A boat has been destroyed, criminals are dead, and the key to this mystery lies with the only survivor and his twisted, convoluted story beginning with five career crooks in a seemingly random police lineup.
John "Scottie" Ferguson is a retired San Francisco police detective who suffers from acrophobia and Madeleine is the lady who leads him to high places. A wealthy shipbuilder who is an acquaintance from college days approaches Scottie and asks him to follow his beautiful wife, Madeleine. He fears she is going insane, maybe even contemplating suicide, because she believes she is possessed by a dead ancestor. Scottie is skeptical, but agrees after he sees the beautiful Madeleine. Written by
John Ferren, the artist for the "Nightmare Sequence" design, also painted the pivotal "Portrait of Carlotta" that transfixes the main characters of the film. Production Designer Henry Bumstead did the joke one of Carlotta with Midge's head. Ferren also did a portrait of Vera Miles when she was to play the Kim Novak role. See more »
The ice cubes in Gavin and Scottie's drinks disappear. See more »
In Boileau-Narcejac's French novel "D'Entre les Morts"= from among the Dead"),the revelation only comes in the last pages,but Hitchcock lets the cat out of the bag long before the end. Boileau-Narcejac's novel is a pure detective story,but the Master wanted more:the movie already outdistances the book in a first part visually wonderful,with memorable scenes,wrapped in mystery ,such as the one with the sequoia,symbol of immortality or the one down by the sea,to rival with the best romantic movies of all time.In the second part,Hitchcock explains in the Truffaut's book,we know but Scottie( James Stewart) does not .And he tries to recreate a dead woman,to transform Judy into Madeleine.This folie à deux ends where the first tragedy occurred ,which gives the movie a strength that the book had not.Read it and you'll realize how its end ,speaking in terms of cinema,had to be modified for the screen.That's Hitchcock's genius.
When Boileau/Narcejac learned that Hitchcock wanted to transfer "Celle Qui N'Etait PLus " (=les Diaboliques" )to the screen,they immediately wrote "D'Entre les Morts " on the same pattern for Hitchcock to direct.
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