Stage Fright (1950)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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 to escape the notice of genuine detective Michael Wilding. Top-billed Marlene Dietrich plays a Dietrich-like chanteuse whom Wyman pigeonholes as the real murderer. … More
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Critic Reviews for Stage Fright
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.
Wyman is delightful as embryo actress but the choice femme spot goes to Dietrich.
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
A fairly routine thriller, noted chiefly for its cheating flashback, though with much more to enjoy than its detractors -- including Hitchcock -- make out.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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