Phone Call From a Stranger

At the Paramount and Fenway

Sexy Shelly Winters can play the part of a floozie perfectly, and Phone Call from a Stranger is an enjoyable, spicy movie as long as she is on the screen. Miss Winters does not have a very large part, however, and without her Phone Call is quite lusterless. Besides this it is burdened with one of the most ludicrous characterizations I have ever seen.

For a never-ending fifteen minutes Bette Davis plays the part of a young silly wife running away from her husband. Unfortunately, all the mascara backstage at the Old Howard wouldn't make Miss Davis look her part, and it would take more than false bangs to masquerade the old honess as a playful kitten. Miss Davis wrinkles, her jowels, and her heavy voice belie her part that one can watch her performance with nothing less than amazement.

Miss Davis' real life husband, Gary Merrill, is better cast as a good samaritan who fumbles around with several lives. But these lives are only a series of soap operas which the producers string together with a very frail thread.

The second attraction is a space flick called Flight to Mars which suffers from a lack of imagination. A crew of interplanetary travelers set out to the fourth planet only to find that the Martians are just human beings who speak through their navels.