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Stage Fright (1950)

Approved | | Film-Noir, Thriller | 15 April 1950 (USA)
A struggling actress tries to help a friend prove his innocence when he's accused of murdering the husband of a high society entertainer.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Whitfield Cook (screen play), Alma Reville (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jane Wyman ... Eve Gill
Marlene Dietrich ... Charlotte Inwood
Michael Wilding ... Ordinary Smith
Richard Todd ... Jonathan Cooper
Alastair Sim ... Commodore Gill (as Alistair Sim)
Sybil Thorndike ... Mrs. Gill
Kay Walsh ... Nellie Goode
Miles Malleson ... Mr. Fortesque (as Miles Mallison)
Hector MacGregor Hector MacGregor ... Freddie Williams
Joyce Grenfell ... 'Lovely Ducks'
André Morell ... Inspector Byard (as Andre Morell)
Patricia Hitchcock ... Chubby Bannister
Ballard Berkeley ... Sergeant Mellish
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Storyline

Jonathan Cooper is wanted by the police who suspect him of killing his lover's husband. His besotted friend Eve Gill offers to hide him and Jonathan explains to her that his real 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 truly falls in love. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Gripping New Greatness From Warner Bros. See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 April 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die rote Lola See more »

Filming Locations:

Mayfair, London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,437,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,012,000, 31 December 1950

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,012,000, 31 December 1952
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During filming, food was still strictly rationed in London. Sir Alfred Hitchcock circumvented this problem by having steaks and roasts flown in from the U.S. to be prepared and cooked at some of the city's finest restaurants. He treated himself and his leading ladies Marlene Dietrich and Jane Wyman to frequent, extravagant dinners. Hitchcock told the actresses that "Ladies must be well fed." See more »

Goofs

Eve reports back to her father in a call box having been unable to gain entrance to the murder house. "Oh don't be ridiculous father, the police won't let anyone near the place" - she actually mouths "near the house". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Eve Gill: Any sign of the police?
Jonathan Cooper: No, no sign. Looks like we're getting away with it.
Eve Gill: Good.
Jonathan Cooper: How far is it to your father's boat?
Eve Gill: Two hours, with luck. You're luck seems to be very good. Touching wood.
See more »

Alternate Versions

A French VHS released in the nineties contained two versions of the film: one dubbed, the other subtitled. Beside this difference numerous edits were made in the dubbed version. Many scenes were shortened such as the talk between Eve and her father outside the boathouse in the night, Eve's attempt to disguise herself as a maid... However, and more importantly, this version contained two longer scenes not present in any copy released on VHS or DVD so far.
  • The first one is an extension of the bar discussion scene between the maid and the other patrons, right before Eve asks Wilfred Smith "Don't you think she's talking too much?" The dialog is dubbed in French.
  • The second scene is a slightly but magnificent longer version of Marlene Dietrich singing "The Laziest Gal in Town". The complete song runs 4 minutes instead of 3.37 in the edited version. The cut occurs after the first "it's not 'cause I couldn't" in the lyrics.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Usual Suspects (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Sobre las olas (Over the Waves)
(1887) (uncredited)
Music by Juventino Rosas
Played when Jonathan gets out of the car and goes into Charlotte's house
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Remember! The Curtain is there for your safety.
16 October 1999 | by humbert-6See 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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