Stage Fright, 1950
visit the film locations
Stage Fright film location: Jane Wyman meets the detective: Shepherds Tavern, Shepherd Street, Mayfair, London
Lightweight Hitchcock, with Eve Gill (Jane Wyman, obstinately refusing to look too plain alongside the ineffably glam Marlene Dietrich) taking a maid's job to investigate the murder of which her friend Jonathan Cooper (Richard Todd) has been accused.
Hitchcock returned from Hollywood to his native London to film this backstage murder mystery, which infuriated cinematic purists no end by breaking the rules and cheating in a flashback sequence. It sets the scene with a safety curtain rising on a view of St Paul's Cathedral towering above the post-war rubble.
Stage Fright film location: Richard Todd eludes the police: RADA, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Gower Street, London
Cooper eludes the police by crashing Eve's acting class at RADA, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, 62-64 Gower Street, WC1. One of the most famous drama schools in the world, RADA was founded in 1904, and its role-call of past students includes some of the most famous names in theatre and film. Old school thesps such as Charles Laughton, Vivien Leigh and John Gielgud learned their craft here, followed by the likes of Richard Attenborough, Peter O’Toole, Anthony Hopkins, Susannah York, Michael Gambon, Diana Rigg, Ralph Fiennes, Kenneth Branagh and Imelda Staunton.
The house of Charlotte Inwood (Dietrich), scene of the murder, has sadly now been demolished. Although you may be able to recognise Hertford Street near the corner of Stanhope Row, W1, the block containing number 78 has gone to make way for the Hilton Hotel on Park Lane. Coincidentally, the building of the Hilton entailed the bulldozing of another Hitchcock location, the ‘Embassy’ in his 1956 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much. In time, the hotel itself went on to feature in Hitchcock’s Frenzy.
A surviving location is the Shepherd's Tavern, 50 Shepherd Street at the corner of Hertford Street, where Eve meets detective Detective Smith (Michael Wilding) over a brandy after her first visit to the Inwood house.