Vertigo (1958) Film Review

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DIRECTOR: Alfred Hitchcock

BOTTOM LINE: Voted by “Sight and Sound” as the greatest film of all time, “Vertigo” is Hitchcock’s masterpiece. Anchored by an astonishing performance by James Stewart as Scotty Ferguson, a private detective and ex-cop who suffers from vertigo (fear of heights) after a coworker fell to his death, it also boasts Kim Novak’s (taking over from the pregnant Vera Miles, much to Hitchcock’s chagrin) spectacular turn in the dual role of Judy/Madeleine, the obscure object of Scotty’s obsession. The film boasts Bernard Herrmann’s greatest and most haunting movie score. Kudos too, to Barbara Bel Geddes in the difficult and endlessly fascinating role of Midge, Scotty’s confidant. She knows him better than anyone, and obviously cares for him deeply, but always with a strangely maternal tone. It’s as if there had been something more between them in the past. A love poem to Hitchcock’s favorite city San Francisco, the movie is gorgeously photographed by Robert Burks who was Hitchcock’s cameraman from “Strangers on a Train” in 1951 to “Marnie” in 1964. Novak was also lovely in the movie “Bell, Book and Candle” which came out the same year.

Together with Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown” (1974), “Vertigo” is my all-time favorite movie.

POST TITLE: Hitchcock Made Seven Perfect Films.

CATEGORY: My Favorites

SUBCATEGORY: Hitchcock

STREAMING: AMAZON PRIME VIDEO, APPLE TV+ and YOU TUBE.

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