An aspiring actress tries to clear her boyfriend of a murder charge in Stage Fright, a lesser-known thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
The film abruptly opens with acting student Eve Gill (Jane Wyman) and Jonathan Cooper (Richard Todd) driving frantically down the streets of London. Cooper hurriedly explains to Eve that his lover, famed actress Charlotte Inwood (Marlene Dietrich) murdered her abusive husband in self-defense, getting his blood on her dress in the process. She sent Cooper to her house to retrieve an alternate dress, and he took the opportunity to make it look like her husband had been killed by a burglar. Unfortunately, Nellie (Kay Walsh), Charlott'e dresser, caught him in the act, and he's now on the run. Eve has a thing for Cooper, despite his dalliance with another woman, and can't resist doing what she can to help him. She takes Cooper to her father (Alastair Sim), who owns a lakeside cabin, and they suspect that Charlotte set up Cooper to take the rap for her husband's murder. Eve decides to use her acting chops to prove Charlotte's guilt and Cooper's innocence by going undercover as a maid. This requires Eve bribing Nellie to take some time off and pass off Eve as her cousin. Eve's investigation leads her to spin a web of one lie after another in her hunt for the truth, ensnaring the persistent Detective Wilfred "Ordinary" Smith (Michael Wilding), who Eve is attracted to. As Eve struggles to keep her multiple charades a secret (with a blackmail threat by Nellie adding to the tension), it turns out she isn't the only one pretending to be something she's not.