The red Lola

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German title The red Lola
Original title Stage Fright
Country of production USA ,
original language English
Publishing year 1950
length 110 minutes
Age rating FSK 6
Director Alfred Hitchcock
script James Bridie ,
Whitfield Cook ,
Ranald MacDougall ,
Alma Reville
production Herbert Coleman ,
Alfred Hitchcock
for Warner Bros.
music Leighton Lucas ,
Cole Porter ,
Mischa Spoliansky ,
camera Wilkie Cooper ,
Jack Haste
cut Edward B. Jarvis

The red Lola (Original: Stage Fright , in German "stage fright") is a US - British feature film by Alfred Hitchcock from 1949 based on the novels Man Running and Outrun To Constable by Selwyn Jepson . The main roles are cast with Jane Wyman , Marlene Dietrich , Michael Wilding and Richard Todd .


Jonathan Cooper is wanted by the police who suspect him of murdering his lover's husband. Eve Gill, a budding actress who is in love with longtime boyfriend Jonathan, offers to hide him. Jonathan tells her in the form of a flashback what exactly happened. Accordingly, his lover, the actress Charlotte Inwood, is the real murderer. Eve decides to do her own research and is employed as a maid by Charlotte after she has offered her maid Nellie money to let her do the job. When Eve meets the detective Wilfried Smith, who is in charge of the case, she falls in love with him after a short time.

Eve attends a garden party with Smith, which is attended by Nellie, who demands more money from her. Eve then decides to tell everything to Smith, who now believes she is just playing feelings for him. However, Eve manages to convince Smith of the sincerity of her feelings for him. But Gill, Eve's father, also takes action and tries to get Charlotte to confess by asking a little boy to show her a doll whose dress is smeared with blood. Although Charlotte is disturbed by the sight, she does not confess. Gill now suggests that Eve try to blackmail Charlotte in order to get her to admit the crime. In an interview, Charlotte admits that she was present when Jonathan killed her husband. When the police find out, they take Jonathan to the theater to confront him with Charlotte's statement. However, he is able to flee and once again count on Eve's help, who still believes in his innocence.

Smith tells Gill that Jonathan has been charged with murder before but has been acquitted for claiming he killed in self-defense. At the same time, Jonathan tells Eve in hiding that he killed Charlotte's husband at her instigation because she wanted to be free to marry her manager, Freddie Williams. Eve then tries to get Jonathan to surrender. Jonathan now shows his true colors and threatens to kill Eve too. Eve manages to set a trap and notify the police. When Jonathan tries to flee again, he is killed by the falling fire curtain.


Filming, background

The filming in the Elstree Studios in England lasted from May 31st to September 19th 1949. Some scenes were shot in the London Royal Academy of Dramatic Art , others in residences in Mayfair and in a London pub, also inside the Scala Theater and in places around Chelsea. According to the production documents, Marlene Dietrich's wardrobe is said to have been designed by Christian Dior . According to the New York Times , cameraman Jack Haste is said to have used the same self-propelled crane and special camera that was used on a corpse in Hitchcock's thriller Cocktail .

For the first time, Hitchcock's daughter Patricia can be seen in a film: She played the role of Chubby Bannister and doubled Jane Wyman several times. With the exception of Jane Wyman, the only American on the cast list, and Marlene Dietrich, who was born in Germany, only high-ranking British actors were at the start. Stage Fright was Hitchcock's last film made in England until the 1971 film Frenzy .

Marlene Dietrich had a love affair with Michael Wilding at the time of shooting. Die Dietrich gave one of her best performances as Charlotte Inwood. The role was also ideal for her in that it gave her the opportunity to sing. Edith Piaf , a friend of Dietrich's, allowed her to use her song La Vie en rose . The song The Laziest Gal in Town , written by Cole Porter for Dietrich, led to difficulties with the Hays Code due to sexual innuendo , whereupon a new verse was created. Marlene Dietrich wrote in her biography that Hitchcock had food flown in from America because the food in London was still strictly rationed. After filming, he invited Jane Wyman and her to dinner for a princely party. These meals were the only contact outside of the studio, since Hitchcock, like many geniuses, kept people at a distance.

Jane Wyman, who was unable to develop a real relationship with Hitchcock, found it difficult to play an unattractive maid. She had just received an Oscar for best actress for her performance in the drama Silent Lips . Years later, Hitchcock revealed to François Truffaut that Wyman burst into tears every time she saw herself next to the glamorous Dietrich and couldn't accept how she should look and always improved her appearance, which didn't make her feel managed to preserve the character of the figure.

Movie title

The German title is misleading: A “Rote Lola” does not appear during the entire film. Presumably it should be a reference to Marlene Dietrich's role as Lola in the 1930 film The Blue Angel . Selwyn Jepson's novel Man Running first appeared from August 9 to September 13, 1947 as a sequel to Collier's Weekly .


