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Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Produced in 1958
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - American film
Hitchcock's most richly complex, profound and critically admired masterpiece, Vertigo is a wonderfully mysterious and dream-like study of obsession, phobia, sexual desire and identity. Blessed with memorable photography, San Francisco locations and Bernard Herrmann's music, it rewards countless viewings.
After his fear of heights indirectly causes the death of a colleague, San Francisco cop Scottie (James Stewart) retires. He is subsequently hired by magnate Gavin Elster to follow his wife, Madeleine (Kim Novak), as Elster says he fears for her life. Scottie becomes bewitched by Madeleine, falling in love with her after saving her from a suicide attempt. Then, when Scottie's vertigo prevents him saving Madeleine from a second attempt to kill herself, he becomes obsessed with recreating the dead woman's image.
Publisher: Universal Pictures
Length: 124 mins
Aspect ratio: 1.85 Anamorphic Wide Screen
Format: DVD Colour
Released: 17th October 2005
Cat No: 8236211
Subtitles: Subtitles (French, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Czech, Slovak, Norwegian, Dutch, Polish), Subtitles for hard of hearing (English)
- Obsessed With Vertigo.
by Barry Forshaw on 24th November 2008
Recommendations for one of the great Hitchcock masterpieces, of course, are unnecessary. But there are some compelling reasons for buying this latest incarnation of th... Read on
Recommendations for one of the great Hitchcock masterpieces, of course, are unnecessary. But there are some compelling reasons for buying this latest incarnation of the film. The Universal Vertigo 50th anniversary edition release boasts a slew of tempting extras (it's a two disc set) including a commentary with the associate producer, several totally new ‘making of’ documentaries. It is, one might say, the definitive edition. Hide
by Anon on 29th November 1999
If North by Northwest is close to flawless, then Vertigo is a reminder that films can prove still more rewarding when they are risky and unnerving as well as displayin... Read on
If North by Northwest is close to flawless, then Vertigo is a reminder that films can prove still more rewarding when they are risky and unnerving as well as displaying consumate artistry (a good film may exhibit one or the other of these characteristics, a great film has both). Hitchcock, in common with many filmmakers, seemed in many of his films to be searching for the reason why he had opted to be a director- for he was not blind to the darker motivations inherent in this mode of audience manipulation and the encouragement it gives to our voyeuristic inclinations. Being Hitch, he would never allow this darker side to surface sufficiently to incur open hostility (as Powell suffered with 'Peeping Tom'). But Vertigo comes close. Comfortably, Hitch's most disturbing work and his most thought-provoking. However, voyeurism is a theme common to many Hitchcock movies. What Vertigo adds is a complex study of memory - how it functions, how we can become prisoners of our own memories - how easy it is to lose our balance and slip. It is no surprise that the film performed poorly at the box office upon release, that it was the French who were in the vanguard of restoring its reputation and that it finds increasing favour with filmmakers and atists alike (notably Chris Marker's Sans Soleil). Finally, look at Vertigo for its scene pairings. The first scene of a pair will act as a prelude to its revisiting later in the movie (like a slow movement to a faster movement in a concerto). As an example take the scene in which Novak emerges from Stewart's bedroom after he rescues her from the bay. Now compare that scene (in its lay-out, camera movement and music) with the one much later in which she emerges from the bathroom, bathed in green light. The emotion awakened in the first scene reaches its 'consumation' in the subsequent scene - a repeat of the first but with suitably heightened effect. Hide
by DavidLeanFan on 22nd May 2009
Vertigo is one of Hitchcocks greatest and most suspensfull films. Charged with mystery and spine tingling moments of macabre terror, the story line never ceases to ama... Read on
Vertigo is one of Hitchcocks greatest and most suspensfull films. Charged with mystery and spine tingling moments of macabre terror, the story line never ceases to amaze, and, in places, confuse. All becomes clear in the end though.One of the most famous endings in film history. The fantastic twist of a murder plot, and the tragic loss of 'Madeleine' all contribute to this brilliant peice of cinema.The film is gilded with irony, and some heart wrenching moments as Jimmy Stewart's Scottie begins to change Judy into Madeleine and refuses to love her for who she is. A chilling and tragic film that deserves a five star rating. Hide
Sight and Sound 2012 - Top 50 Greatest Films 49 films
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