A French Intelligence Agent becomes embroiled in the Cold War politics first with uncovering the events leading up to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and then back to France to break up an international Russian spy ring.
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 <email@example.com>
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.
A Somewhat Odd Combination That Works Most of the Time
With such an unusual set of components, it was probably inevitable that "Stage Fright" would be a little uneven, but most of it works well enough. By Hitchcock's standards, it's average at best, but it is still an entertaining movie with an interesting story and a number of good sequences.
Simply seeing the distinctive persona of Marlene Dietrich and the enjoyably unique style of Alastair Sim in an Alfred Hitchcock film would make for an interesting combination in itself. They are joined by a generally solid group of performers, with their own individual styles, and there are several characters who all get fairly sizable roles.
Hitchcock's own approach here is a somewhat surprising contrast from his usual style of story-telling, and some of the developments must have seemed even more unexpected to the movie's original viewers. Another aspect of this is that for much of the movie none of the characters really takes and holds the focus, and as a result there are times when it seems to lack some flow.
Yet there are a number of good points to it as well. There are plenty of the usual Hitchcock details that make things more interesting, and most of the cast members give good performances in themselves. Most of Hitchcock's movies are rather better than this one, but watching "Stage Fright" is still a better use of one's time than watching the weak present-day efforts in the genre.
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