STAGE FRIGHT (1950) B/W 110m dir: Alfred Hitchcock

w/Marlene Dietrich, Jane Wyman, Michael Wilding, Richard Todd, Alastair Sim

Hitchcock, back in an English setting for the first time in over a decade, directs an uneven story about a young man (Todd) suspected of murdering an actress' husband. But, uneven story or no, this is still Hitchcock. Among the enjoyments are Wyman's role as an aspiring actress at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, which parallels Hitchcock's daughter Patricia's studies at the same time; Patricia Hitchcock's minor role as "Chubby" Banister; and Dietrich's music hall rendition of "The Laziest Gal in Town." Hitchcock himself (in conversation with Francois Truffaut in Truffaut's book Hitchcock) admitted that he had problems with the film because of the fact that the flashback which Todd "relates" to Wyman is a lie, and because (quoting Hitchcock) "the villain was a flop."