Stage Fright (1950) 1080p

Movie Poster
Stage Fright (1950) 1080p web - Movie Poster
Film-Noir | Thriller
Frame Rate:
23.976 fps
English 2.0  
Run Time:
110 min
IMDB Rating:
7.1 / 10 
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Directors: Alfred Hitchcock [Director] ,

Movie Description:
Jonathan Cooper is wanted by the police who suspect him of killing his lover's husband. His besotted friend Eve Gill offers to hide him and Jonathan explains to her that his real 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 truly falls in love.


  • Stage Fright (1950) 1080p web - Movie Scene 1
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  • Stage Fright (1950) 1080p web - Movie Scene 1

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The master of movie mysteries does it again

My title may seem a little off-base since "Stage Fright" comes about in the middle of the nearly five decades that Alfred Hitchcock thrilled audiences with his films. But, whenever it was that one saw a Hitchcock film, we always had a sense of "Wow, he did it again." The again, of course, was his clever shooting, scripting, and direction that entertained and beguiled us while keeping us in the dark about many parts of the film and its outcome.

One could have fun with lots of "m's" – as in mayhem and murder -- to describe Hitchcock movies. But we should remember that Hitch also did some comedies and romance. While he wasn't known for those, I think they give us a little hint about the subtle humor that he likes to weave into some of his stories. Not all, but some. Including his cameo shots in almost all of his mystery films.

"Stage Fright" has a touch of comedy in the dialogue, and more in the mannerisms of one of the main characters – Commodore Gill, played by Alastair Sim (as the credits note, billed as "Alistair" Sim). Sim will forever be known to movie fans as Ebenezer Scrooge from the 1951 filming of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." And although he did have some serious roles in earlier mysteries and dramas, Sim was very successful the last half of his career with comedies.

In "Stage Fright," Commodore Gill's wit and light-hearted manner gives a sense of calm to contrast the high tension of Jane Wyman's Eve Gill. Wyman excels in her role, and the other main characters are all very good. Marlene Dietrich is not the star of this film, but she has a main role of suspicion that she carries us along with very nicely. Richard Todd's Jonathan Cooper is very good, and Michael Wilding, Sybil Thorndike and Kay Walsh are excellent as Ordinary Smith, Mrs. Gill and Nellie Goode, respectively.

I won't discuss the plot, because I think that reveals too much and the suspense is a big part of the enjoyment of these films. Suffice it to say that "Hitch has done it again." He dazzled movie goers for more than four decades with many of the best crime mysteries ever put on film. No one could do them better. And, while he did receive five Academy Award nominations, he never did win an Oscar. This is one of those uncanny things about Hollywood, the movie industry and the Oscars. Films that Hitch directed received nearly 50 Academy Award nominations. They won six Oscars and two Golden Globes – for others.

And, if nothing else, Hitchcock was one of the most successful movie directors in the U.S. and England. Most of his films from the 1930s through 1960s were huge box-office successes. Many big name stars appeared in Hitch films – some in more than one. Cary Grant, James Stewart, Gregory Peck, Laurence Olivier, Sean Connery, Peter Lorre, Charles Laughton, Claude Rains, Paul Newman, Henry Fonda, Rod Taylor, James Mason, Raymond Burr, Ray Milland, Robert Cummings, Montgomery Clift, Joel McCrea, Karl Malden, Joseph Cotton, George Sanders, and Robert Donat had some of the male leads. Ingrid Bergman, Julie Andrews, Janet Leigh, Carole Lombard, Maureen O'Hara, Joan Fontaine, Diane Baker, Doris Day, Anne Baxter, Kim Novak, Eva Marie Saint, Shirley MacLaine, Grace Kelly, and Laraine Day were among the female leads.

At the time of my writing this review in January, 2014, nine of Alfred Hitchcock's films are among the top 250 rated movies on the IMDb list. "Rear Window" from 1954 is IMDb number 30, followed by "Psycho" from 1960 at number 31. "North by Northwest" from 1959 is ranked 57; "Vertigo" from 1958 is 67; "Rebecca" from 1940 is 134; and "Dial M for Murder" from 1954 is 168. The last three are "Strangers on a Train," 1950, at number 186; "Notorious," 1946, at 191; and "Rope" from 1948 at number 240. Is there another director who has more than nine films in the top 250 IMDb list in early January, 2014?

