Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Deception unbound., 9 July 2011
This review is from: Stage Fright [1950] [DVD] (DVD)
Stage Fright is directed by Alfred Hitchcock and collectively written by Whitfield Cook, Ranald MacDougall, Alma Reville and James Bridie, it's based on the novel "Man Running" written by Selwyn Jepson. It stars Jane Wyman, Marlene Dietrich, Michael Wilding, Richard Todd and Alastair Sim. Plot sees Wyman as drama student Eve Gill, who is asked by friend Jonathan Cooper (Todd) for help because he is on the run for the alleged murder of Charlotte Inwood's (Dietrich) husband. He swears his innocence and with Eve's father (Sim) also in tow, they set about trying to prove Jonathan's innocence.

It kind of goes without saying, since 90% of other reviews for Stage Fright have made the point, but Stage Fright is a lesser Hitchcock movie in terms of quality. In fact, watching it now upon revisits, it's actually, well, a bit of a bore. Yes it finds the directing maestro dallying in the realm of acting = deception, himself the deception puppet master, and the cast can't be faulted for quality of performance; notably Wyman who leads the film as a heroine taking on a number of different guises to a number of different people. But it lacks menace, it lacks sardonic humour and after playing the audience like an appropriately named fiddle, the pay off lacks dramatic impact or surprise. It has a bit more to it than merely being one for Hitchcock completists, for one thing fans of British cinema get a nice cameo from the wonderful Joyce Grenfell, but unlike a good portion of Hitchcock's work, this one doesn't hold up on repeat viewings. Decent but not actually very good. 6/10
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