Vertigo (1958) – Alfred Hitchcock

acaeb-vertigomovie*May Contain Spoilers!

Vertigo is an intriguing Hitchcock thriller, set in San Francisco, that has you cheering for Jimmy Stewart as he falls in love and struggles with his fear of heights. Right away you are met with the haunting opening credits and the dramatic opening sequence where Scottie (Stewart) acquires his vertigo. From then on Scottie must cope with his dizzying condition however, he has no time to remedy it since he suddenly finds himself tailing a beautiful woman for a friend. Much of the rest of the film seems surreal with minimal dialogue and interesting cinematography, leading up to the death of Madaleine (Kim Novak). Then the film switches gears and is mostly about the impact on Scottie who had become infatuated with Madaleine. Often he appears to be in a trance and he becomes obsessive after meeting Judy who looks strikingly like Elster’s dead wife. Scottie becomes controlling, trying to make Judy into the image of the woman he loved. She just wants him to love her for who she is but that cannot be. Fittingly, the film ends the way it began with drama and tragedy. This certainly is a fascinating view of human psychology and complex emotions. In order to appreciate this film it is almost necessary to watch it at least twice, once to understand the plot and then another time to spot the little details. Of all of Hitchcock’s work, I would say I still enjoy Rear Window or North by Northwest better but this film at least deserves a viewing or two.

5/5 Stars

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