cortese interact splendidly, with little being said but much atmospherically hinted at, and the movie throbs with a dark and intelligent subtext on human fallibility. Director Robert Wise would go on to win Oscars for big-budget musicals like West Side Story and The Sound of Music, but here he shows that he was equally adept at working on lower-budget pictures like this edge-of-the seat suspense thriller.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

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Alan SpenderRichard Basehart
Victoria KowelskaValentina Cortese
Major Marc AndersWilliam Lundigan
MargaretFay Baker
ChrisGordon Gebert
HouseboyChung Kei Thing
Dr BurkhardtSteven Geray
CallahanHerbert Butterfield
Mr WhitmoreJohn Burton
Mrs WhitmoreKatherine Meskill

Crew

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DirectorRobert Wise

Details

Theatrical distributor
20th Century Fox Film Co. Ltd
Language
English
Available on
DVD
Formats
Black and white
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