Viewers may note that "Birds" from 1963 isn't on the IMDb top-250 list. Nor is "Lifeboat," long-considered one of the great movies of all time since it came out in 1944, smack dab at the height of World War II. Or, how about "Spellbound" from 1945? Or, "The 39 Steps" from 1935? Or, "Marnie" from 1964?

Indeed, the list of great films by Hitchcock goes on and on. Most are mysteries, but some are romance and comedies. I recommend the above films to younger viewers who may want to see more of Hitchcock. And, the following list is sure to provide many more hours of movie enjoyment. "The Man Who Knew Too Much," 1934; "Secret Agent," 1936; "Sabotage," 1936; "The Girl Was Young," 1937; "The Lady Vanishes," 1938; "Jamaica Inn," 1939; "Foreign Correspondent," 1930; "Suspicion," 1941; "Saboteur," 1942; "Shadow of a Doubt," 1943; "I Confess," 1953; "To Catch a Thief," 1955; "The Troubles with Harry," 1955; "The Wrong Man," 1956; "Torn Curtain," 1966; and "Frenzy," 1972.

Forgotten Hitchcock Movie

This is a fine movie by Director Hitchcock in which Jane Wyman shines as the aspiring stage actor trying to get to the truth of a murder. It is usually overlooked or forgotten in evaluations of Hitchcock's overall work. Wyman's friend Richard Todd is on the run from the police. In an effort to out the guilty party, she enlists the help of her father, played by the great Alastair Sim. She worms her way into the household of a far more accomplished actor, Marlene Dietrich, impersonating a servant. She also wins the heart of a police inspector, Michael Wilding. She is at the forefront of this entertaining little film as she changes wardrobes and accents, going back and forth from London to her country home. The cast is strong all-round and, in addition to the above, are the talented Dame Sybil Thorndike, Joyce Grenfell and Kay Walsh, not to mention Patricia Hitchcock, the director's daughter, who often performed very capably in his movies. The movie is a black comedy that moves along at a great pace, with interesting vignettes and the long takes that Hitchcoock used so effectively. The on-location shooting in London gives the movie a reality missing in Hitchcock's earlier films. I liked this movie very much and with Wyman's acting and Hitchcock's direction, it works well.

The sets, cast, filming, and plot are all great--a full blooded success

Stage Fright (1950)

Offhand, Marlene Dietrich and Alfred Hitchcock seem like an unlikely pair. But it works! Even if you find Dietrich wooden as an actress, you have to appreciate her aura, which was legendary, and which Hitchcock incorporates, and bounces against, with real virtuosity. There are two or three long scenes, as when Dietrich is trying on her mourning clothes and smoking under her veil, where the filming, the fast dialog, the light, the movement of the characters, and the editing are breathtaking.

Taken in pieces like this, or seen as a whole, the film is a masterpiece of directing and construction. And at least three of the principle characters are just perfect--Jane Wyman as the innocent woman in the middle of it all, Alastair Sims as her father, and Dietrich. A fourth surprise performance is by Michael Wilding, who appears in many different scenes, and is charming, funny, and smart as a whip, playing a detective in love and in the dark.

The plot itself is classic Hitchcock, with seeming innocence and guilt shifting as you watch, and ordinary people getting too involved in the solving of the crime. Including the viewer. Even the use of the flashback that anchors the beginning of the film as two of them speed away gets a huge twist by the end, both a narrative thrill and a logical one, in terms of film-making. Talk about verisimilitude getting in the way of realism.

We know that the stage will play a large role throughout, and Hitchcock loved to include the theatre in his films. Christian Dior designed Dietrich's wardrobes, and the song is by none other than Cole Porter. The song is clever, but not his best, and Dietrich's performance, though supported by a fabulous set for a small time theater, is dull. The writing throughout is rather fabulous, partly thanks to Hitchcock's wife, who worked on it (and look for their daughter, by the way, at the lawn party).

There is so much going right here, what keeps it from quite becoming a masterpiece? I think the key thing is the startling disparity in acting styles. I mean, Wyman, Sim, and Dietrich are about as odd a threesome as you get in terms of acting style. Wilding is a kind of lubricant throughout (he appears in scenes with all of them and seems to make them sensible). The other noticeable flaw might be the last several minutes, when a climax is building, and yet there is an odd diffusion and a sudden end to it all, as if an opportunity was lost to wring us out a little.

But don't let this stand in your way. It's a terrific movie in all. I liked this more this time than any previous viewing, and I was left wondering why I had forgot so much about it. There is some really nice filming, it never gets boring, the sets and locations are fabulous, and some of the individual acting is a wonder. Including Dietrich.
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