“Phone Call From A Stranger – Full Movie starring Bette Davis”

23 Jan
Phone Call From A Stranger

Phone Call From A Stranger

Directed by Jean Negulesco
Produced by Nunnally Johnson
Written by Nunnally Johnson
I. A. R. Wylie
Starring Gary Merrill
Shelley Winters
Michael Rennie
Keenan Wynn
Music by Franz Waxman
Cinematography Milton R. Krasner
Edited by Hugh S. Fowler
Twentieth Century-Fox
Distributed by Twentieth Century-Fox
Release dates
February 1, 1952
Running time
105 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1,350,000 (US rentals)[1]

Phone Call from a Stranger is a 1952 American drama film directed by Jean Negulesco, who was nominated for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. The screenplay by Nunnally Johnson and I.A.R. Wylie, which received the award for Best Scenario at the same festival, centers on the survivor of an aircraft crash who contacts the relatives of three of the victims he came to know on board the flight. The story features via flashbacks that accentuate the character’s past lives.


After his wife Jane (Helen Westcott) admits to an extramarital affair, Iowa attorney David Trask (Gary Merrill) 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 accident.

Aspiring actress Binky Gay (Shelley Winters) is hoping to free her husband Mike Carr (Craig Stevens) from the clutches of his domineering mother, former vaudevillian Sally Carr (Evelyn Varden), who looks down on Binky. Overly loud traveling salesman Eddie Hoke (Keenan Wynn) shares a photograph of his young, attractive wife Marie (Bette Davis) wearing a swimsuit. When a storm forces the aircraft to land en route, they continue to share their life stories during the unexpected four-hour layover. They exchange home phone numbers with the idea that they may one day have a reunion.

Upon resuming their journey, the aircraft crashes and Trask is one of a handful of survivors; most of the passengers and crew are killed, including Trask’s 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 that his father was a good man determined to right the wrong he had committed. Hoping to change Sally’s opinion of her late daughter-in-law, he tells her Binky had been cast as Mary Martin’s replacement in South Pacific on Broadway and had recommended Sally for a role.

Trask’s final visit is to Marie, who he discovers is not the beautiful girl of Eddie’s photograph, but an invalid paralyzed from the waist down. Marie reveals that early in her marriage she had left Eddie, whom 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.


Posted by on January 23, 2017 in classic film star, classic movies



7 responses to ““Phone Call From A Stranger – Full Movie starring Bette Davis”

  1. grevisangel73

    September 19, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Saw this many years ago as a kid. I believe Bette and Gary eventually were married.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. America On Coffee

    September 20, 2016 at 12:25 am

    I was always intrigued by Binky(?), Shelley Winters…her life story with a mean mother-in-law… Bette Davis and her husband had a truthful story. Affirmed by her being a bed-ridden invalid. You are probably right, marriage was probably the end result for Bette and Gary… but, cannot recall. Thanks for commenting grevisangel73!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. grevisangel73

    September 23, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    I believe the first time I saw this was on the late, late show. It held my attention even as a kid. I watched it for Michael Rennie, since I loved him in The Day The Earth Stood Still.
    Bette and Gary did divorce, I can’t imagine her being married to anyone for very long.I believe she was also married to Franchot Tone.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. America On Coffee

    September 23, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Plausible.I understand she was a domineering personality on and off the set.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. grevisangel73

    September 24, 2016 at 9:36 am

    I have heard that as well. I am sure most of them were. I have read Crawford was adoring to fans, and set workers, but not so of costars and husbands.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. America On Coffee

    September 24, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    True I suppose. Well, that is at least according the Joan Crawford story, Mommy Dearest. And I would need to substantiate, the awful, true life and set personality of Bette Davis (from books and interviews).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. grevisangel73

    September 25, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    The competition back then was different than it is today, the women seemed to feel this competition to win out over the other. Joan was nice to the little people, but not so nice to others..



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