Sorry, Wrong Number
I love Barbara Stanwyck. As a child I whiled away the hours daydreaming about being Ms. Barbara Stanwyck in The Big Valley. Not the simpering Audra, who didn’t look like she had any fun. Stanwyck got to ride around on a horse with a shotgun, boss around her grown up sons, get into fights, and still wear frosty blue eyeshadow and false eyelashes. How cool was that? Later, I was bedazzeled by “Missy” in the more sophisticated comedies like Ball of Fire and The Lady Eve. Of course Henry Fonda and Gary Cooper fell for her too — was it the incredibly glamourous (i.e. Glittery) costumes? the card sharking? The wisecracks? Stanwyck always looked good and got what she wanted. Then I got older and wiser. Ms. Stanwyck was my teen dream idol. Cool and sophisticated, she never got the butterflies for the boys. Evidence: Fred MacMurray in Double Indemnity. Naughty Noir Stanwyck could hang out by the lockers or go smoking in the girls bathroom and no one would dare nark on her. Boys beware.
In Sorry, Wrong Number Stanwyck plays a totally different gal. A complete whiner. She’s such an obnoxious whiner nobody wants to listen to her when she begs for help. Like duh. And her husband wants to off her. Double duh. But near the end, her husband, blue collar cutie Burt Lancaster changes his mind….??? Suspense comes in strange plot twists. Stanwyck’s jewelry has a starring role in this film. The best reason to watch. Judging from the size of the bling she’s sporting on her fingers I figure that if she can lift up her hands and dial she should be able to defend herself just fine — Like Smokin’ Joe Frazier. Curiously the movie poster does not showcase her jewelry or the frilly jammie/bed jacket attire she appears in throughout most of the film. Insead she is in a strapless evening ensemble. Maybe Missy didn’t want to look dowdy underneath super hottie Burtie Love-Lancaster.