- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Underrated Hitchcock Gem
I disagree with critics and biographers who shun this film as below par Hitchcock. Many of his films, including the overrated "Dial M For Murder," are long, dull talkfests. At least you've got Marlene Dietrich, playing herself: a self absorbed theatre star. I can't understand why he cast Jane Wyman, unless it's because she was a hot property just coming off her Oscar win for "Johnny Belinda." She's obviously as American as apple pie with two veddy British parents, wonderfully played by Alaistair Sim and Sybil Thorndike. Nothing against Ms. Wyman, but she's a bit too old to be playing a drama student. Still, when she takes on the role of Doris Tinsdale, Dietrich's dresser, with a Cockney accent, she's pretty convincing. However, it's Dietrich as the double dealing temptress, who steals the show. She looks fabulous in gowns by Dior. Cole Porter even wrote the song "Laziest Gal in Town" for the film. I've read that Wyman cried when she saw how she looked next to Dietrich. You can't blame her. The charms of Michael Wilding also elude me, but at least he fits in with the British cast. Richard Todd is the villain, or is he? You'll have to watch it to find out.
Stage Fright (1950) on Criterion Collection DVD
- Jeffrey Kenison
I would suggest that this Hitchcock classic deserves to be on Criterion Collection DVD. I like Jane Wyman, Marlene Dietrich and Alastair Sim.
"Stage Fright" from 1950.
- Raymond Banacki
Interesting thriller, because Hitchcock had to realize that he was dealing with very weak material, because he makes very visible attempts to shore it up for the audience. Scenes like Wyman and Wilding talking about the murder in a taxi cab while they are actually falling in love with each other. Or Sims' outrageous scheme to put a young boy and a doll in a bloody dress into action at an outdoor garden party. The ending, in which Todd's true nature is revealed, seems like a forerunner of the finale of "Psycho". The film has a lot of humor, too, which helps to almost divert us from the weaknesses of the material. And it owes a great deal to Marlene Dietrich's wicked performance as a stage star who's obsessed with herself.
- kevin sellers
Ho hum Hitchcock that is interesting for Marlene Dietrich, one of those rare actors who never gets old, even though she plays the same character over and over again. (call it the trampy, Berlin saloon girl) The rest of the movie is eminently forgettable, with mediocre performances from Jane Wyman (who can't even manage a passable British accent) and Michael Wilding (who talks so fast you can't understand him half the time; no wonder Liz divorced his ass) and over the top, psycho stuff from Richard Todd. However, even middle drawer Hitchcock has at least one unforgettable scene and in this film it's when the boy scout kid hands co-murderess Dietrich a doll with a bloody dress at the garden party. Give it a C plus. P.S. Only time I can recall a musical number (Dietrich singing Cole Porter's "Laziest Gal In Town") in a Hitchcock film. Enjoyed it.
Loved the actors,esp Richard Todd.Sad how he ends up.
- Mary Jo
I love this movie but as many times as I have seen the majority of it I have never seen the end and I agree with one persons review I read that this was one of the best acting jobs Whyman has ever done. Can anyone let me in on how it ends?
Awesome Marlene Dietrich
- Gail Patterson
This movie is an awesome one and I am so surprised not to have it available on TCM with others especially with Alfred Hitchcock as director and Jane Wyman starring in it also....why hasn't anyone else made notice of this filmnot on dvd or blu ray yet? I keep looking for it and all I can do is wait for it on TCM and keep it in my recorded files. But I am a big fan of it and would love a copy of the film.
I have never cared for Jane Wyman's acting but she is exceptional in this role. I now believe she was miscast in so many of her other films or, alternatively, she simply didn't have a director as good as Hitchcock. It is interesting to note that this is an all-British cast but the two stars, Wyman and Dietrich, are not British and that's a bit strange. Hitchcock does juxtapose the two ladies against one another and it is effective. The real acting in this film is done by the great Richard Todd. The use of light and shadow whenever he is on the screen serves to heighten the suspense of his villainy. Then again, that was also part of Hitchcock's genius. This is simply one of those "little" films that holds your interest and is good for passing some time.
A Great Film
- Sony Cherian
This is a very underrated film. It is one of the first Hitchcock films that foreshadowed thrillers like North by Northwest, Vertigo, Marnie, and Psycho.Performances were great. Michael Wilding, Alistair Sim, and Jane Wyman did a great job playing their roles.This is Patricia Hitchcock's first thriller with her father Alfred Hitchcock.I also consider this film as a fun film, because this film also has some fun scenes like Oridnary Smith, and Duck Shooting.