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Vertigo (1958)

Approved  |   |  Mystery, Romance, Thriller  |  1958 (UK)
Your rating:
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 227,960 users  
Reviews: 662 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.



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Samuel Taylor) , 3 more credits »
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Top Rated Movies #69 | Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


Alfred Hitchcock engulfs you in a whirlpool of terror and tension! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1958 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

'Vertigo'  »

Box Office


$2,479,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$3,200,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (1996 restored)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.50 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Visa d'exploitation en France #21096 See more »


When the manager of the McKittrick Hotel first appears we hear her say, "Yes?" to Scottie off screen, and in the next shot a moment later we see her mouth the word without any sound. See more »


[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 »


Referenced in House M.D.: Airborne (2007) See more »


Symphony No. 34 in C K. 338, 2nd Movement, Andante di Molto (piu tosto allegretto)
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

A Standard Rave
10 July 2002 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

Starting in 1958, Alfred Hitchcock directed a remarkable sequence of films in a row, each of them a classic; Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959), Psycho (1960) and The Birds (1963). Never has a director made four such genuinely great movies in such a short space of time, either before or since.

The pick of this high standard bunch is undoubtedly Vertigo. From the opening titles, with their circling spiral imagery, to the dramatic final scene this is a movie that takes you to a different time and place. Specifically, to a San Francisco of the past; full of deserted parks, discrete rooming houses, oddly menacing art galleries and florists where the customers enter and exit through the back door. Through this landscape wanders Jimmy Stewart, towering in the lead roll as a former detective recently retired after a bungled arrest leaves him with chronic vertigo. Plot machinations lead him to the alluring Kim Novak (one of Hitchcock's famous "blondes"), the young wife of a friend who has started behaving rather oddly.

"To reveal more," as Leonard Maltin wrote, "would be unthinkable."

While the performances of Novak and Stewart are memorable, the movie is really set apart by the intelligent script and the stylistic touches provided by the director. Hitchcock is in his very best form creating hypnotic scenes and a general sense of unease and dread in even the most banal of situations. He is aided in this by the wonderful score of Bernard Herrman. A particular favourite of mine is the extended (largely silent) segment where Stewart follows Novak for the first time. Nothing much happens, but the atmosphere of these scenes is enough to keep you on the edge of your seat!

One of the all-time greats. They definitely don't make them like this anymore.

292 of 377 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Horrible nun and horrible ending HeavyDutyMan
My absolute favorite movie of all time chrismeyers2k1
Anyone else absolutely love the atmosphere in Vertigo? TwiZone
The McKittrick hotel scene Chetan_anand
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What rating did you give for Vertigo? TwiZone
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