Phone Call from a Stranger

Synopsis: On a flight from Chicago to Los Angeles via Iowa, lawyer David Trask gets to know three of his fellow passengers as one technical issue after another leads to delays and unscheduled stops along the way. Those three are physician Dr. Robert Fortness, struggling actress with the stage name Binky Gay, and loud salesman Eddie Hoke, who is both quick with a joke and quick to show off a photograph of his beautiful wife, Marie Hoke. Below the surface, the three have deeper stories, which are bringing them back to Los Angeles and which Dr. Fortness and Binky divulge to David. Dr. Fortness, an alcoholic, is returning to own up to his drunken part in the death of a friend, and his wife Claire's complicity in the matter. Binky, after being away in New York for a year, is returning to her husband, Mike Carr, hoping to take him away from his overbearing mother, former vaudeville star Sally Carr, who still basks in her former but no longer shining glory, and who is the cause of any marital problem s
Genre: Drama, Film-Noir
Director(s): Jean Negulesco
Production: Twentieth Century Fox
  1 win & 1 nomination.
105 min

Airport, and hurry.

- Do you have anything on the 12:10?

- How many?

- One.

- Nothing on the 12:10, I'm afraid...

but I can put you on the Grand

Canyon Airways at 12:30...

- if you don't mind a local.

- Where's that to?

- Same place- Los Angeles.

- All right.

- Round trip?

- One way.

- Name?

- Uh, Collins.

Joseph H. Collins.

- Is it in yet?

- It's pulling in now.

- I want to make a phone call.

- On the other side of the newsstand.


David, where are you?

I left a note there on the table...

but it occurred to me

you might-

might think I'd gone off

to do something foolish.

It's nothing like that.

It's just that I-

Well, I couldn't stand it

any longer.

I'll have to figure out another way

of living-without you. That's all.

Wh-Where are you, David?


Just tell the kids that I was

called away suddenly on a case.

I'll work out some other explanation

when I've had a chance to think things over.

Just don't let them know yet.

Where are you going?

I'll let you know when I get there.

Tell them it looked

like a rather long case.

Then they won't begin asking questions

until we've got our story set.

Will you do that?

Oh, Dave, darling, please.

Will you do it?

Of course.

But, David...

don't go away.

Please don't.

Why not? You don't think you'll be

lonely for long, do you?

Dave, Dave...

haven't you ever made

one mistake in your life?

It's no use, Janey.

I didn't call to argue the matter again...

particularly over a public phone.

Just look out for the kids.

That's all.

I'll let you hear from me

in a day or so.

Good night.

Attention, please.

Grand Canyon Airways Flight 1011...

- for Los Angeles will depart-

- Some trouble?

- Oh, no. Just in late, that's all.

- Is it the weather?

What's wrong with the weather?

How should I know what's wrong with

the weather? That's what I'm asking you.

You come in late, you go out late.

You think it's all right

to fly in all this rain?

I don't think the rain matters.

- Not even at night?

- I don't think so.

But how do they keep 'em

from bumping into each other?

I don't know exactly, but they

must have some way worked out.

You really think they

know what they're doin'?

I'm sure they do. And if there's any danger,

I'm sure they wouldn't send us out.

I hope you're right.

This'll be my first time up.

I certainly wouldn't want it

to be my last.


- I'll just have a cup of coffee.

- Oh.

- You mind?

- No, not at all.

- Can I take your coat?

- Thanks.

- May I have a cup of coffee?

- Yes.

Maybe some coffee

will make me feel better.

You're not really scared, are you?

- I'd be okay if I could only figure out one thing.

- What's that?

What holds it up there.

What do you care?

That's their business.

They can't blame you,

no matter what happens.

You mean they can't sue me

even if it falls?

They can't.

And I'm a lawyer too.

What am I worried about? Let's have

a wedge of pie with that coffee, huh?

Would you people mind if these

gentlemen sat at this table too?

No. Go ahead.

I beg your pardon.

Don't mind me, lady.

I'm just practicing. I'm an ex-wolf.

- Coffee for me, doll baby.

- The same for me, please.

You just come in on Flight 1011?

I'll say. Like we was

on a "rolly coaster. "

- What do you mean?

- The last 50 miles upside down.

- Is he kiddin'?

- It was a little bumpy.

A little bumpy?

Get this.

Just outside of Chicago,

we hit an air pocket.

We must've dropped a thousand feet.

Now, we're all strapped in,

see, but the hostess ain't.

Well, she hits the ceiling

with the top of her permanent.

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Nunnally Johnson

Nunnally Hunter Johnson was an American filmmaker who wrote, produced, and directed motion pictures. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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