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Love held its breath as sudden terror held the stage!
A struggling actress tries to help a friend prove his innocence when he's accused of murdering the husband of a high society entertainer.
I never hope to be appreciated. Yes, your mother cured me of that.
An Alfred Hitchcock film that has the distinction of containing a big plot element that he later considered one of his biggest regrets. To say what it is would be a spoiler, but I'd like to point out that the twist of the film wasn't well received in 1950 because it was something never done before. Another famous film would do something very similar 45 years later but take it to it's utmost extreme.
It also has to be said that even though Hitchcock was one of the greatest directors to ever live, his…
#18 in the Reverse Hitchcock project.
A very British cast (Richard Todd, Joyce Grenfell, Michael Wilding, the wonderful, wonderful Alastair Sim, Sybil Thorndike, Kay Walsh) join Marlene Dietrich and Jane Wyman in this mystery thriller which starts strongly with a flashback concerning Todd and Dietrich and the death of her husband.
With a bloodstain on her skirt like a flower (that dress will reappear later, more prominently) the divine Miss D (who was around fifty at the time) exudes glamour under adversity; and when we realise she is an actress we realise she is naturally stagey and able to give a performance.
Sending Todd to go back to the house of death seems to be putting him in the frame,…
Silly, arbitrarily-plotted Hitch film, set in London, his first British movie after leaving for Hollywood a decade earlier.
Jane Wyman is a stage-struck kid who risks it all for the man she loves (Richard Todd) after he's framed for murder by his lover (Marlene Dietrich), getting entangled with the investigating officer (Michael Wilding) and going deep undercover as a maid, with the help of an extraordinarily bad Cockney accent.
The story is so scatty that it seems as if they came up with the set pieces first and then just tried to tie them together - the director and his writers did sometimes work that way, successfully on North by Northwest - the balance of comedy and tension is never…
Stage Fright was the first film released in Alfred Hitchcock's finest decade as a filmmaker. While I wouldn't call it one of the best of his films from the 50's it is certainly a very good film. Also, the fact that it isn't one his best 50's films isn't really saying much because as I said it was his best decade and it was full of many of his absolute best films.
Stage Fright tells the story of a young woman who is an aspiring actress played by Jane Wyman. Her boyfriend (Richard Todd) becomes the main suspect in the murder of a famous entertainer's (Marlene Dietrich) husband. All three of them give great performances as does Michael Wilding in…
At the time of its release, the now common yet then unprecedented and out of place "twist" caused much public debate and it led to Hitchcock referring to the addition of the twist as his second greatest mistake, behind the death of the little boy in Sabotage. Over time, such an ending has become common and by today's standards, despite mixed reviews even today, I find Stage Fright an entertaining film with a great mix of thrills and laughs.
The film begins in such an interesting way, with a man and woman driving away from the police. From here, flashbacks reveal what has happened earlier and how such events came to being. It's a truly engaging and original opening by…
I haven't seen this Hitch film for about 30 years and I have to say with my recent viewing this is one of my new favorites! Great story and suspense and performances all round especially the brilliant Alastair Sim whose scenes really are a pleasure to watch.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Apparently it's common knowledge that Hitchcock regrets the twist in this film. I didn't know this going in. So when I finished the film I had to go back to the beginning to see if undermined itself. It doesn't. I appreciate the film more having discovered it was among the first untrustworthy narrator situations. Alister Sim was a joy to watch. Marlene Dietrich was just the right level of over acting. Pretty fun film.
Not among Hitchcock's best, but still a good entertainment. Jane Wyman is effective as a woman helping her friend (Richard Todd) involved in the murder of a stage star's (Marlene Dietrich) husband. Dietrich steals her scenes with glamorous star quality. Strong British supporting cast
The whole false flashback controversy is interesting, because yes, at the time it was new and so audiences "couldn't handle it," but that doesn't stop it from feeling kind of cheap when it's revealed. To cite a recent example, Gone Girl pulls this off a lot better by creating a much better (but still subtle) dissonance between the artificial flashback scenes and the "real" parts of the film. Also, having a physical manifestation of the lies (the diary) is a lot cleaner than just showing us a story being told out loud.
But none of that really matters, what matters about Stage Fright is how fucking great Dietrich is in it. Like, to the point where it's disappointing that she isn't the villain because she's so good.
I've had a run of weaker Hitchcock films recently and while this was a bit of a step up, it doesn't match the masters better efforts. It certainly has it's charms, including a great leading performance from Jane Wyman, who manages to completely outshine Marlene Dietrich on every level, most notably the looks department. It has a big twist that's set up right at the start that Hitch seemed to regret ever doing as it didn't go down well at all at the time. It just shows how ahead of the time he was.
The film does drag a bit and the investigation that's going on throughout, has long patches of not really going anywhere. The ending does tie things together nicely though, but it does feel like it all comes a little too late to salvage the film overall.
Super charming, with excellent performances, good humor and a very suspenseful ending. It reminds me of Young and Innocent in some ways.
This was a really interesting time in Hitchcock's career, a transitionary period just before he would really become a household name. You can clearly see on the surface here antecedents of some of his greatest works to come.
While this murder mystery "who-dun-it" story line was played out even by 1950, Stage Fright keeps it interesting with very engaging characters, even though their motivations are often questionable Everyone in the movie is very pretty, but that's fitting since there's a meta "actors performing on a stage" thing going on. It's the most beautiful ones that are the most corrupt. Appearances are always the most deceiving in Hitchcock's work.
The plot drifts away into too many tangents, adding to a long running time (yet again). Still, being back in Britian seems to bring back a bit of adventure progression to Hitchcock's protagonist arc, not unlike The 39 Steps or The Man Who Knew Too Much, which makes this one lively enough. And Marlene Dietrich helps put in some star-power fun most splendidly.
This 1950 Hitchcock film came between Under Capricorn and Strangers on a Train, and if it isn't the equal of those two sterling achievements, it's still an intriguing experiment. It's a murder mystery set in the stage world of London, and almost every scene features some sort of deception, from theatrical performance to bald-faced lying. Even the director, it turns out, isn't to be trusted. 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, and the equally powerful ways in which they can betray it. There is also some very strange business involving a Cub Scout and a bloody doll, but that image, perhaps, is best left unexplored. With Marlene Dietrich, Jane Wyman, and Michael Wilding. 110 min.
This is not one of Hitchcock’s more memorable films but second-tier Hitchcock is still enjoyable. The inclusion of my beloved Alistair Sim kicks it up a notch. Reviewed on flickersintime.com
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