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Stage Fright (1950)



Average Rating: 6.6/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 5,774

My Rating

Movie Info

Stage Fright toys with our notions of the dividing line between reality and artifice by being set in the London theatre world. On the lam from the police, Richard Todd takes refuge in the home of his former girlfriend, RADA student Jane Wyman. Todd has been spotted fleeing the scene of a murder, but he insists that he's innocent. Wyman believes his story, but knows that the police won't, so she decides to play detective herself. She also plays several other roles in a variety of disguises so as

Sep 7, 2004


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All Critics (18) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (2) | DVD (4)

Hitchcock conjures a deep-rooted, irony-rich complicity of father and daughter that seems borrowed from the films of Howard Hawks and suggests the inner compass that helps to guard against chasing the wrong man.

March 10, 2014 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Wyman is delightful as embryo actress but the choice femme spot goes to Dietrich.

February 4, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The issues aren't satisfactorily resolved, but Hitchcock seems to be exploring the ways in which various falsehoods -- the falsehoods of acting, storytelling, and art in general -- can lead to the truth

February 4, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A fairly routine thriller, noted chiefly for its cheating flashback, though with much more to enjoy than its detractors -- including Hitchcock -- make out.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One is strongly suspicious, after watching this helter-skelter film, that Mr. Hitchcock was much less interested in his over-all story than in individual scenes.

January 28, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's an entertaining film that deserves to become a cult favorite hit.

June 15, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

The standard British murder mystery is raised to a higher plateau by Hitchcock in Stage Fright, but still falters in comparison to the best of the master's works.

February 4, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Blame it on the subject matter: Stage Fright, especially for postwar Hitchcock, is all elbows.

March 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

Good Dietrich vehicle with the famous "false flashback"

December 17, 2004
Film Journal International

Even a lesser Hitchcock film is as good as a great film by nearly anyone else.

September 20, 2004 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

the central ridiculousness comes off as hokey at best, insulting at worst

September 13, 2004 Full Review Source:

Often overlooked Hitchcock that's better than some of his more famous works.

November 24, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Fun rather than thrilling, this duplicitous tale certainly isn't Stranger On A Train, but Hitchcock's weak films are still better than most.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4

Stage Fright is hardly frightening.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Stage Fright

When I first started watching Alfred Hitchcock's movies, I would pretend I was part of an alien race that was going to pillage Planet Hitchcock. Not really, but go with it. I'd start with the classic major cities (Psycho, Vertigo, North By Northwest), then work my way out to the smaller but still happening cities (Rope, The Trouble With Harry, The Birds.) But lately I'm sifting through the lesser cities. The dull ones that serve egg noodles with ketchup and try to pass it off as spaghetti with marinara sauce. The towns that close by six, have two traffic lights and are 40 miles from the nearest Wal-Mart. I'm not going to go as far as to accuse Stage Fright of being the geographic equivalent of the armpit of the world, it sure as hell isn't a Fresno, CA! Stage Fright more or less wears into territory that Hitchcock spent a lot of time walking upon with the innocent being chased while trying to disprove their guilt. Here he does so from a different perspective with a woman trying to prove the innocence of the object of her affection. Stage Fright's cast is pretty good (normally I can't stand Jane Wyman but she's not bad here) but Alastair Sim steals the show as Wyman's father and makes the movie pretty damn funny at points. Stage Fright did little to make me wonder if the rest of Planet Hitchcock was worth conquering but it could always be worse. It could be Planet Bay or Planet Shyamalan. And we all know that the crappiest towns on Planet Hitchcock are still better than the meccas on those hellholes.
May 25, 2011

Super Reviewer

Stage fright has it's highs and lows, it's not one of his better films but that isn't saying much when you appreciate his amazing body of work. That said, here he invented one of my pet hates, the false flashback. He himself later admitted that he regretted it, a forgivable mistake though, especially when you consider his pioneering work within cinema - trial and error maketh' the man and all that. It is however, directed beautifully, I particularly enjoyed the backdrops of late 40's London, even to the point that I had to go on google-earth and check them out after the film. The performances are also very good, Jane Wyman & Marlene Dietrich are both brilliant but for me it's Alastair Sim who steals the show.
March 28, 2011

Super Reviewer

I watched it only because it was going off of Netflix streaming. I just for the life of me could not get into this film. I wasn't invested in any character or interested in the story at all. Even with Marlene Dietrich in it. I'm not even sure if at the end I really knew all what was going on. Sorry, I am just not a Hitchcock girl for the most part...
January 17, 2011
Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

This is such a creative and fun mystery movie. Sometimes it's a little confusing maybe, but in the end it's worth it. For some reason this is a lesser known Hitchcock movie, but it's one of my favourites, and I highly recommend it.
October 25, 2010

Super Reviewer

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  • Stage Fright (UK)
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