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Vertigo (1958)

Approved  |   |  Mystery, Romance, Thriller  |  1958 (UK)
8.4
Your rating:
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 212,261 users  
Reviews: 643 user | 187 critic

A retired San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend's wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Samuel Taylor) , 3 more credits »
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Title: Vertigo (1958)

Vertigo (1958) on IMDb 8.4/10

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Top 250 #68 | Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Scottie's Doctor
...
Konstantin Shayne ...
Pop Leibel
Lee Patrick ...
Car Owner Mistaken for Madeleine
Edit

Storyline

Former Police detective John "Scottie" Ferguson was asked by a friend to investigate his wife named Madeleine since he was afraid that she might attempt to kill herself due to probable insanity as she thinks that she might be possessed by a dead woman. Scottie agrees and ended up falling in love with her. Unfortunately for him, Madeleine died and he was left alone until a woman named Judy came along and things start to unfold.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Hitchcock thriller. You should see it from the beginning! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1958 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

'Vertigo'  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,479,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,486,818 (USA) (22 November 1996)

Gross:

$3,200,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1996 restored)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.50 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Costume designer Edith Head and director Alfred Hitchcock worked together to give Madeleine's clothing an eerie appearance. Her trademark grey suit was chosen for its colour because they thought it seemed odd for a blonde woman to be wearing all grey. Also, they added the black scarf to her white coat because of the odd contrast. See more »

Goofs

When Judy and Scottie are talking to the man in the bookshop, the pens in the mans jacket pocket change position and the cigarette burns down far too quick. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Officer on rooftop: Give me your hand. Give me your hand.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is no end title on this film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Grosse Pointe: Passion Fish (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 34 in C K. 338, 2nd Movement, Andante di Molto (piu tosto allegretto)
(uncredited)
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Played as 'cue 10B' on a record in the psychiatric ward
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Let there be color!
26 January 2005 | by (Austria) – See all my reviews

Since there are already so many real good comments on this film I want to focus on only one aspect.

Vertigo is a great example for what color films really can look like! Not only do I want to praise the quality of the Technicolor dye transfer prints but also more the way Hitchcock used color to create moods. Many directors used light to create moods in black and white movies but only very few ever got so far as to use the much greater palette of colors for the same purpose. One wonders why. Some directors decide for an overall color look, which is often done in the lab, but not on the set.

Vertigo is full of scenes where the colors have been saturated or changed to create a special feeling. Hitchcock even went so far as to openly dye some frames is bright unnatural colors. He played around with colors in all his color films but never as much as in this one. Think for example on James Stewart's nightmare in the middle of the film. There are frames dyed purple and green; the cemetery scenes are red, inserted to the rhythm of the music with normal frames. Kim Novak is often bathed in colored light like in the famous hotel room scene, where she appears like a ghost with all the green light around her.

The shading is also important. In the scene in the bookshop we hear a dark and sad story while at the same time the light dimes down to simulate dusk. In the scene where Judy remembers the real events in the bell tower it starts with an outdoor scene, which we have already seen but it is now much darker than the first time. In the sequence where Stewart follows Novak to the cemetery everything feels unnatural since every scene glows through the use of a filter that creates a blur.

The non-color of Kim Novak's dress as Madeleine is also a very important aspect in the film. She has to color her hair to become Madeleine again at the end of the picture.

The way color is used in this film gives it this dreamlike quality that allows endless interpretations. A true masterpiece!


19 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Did Hitchcock really blame Jimmy Stewart for the failure of the film? FilmKoala
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