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Vertigo (1958)

8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 191,970 users  
Reviews: 636 user | 184 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.

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Writers:

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

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Top 250 #67 | Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 July 1958 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

'Vertigo'  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,479,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$1,718,928 (USA) (20 December 1996)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1996 restored)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.50 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alfred Hitchcock had originally wanted to use his now-famous Vertigo zoom in Rebecca (1940), but due to lack of technology at that time he couldn't do it. The technique was inspired by a time when Hitchcock had fainted during a party. See more »

Goofs

When Madeleine wakes up in Scottie's bed, there are two chairs on either side of the doorway as Scottie exits his bedroom. When he re-enters the bedroom, one chair is missing and the other has moved. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

The opening Paramount logo is in black and white while the rest of the film, including the closing Paramount logo, is in Technicolor. 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

 
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.


282 of 371 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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I'll never understand... USAFmedicVET
What rating did you give for Vertigo? TwiZone
How did Scotty survive the opening rooftop? smullen1
Vertigo would have been better if this one thing were changed rdp32
For all those with the age hangup... supowell
Greatest Of All Time Because...? mail-2217
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