Oscar Movies: House on Telegraph Hill (1951)–by Robert Wise

A tale of murder, deceit, and identity change in post WWII America, The House on Telegraph Hill is tautly directed by Robert Wise and well-acted by the entire cast.

Valentina Cortese, the Italian actress, plays Victoria Kopwelska, a Polish woman imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp at the end of World War II. Desperate to survive, upon learning that her best friend has family in the U.S., she is promised refuge there if the two survive.

Victoria’s friend is killed shortly before American troops liberate the camp, and Victoria steals her friend’s papers and sails to America, where she is accepted her friend’s family as one of their own.

Victoria becomes the godmother to a young boy, as well as the heir to a fortune. Alan Spender (Richard Basehart), the boy’s guardian, has been lusting after the money, but Victoria’s arrival forces him to design a new scheme. Alan begins wooing Victoria, hoping to marry and then murder her.

However, after several accidents, Victoria begins to suspect the real intent of her new boyfriend.

Oscar Nominations:

Art Direction-Set Decoration (b/w): Lyle Wheeler and John DeCuir, Thomas Little and Paul S. Fox.

Oscar Awards:

Oscar Context:

The Art Direction Oscar went to Richard Day and George James Hopkins for A Streetcar Named Desire.

 

Credits

Running time: 93 minutes.

Directed by Robert Wise

Written By: Elick Moll, Frank Partos

In Theaters: Jan 1, 2001 Wide

On DVD: Mar 7, 2006