The film varies Hitchcock's repeatedly chosen theme of the innocent persecuted ( The 39 Levels , Saboteurs , The Invisible Third ) in such a way that the supposed hero turns out to be guilty in the end. The flashback at the beginning of the film, in which Jonathan Cooper tells his fiancée Eve Gill how Charlotte Inwood killed her husband, turns out to be a lie at the end of the film. This “cinematic lie” was used five years earlier in Edgar G. Ulmer's film Detour and is now an established stylistic device; several very successful films are based on this device (e.g. The Usual Suspects (1995) or Identity (2003)).

Music in the film

  • The Laziest Gal in Town by Cole Porter , Lecture: Marlene Dietrich and a men's quartet
    The song was written by Cole Porter especially for Marlene Dietrich, who made it one of her distinctive songs, which she sang again and again at her performances in nightclubs.
  • La vie en rose by Louiguy, lecture: Marlene Dietrich
  • Eve's Rhapsody by Leighton Lucas, played on the piano
  • Love Is Lyrical (Whisper Sweet Little Nothing to Me) by Mischa Spoliansky , lecture: Marlene Dietrich
  • Sobre las olas (Over the Waves) by Juventino Rosas ,
    played when Jonathan leaves his car and goes to Charlotte's house
  • Spring Song , op. 62 No. 6 by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy ,
    played on the accordion by Eve's father
  • In Grandma's Day by Dave Stamper and Gene Buck , sung by a choir
    after Charlotte left the stage

Publication, success

The film premiered on February 23, 1950 in New York, and on April 15 it was generally shown in American cinemas. In 1950 it was also published in the following countries: Canada (Montreal), the United Kingdom (London), Switzerland (at the Locarno Film Festival ), Finland, Portugal and Sweden. On September 1, 1950, he was seen for the first time in Germany in the West Berlin Astor Film Theater. The West German television premiere took place on July 11, 1970, the East German on December 18, 1981. In Austria it was also published under the title Die Rote Lola .

In 1951 the film was released in Australia, France, Denmark and Mexico. In 1961 it started in Madrid, Spain. It was shown in 2003 in Greece and in May 2015 at the Cannes Film Festival . It has also been published in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Hungary, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, the Soviet Union, Turkey and Yugoslavia.

The film wasn't a huge hit.

On November 5, 2004 Warner Home Video released the film with a German soundtrack on DVD.


Hitchcock turns and sees Eve in her disguise as Charlotte's maid.

See also: cameo


Because of the opening scene, the film sparked controversy among contemporary critics, some of whom labeled it a dishonest crime film.

Bosley Crowther of the New York Times believed that Alfred Hitchcock had chosen the fascinating milieu of the London theater world for his latest thriller "Stage Fright" and had managed, together with his writers, to provide a good cast with some nifty and entertaining things. However, the film offers rather a wild accumulation of colorful episodes and also not the tension that one normally expects in a Hitchcock film. One of the real joys of the film is watching Alistair Sim in his father role. The film is strikingly theatrical, but anything but scary.

Dennis Schwartz of Ozus' World Movie Reviews also said the film was hardly scary. Although it is a film that deserves praise and shows Hitchcock's special humor, it is not too difficult to find out who the culprit is in the initially mysterious story. The incomparable Marlene Dietrich is simply delicious in her role. Jane Wyman is acceptable in her role as a virgin in need, but doesn't really sparkle like a Grace Kelly . Schwartz said that the film between Hitchcock's psychodrama Slave of the Heart and his thriller The Stranger on the Train was just as good, if not better, than both.

The tz Munich wrote at the time: "One of the schlitzohrigsten films of the master Hitchcock".

The lexicon of international films stated: “Relatively weak, because conventional crime thriller by Hitchock. Some roles are wrongly filled, tension rarely arises. Instead, the film irritates with a nested flashback plot that, in retrospect, turns out to be a lie. "

The Protestant film observer, however, found: "Lovers of Hitchcock films get their money's worth when it comes to intelligent suspense."


1950 - Locarno International Film Festival


  • Robert A. Harris, Michael S. Lasky: Alfred Hitchcock and his films (= Goldmann 10201 Goldmann magnum. Citadel film books ). Edited by Joe Hembus . Goldmann, Munich 1979, ISBN 3-442-10201-4 (Original title: The Films of Alfred Hitchcock. ).
  • François Truffaut : Mr. Hitchcock, how did you do it? . Heyne, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-453-86141-8

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Stage Fright see original print info at - Turner Classic Movies (English)
  2. a b c Stage Fright see Notes at (English)
  3. The red Lola see IMDb. As of Jan. 22, 2009.
  4. ^ Robert A. Harris, Michael S. Lasky: Alfred Hitchcock and his films . Ed .: Joe Hembus. Original edition. Wilhelm Goldmann Verlag, Munich 1976.
  5. a b c d Stage Fright see Articles at (English)
  6. The red Lola ill. DVD case (in the picture: Michael Wilding, Marlene Dietrich, Jane Wyman)
  7. Bosley Crowther : The Screen in Review; "Stage Fright", New Hitchcock Picture Made in England, Arrives at Music Hall In: The New York Times , February 24, 1950 (English). Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  8. Dennis Schwartz: “Stage Fright” is hardly frightening. sS (English). Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  9. The red Lola. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed October 25, 2018 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  10. Die Rote Lola , Review No. 237/1950