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Stage Fright (1950)

 -  Thriller  -  15 April 1950 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 7,660 users  
Reviews: 87 user | 37 critic

A struggling actress tries to help a friend prove his innocence when he's accused of murdering the husband of a high society entertainer.

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(screen play), (adaptation), 3 more credits »
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Title: Stage Fright (1950)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
...
...
...
Commodore Gill (as Alistair Sim)
...
Mrs. Gill
Kay Walsh ...
Miles Malleson ...
Mr. Fortesque (as Miles Mallison)
Hector MacGregor ...
Joyce Grenfell ...
...
Inspector Byard (as Andre Morell)
...
Ballard Berkeley ...
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Storyline

Jonathan Cooper is wanted by the police who suspect him of killing his lover's husband. His friend Eve Gill offers to hide him and Jonathan explains to her that his lover, actress Charlotte Inwood is the real murderer. Eve decides to investigate for herself, but when she meets the detective in charge of the case, she starts to fall in love. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

police | actress | love | friend | maid | See more »

Taglines:

Hands that applaud can also kill! See more »

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 April 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Desesperación  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scenes where Jane Wyman first enters Marlene Dietrich's home undercover she introduces her self as Doris Tynsdale, but Dietrich refers to her first as Phyliss, then Elsie, then Doris, then lastly Mavis. It was classic dialogue play for Hitchcock. See more »

Goofs

At the charity fair it is raining and everyone holds an umbrella. Shots of shoes and the ground show that they are dry. See more »

Quotes

Charlotte Inwood: Detectives! After all, what are they? Just policemen with smaller feet!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Matinee (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Is Lyrical (Whisper Sweet Little Nothing to Me)
(1950) (uncredited)
Written by Mischa Spoliansky
Performed by Marlene Dietrich
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Remember! The Curtain is there for your safety.
16 October 1999 | by (Seattle) – See all my reviews

What a great flick. At times ill-paced, but the performances more than make up for it. What's not to love? Doe-eyed Jane Wyman shifts effortlessly between the roles of aspiring dramatist to lovestruck protectress of Richard Todd to infiltrating false maid of Marlene Dietrich. Managing also to string along Michael Wilding, as the ubercool Inspector "Ordinary" Smith, she might sound like some cold calculating wench who uses up people like Marlene goes through hats. But that wouldn't be strictly accurate. Her Eve Gill is sweet and naive, but her gentler qualities are tempered with a genuine acting talent that allows her to juggle identities with the slyness of a fox-chameleon hybrid. The scene at the garden party when she switches from Dietrich's cockney maid to Smith's innocent date with every turn is delightful.

It is the masterful presence of the great Alastair Sim, however, that makes Stage Fright one of Hitchock's most enjoyable to watch. Few actors have his ability of making the most average of dialouges sound like a powerful oration, and as Eve's doting father, he makes the movie. His Commodore Gill is always at the ready to harbor a fugitive, clip off a snappy witicism, or scrounge blackmail money for his beloved daughter. He is equally at home playing comic relief as he is to serving as the plot glue that makes Eve's capers possible. But live with his wife? Thank you, no! He is content to live on his boat. Whether he is staging an amusing diversion to aid Eve, dispensing sage bits of fatherly advice, or merely strolling out in public, the man bleeds coolness with every move.

Some can argue that Stage Fright gives but an average treatment to the usual whodunnit murder-suspense formula that Hitchcock (and countless others) have used. This is perhaps true. But compared to the whole lot of crappy facsimile suspense films made since 1950, Stage Fright is quicker to entertain than most.

Be sure to check it out if you want to see Hitch cast his own daughter Patricia in the supporting role of "Chubby Banister." Is that some kind of sick joke or was that name flattering in the fifties?

P.S.-- I can't watch Marlene Dietrich anymore and not be reminded of Madeline Kahn's Teutonic Titwillow. Is there some free therapy I can get for this?


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