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 <email@example.com>
This superb film incredibly contains Marlene Dietrich and Alistair Sim among its great cast, in a blend of Hitchcock thrills and chills, humour and even musical interludes. It is mostly overlooked due to it's original 'failure' with fans and critics caused mainly by misguided hatred of a plot device used in the film. Also people fail to cope with the very different moods the film moves between. From whimsical British comedy to chilling psychological drama. It may not be one of Hitchcock's perfect 10/10 best but is easily 9 1/2 out of 10.
Hitchcock did something in the film, as he did in his classic Sabotage, which upset filmgoers and critics because it was 'not the done thing'. I wouldn't wish to spoil the film for a 1st time viewer by saying what this was but it is mentioned in the spoilers section of trivia on this films IMDb homepage. It is a mistake, I feel to overlook this film, especially due to this 'unconventional plot device'.
I find the 'unconventional plot device' in Sabotage one of a great many highlights of the film and it lifts it beyond what it would have been with the predictable/conventional resolution of that scene. The same is true in Stage Fright. Filmgoers who cannot cope with being confused by clever directorial choices are people I pity. The surprising, unusual aspects of this plot are terrific and Hitchcock was entirely correct in his choices which hugely add to the impact of the film.
Apart from all that Stage Fright is simply thoroughly entertaining. It is very very funny with Alistair Sim as brilliant and hilarious as ever in a great role for him as well as an entirely satisfying cast. Marlene Dietrich is superbly cold in a wonderful, striking addition to her acting career and sings a classic Dietrich style song. The twists from humour to chilling suspense make terrific enthralling moments.
A highly unusual and near perfectly executed film.
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