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Vertigo (1958)

Approved  |   |  Mystery, Romance, Thriller  |  1958 (UK)
Your rating:
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 224,208 users  
Reviews: 657 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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Title: Vertigo (1958)

Vertigo (1958) on IMDb 8.4/10

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Top 250 Movies #70 | 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


The most intense SUSPENSE.....EXCITEMENT....EMOTION ever generated by a motion picture! 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?


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 »


After Madeleine has talked to Scotty outside his flat and got into her car, a pedestrian is just about to cross the street in the background. The camera cuts back to Scotty following her immediately, but the pedestrian has disappeared. See more »


[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 »


Sardis #4
(Forever Female), from Skylark (1941) (Poochie)
Composed by Victor Young
Orchestrated by Gus Levene
Played as 'cue 12D' by the orchestra while Scottie and Judy are dancing
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!

22 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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