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Stage Fright (1950)

Marlene Dietrich , Jane Wyman , Alfred Hitchcock  |  NR |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Marlene Dietrich, Jane Wyman, Richard Todd, Michael Wilding, Alastair Sim
  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Writers: Alma Reville, James Bridie, Ranald MacDougall, Selwyn Jepson, Whitfield Cook
  • Producers: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 7, 2004
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002HOEQW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,150 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Stage Fright" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

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.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily the most Underrated of all Hitch's... July 27, 2004
Like I said, STAGEFRIGHT is easily the most underrated of all Mr. Hitchcock's films. With first rate performances by all concerned(Alistair Sim is a riot), this was Hitch's first time back in England filming after many years abroad & it shows. Filmed in glorious black & white with the theatre as it's background, it's fuelled by almost every character playing a role other than their own & obviously having the time of their lives while doing it. Taking centre stage are Jane Wyman(a drama student who dangerously takes on her most important role in an effort to trap a murderer), Alistair Sim(as her father only too delighted to be caught up in the adventure)& Marlene Dietrich(delivering a deliriously over-the-top performance as a selfish actress). Filled with Hitch's trademark touches, the cinematography is magnificent(the garden party sequence is pure for the sea of umbrellas)& hey! even Joyce Grenfell drops by for some great comic relief. Not that it needs it. This is the Master's great comedy murder mystery. 10/10 Bravo!!!!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the World's A Stage August 23, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Why Stage Fright doesn't rank amongst the top Hitchcock films is one of the great mysteries of the twentieth century. It has all the things that the best Hitchcock films have: great stars, Jane Wyman and Marlene Dietrich, both at the top of their game, a compelling storyline, a blossoming romance, and wonderful characterizations from the supporting players. The story begins with Eve Gill (Wyman), a student actress at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and her attempts to shield her boyfriend Jonathan Cooper (Richard Todd) from being framed for the murder of the husband of stage actress Charlotte Inwood (Dietrich). Jonathan and Charlotte were lovers and he fears that this relationship will be exposed (it was a secret) and thus establish his guilt. Eve who has had a crush on Jonathan for years believes he is telling the truth and tries to expose Charlotte as the real murderer. To do this she pretends to be the cousin of Charlotte's maid Nellie Good (Kay Walsh) who ostensibly is ill. In the guise of Doris, Nellie's "cousin," Eve is able to gain Charlotte's confidence. As Eve gets closer and closer to Charlotte, the mystery surrounding the death of her husband becomes more confusing and complex. Along the way, Eve is attracted to Inspector Wilfred Smith (Michael Wilding) who is investigating the case. As Eve's character tries to solve the murder, her relationship with the inspector gets a little strained. She wants to tell Wilfred that she's Doris, Charlotte's maid, but the timing never seems right. With more twists and turns than the average Hitchcock film, Stage Fright moves along at a crisp pace, keeping viewers guessing right until the end. To reveal more would spoil the fun. Wyman is great as Eve and absolutely charming as the maid, Doris. Read more ›
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Kind of Battle of Angels October 1, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
I've watched this movie countless times. It is one of my very favorites. It combines all of the hallmarks of Hitchcock mystery thrillers, with the unusual device of a combative pairing of two American film stars, Jane Wyman and German-born Marlene Dietrich. This dark against light struggle between women is not altogether foreign in Hitchcock films; one thinks of the pairing of Suzanne Plechette and Tipi Hedrin in THE BIRDS, but in that film the Plechette character is killed off early. Here, the dark-haired Wyman character who dominates the very first scene, survives until the very last scene. However, the fair-haired Dietrich character has equal screen time, and though they often appear separately, they do sometimes play together in the most unusual way and to the most peculiar effect.
Stage Fright is a murder mystery based on the Selwyn Jepson novel, and I would do the new viewer the greatest injustice by beraying even a little of the plot. Outside of the particulars of the homicide in question, this is a movie about deception and betrayal within the context of the Theatre and its tradition; of theatrical people and their lives which, to an outsider, seem to be little more than imposture and artifice. The film then, is an elaborate structure of mirrors, smoke and lies.
Among the aspects of STAGE FRIGHT which set it apart from other films of the period, is the exceptional musical score by an obscure composer, Leighton Lucas. So sophisticated and expressive is it at working to enhance the story, one is reminded of later Hitchcock films like VERTIGO. First class work.
The costuming is superbe. Dietrich as Musical Star and Comedienne, Charlotte Indood, wears Dior throughout, and the coutourier created for her two dresses which play a key part in the articulation of the crime.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Hitchcockian Romp! November 30, 2004
This is now one of my favorite Hitchcock films. Stage Fright was a new addition to my collection, and it will definitely be making a rotation in my DVD player. This story of murder, deceit, and intrigue is pure fun!

