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Vertigo by James Stewart
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Vertigo (original 1958; edition 2006)

by James Stewart (Actor), Kim Novak (Actor), Barbara Bel Geddes (Actor), Tom Hellmore (Actor), Henry Jones (Actor)8 more, Raymond Bailey (Actor), Ellen Corby (Actor), Konstantin Shayne (Actor), Lee Patrick (Actor), Paul Bryar (Actor), Tom Helmore (Actor), Alfred Hitchcock (Director), Alfred Hitchcock (Producer)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
290569,914 (4.14)11
Scottie Ferguson, a San Francisco police detective is forced to retire when a freak accident gives him a severe case of acrophobia. Ferguson is hired by a rich shipbuilder to follow his wife who is behaving suspiciously and might be planning suicide. He falls in love with her, she is later murdered and Ferguson becomes demonic in his desire to re-create her in another woman.… (more)
Member:sfilibrary
Title:Vertigo
Authors:James Stewart (Actor)
Other authors:Kim Novak (Actor), Barbara Bel Geddes (Actor), Tom Hellmore (Actor), Henry Jones (Actor), Raymond Bailey (Actor)7 more, Ellen Corby (Actor), Konstantin Shayne (Actor), Lee Patrick (Actor), Paul Bryar (Actor), Tom Helmore (Actor), Alfred Hitchcock (Director), Alfred Hitchcock (Producer)
Info:(2006)
Collections:Movies
Rating:
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Vertigo [1958 film] by Alfred Hitchcock (Director) (1958)

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CHECK SHELVES
  VPALib | Mar 6, 2019 |
Vertigo (1958)

James Stewart – John “Scottie” Ferguson
Kim Novak – Madeleine Elster / Judy Barton
Barbara Bel Geddes – Midge Wood
Tom Helmore – Gavin Elster

Screenplay: Alec Coppel and Samuel A. Taylor, based on the novel D’Entre Les Morts by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac.
Director: Alfred Hitchcock.

Colour. 129 min.

===========================================

This is a well-deserved classic with but two flaws. Two very serious flaws! The first is that an essential part of the mystery is revealed, in a flashback, full half an hour before the end. This is a fundamental dramatic mistake. I don’t know why Hitchcock allowed it (if he could prevent it). I don’t understand why the screenwriters wrote it in the first place (if they did). Maybe a third party unfortunately interfered? You tell me. That flashback would surely have worked so much better in the end. The other flaw is the very end itself. It is as contrived and lurid as they come. It is much too sudden and it feels like something put there just for the sake of increasing the body count. It is thoroughly unconvincing. The tragic outcome is implied in the dialogue. We don’t need another corpse to confirm it. These flaws aside, this is as intense, atmospheric and gripping a mystery as you would expect from Hitchcock, beautifully shot in glorious colour (San Francisco has never looked better on the screen!), and with outstanding performances by the great Jimmy Stewart, the ravishing Kim Novak and the rather sinister Barbara Bel Geddes (twenty years before Dallas). ( )
1 vote Waldstein | Aug 28, 2017 |
A retired cop is hired to follow a woman whose husband claims she’s possessed.

Suspenseful, fairly unique, and unmistakably 1958. It’s kind of two different movies, one after the other. About two thirds of the way through the film, the first story comes to a climax, things twist around, and a new story starts in a different direction. The first time I saw it, that bothered me a lot, and I wasn't really able to get into the second story. Watching it a second time, it's like a completely different movie. The first section now seems like prolonged set-up to the second section - which, now that I'm not distracted by having the rug pulled out by Stewart's miscasting, I can appreciate as having some of Hitchcock's strongest moments.

Concept: B
Story: B
Characters: B
Dialog: B
Pacing: B
Cinematography: A
Special effects/design: B
Acting: B
Music: A

Enjoyment: A

GPA: 3.3/4 ( )
1 vote comfypants | Jan 10, 2016 |
Showing 3 of 3
As Hitchcock cuts back and forth between Novak's face (showing such pain, such sorrow, such a will to please) and Stewart's (in a rapture of lust and gratified control), we feel hearts being torn apart: They are both slaves of an image fabricated by a man who is not even in the room--Gavin, who created “Madeleine” as a device to allow himself to get away with the murder of his wife.

As Scottie embraces “Madeleine,” even the background changes to reflect his subjective memories instead of the real room he's in. Bernard Herrmann's score creates a haunting, unsettled yearning. And the camera circles them hopelessly, like the pinwheel images in Scottie's nightmares, until the shot is about the dizzying futility of our human desires, the impossibility of forcing life to make us happy. This shot, in its psychological, artistic and technical complexity, may be the one time in his entire career that Alfred Hitchcock completely revealed himself, in all of his passion and sadness. (Is it a coincidence that the woman is named Madeleine--the word for the French biscuit, which, in Proust, brings childhood memories of loss and longing flooding back?)
added by SnootyBaronet | editChicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert
 

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hitchcock, AlfredDirectorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Coppel, AlecScreenwritermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Taylor, Samuel A.Screenwritermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Bel Geddes, BarbaraActresssecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Helmore, TomActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Herrmann, BernardComposersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Novak, Kimsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stewart, JamesActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Only one is a wanderer; two together are always going somewhere.
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Scottie Ferguson, a San Francisco police detective is forced to retire when a freak accident gives him a severe case of acrophobia. Ferguson is hired by a rich shipbuilder to follow his wife who is behaving suspiciously and might be planning suicide. He falls in love with her, she is later murdered and Ferguson becomes demonic in his desire to re-create her in another woman.

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