Jane Wyman plays mousy drama student Eve Gill, committed to getting her longtime friend Jonathan Cooper out of the murderous trouble he has gotten himself into with his mistress, stage actress Charlotte Inwood (deliciously played by Marlene Dietrich).

She takes her drama lessons out of the classroom, playing different roles from person to person in an effort to get at the truth behind the murder of Inwood's husband. In the process, she falls in love, gets blackmailed, and ultimately realizes her longtime friend Cooper isn't all she thought she was.

This movie is just fun to watch! Wyman lends her own blend of sweetness and comedy. You find yourself desperately hoping that she isn't caught as she juggles the various identities she assumes. Dietrich is the consummate drama queen, enveloped in all of the glamour and hautiness of the era. Her onstage performance of "The Laziest Gal in Town" just sums up her character to a tee. The ensemble of British actors (playing Eve's parents, and a variety of other cast members) injects an indescribable charisma to the film in general.

Stage Fright is truly a Hitchcock diamond in the rough. Yet another underappreciated film artfully directed by the great one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Not mad on Marlene Deitrich. Doesn't seem to fit in a lot of films.
Published 1 month ago by Jenny Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars can't remember it but I think it was pretty good
i can recall parts of this movie i think though I'm not absolutely sure but I'm pretty sure it was a pretty good movie. Read more
Published 4 months ago by C. Folger
4.0 out of 5 stars This isn't THE BEST Hitchcock Movie but it's still a Hitchcock Movie
Nuff' said. The master makes his marks. Marlene Dietrich of course steals every scene she's in. One thing I liked is that rather than the iconic Hitchcock blonde, Wyman plays the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Marion Stein
5.0 out of 5 stars Stage Fright
Very good Hitchcock mystery, with touches of comedy, that has a surprise ending. The best part of this film are the great Alistair Sim and Sybil Thorndyke. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Celia DLF
4.0 out of 5 stars Marlene Dietrich performs a star turn in a Hitchcock full of twists.
Highly recommended, a Hitchcock thriller with the star power of Marlene Dietrich as a "black widow". Read more
Published 9 months ago by Classics Collector
4.0 out of 5 stars Harbinger of "Strangers on a Train"
It is heartening to read other reviewers' panegyrics for this enjoyable film. And yet, one can empathize with those who find "Stage Fright" unrewarding, even exasperating. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Curt Tow
2.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Dull Hitchcock
A disappointing thriller from the Master of Suspense - his first British film since the lackluster "Jamaica Inn" (1939). Read more
Published 12 months ago by Scott T. Rivers
2.0 out of 5 stars not as entertaining as other Hitchcock films
It was OK. Jane Wyman of course was great. She is cute in this movie. Just recently discovered her as an actress before Falcon Crest. But this movie kinda dragged. Read more
Published 13 months ago by S. T. Peterson
5.0 out of 5 stars Frightfully Upstaged, or All About Eve
One of the least respected of Hitchcock's 1950s oeuvre is the first of the line of special films in the decade. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Mal Tempo
4.0 out of 5 stars Lesser know Hitchcock is a good picture
This is is one of the overlooked Hitch pictures. The plot is pure murder mystery but the photography is pure Hitch. Read more
Published 17 months ago by M. Kenny
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