IMDb > Vertigo (1958) > Parents Guide
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Parents Guide for
Vertigo (1958) More at IMDbPro »

The content of this page was created directly by users and has not been screened or verified by IMDb staff.
Since the beliefs that parents want to instill in their children can vary greatly, we ask that, instead of adding your personal opinions about what is right or wrong in a film, you use this feature to help parents make informed viewing decisions by describing the facts of relevant scenes in the title for each one of the different categories: Sex and Nudity, Violence and Gore, Profanity, Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking, and Frightening/Intense Scenes.
Visit our Parents Guide Help to learn more

Sex & Nudity

WARNING: Parents' guides sometimes contain spoilers. VERTIGO, in particular, contains many surprises, which this guide may reveal.

There is no sex or nudity. There is, however, passionate kissing. It is implied that the two main characters sleep together out of wedlock. (The man is unmarried; the woman is--or seems to be--his friend's wife.)

The protagonist's obsession with a dead woman makes his actions in the second half of the film seem necrophilic. But this perversion is never made explicit.

The main character cajoles a woman into changing her appearance in order to look more like his dead lover. There is nothing explicit in the scenes but the director described it as a "reverse strip tease" since there is a clear sexual component to his desire.

Violence & Gore

The violence is not explicit. There is no gore.

In the opening scene, we see a policeman fall to his death from a rooftop, while a police detective (the protagonist) hangs by a gutter, barely escaping his own fall.

Madeleine (the female lead) attempts suicide by jumping into San Francisco Bay. Later, she successfully kills herself by jumping from a tower. (But it turns out that the attempt at suicide was faked and the successful suicide was really a homicide.)

Again, the violence of these scenes is in no way explicit.



Early in the film, Scottie (the protagonist) makes a joking reference to drowning his troubles in alcohol. As the film progresses, there is an unstressed suggestion that he really does.

At the opening of the movie, we see a woman's eye with a swirling vortex in the pupil.

In the opening scene, we see a policeman fall to his death from a rooftop, while a police detective (the protagonist) hangs by a gutter, barely escaping his own fall. We never find out how the detective was saved, a bit of ambiguity a child could find troubling.

We see (or seem to see) a suicide attempt, a suicide and two accidental deaths by falling. The protagonist's vertigo is caused by acrophobia, a fear that the viewer is drawn to identify with and feel. We "see" the protagonist's vertigo from his point of view--this is accomplished with a disorienting camera trick that could be frightening.

The female lead seems to be going mad. Later, the protagonist does go mad after a nightmare about falling; at one point he falls into a grave.

The male and female lead are having a passionate verbal fight. In the end the woman is scared by the appearance of a nun and falls to her death from the bell tower.

Scenes in the second half of the film where the male lead forces his girlfriend to change her appearance are fairly emotionally intense.

Suggested MPAA rating: PG for some violence, sensuality and thematic elements. Recommended for 11 and up.

Page last updated by OneMovieLover, 7 months ago
Top 5 Contributors: J. Spurlin, picasso2, James_Yang-1, remerkwehttam, jondaman816

Argentina:13 / Australia:PG / Brazil:14 / Canada:PG (Manitoba/Ontario) / Canada:13+ (Quebec) / Canada:14 (Nova Scotia) (re-rating) (1997) / Canada:G (Nova Scotia) (original rating) (1983) / Finland:K-12 (1995) / Finland:K-16 (1958) / France:U / Germany:12 (DVD rating) / Iceland:12 (1984) / Italy:VM14 / Netherlands:12 / Norway:16 (original rating) / Norway:11 (re-rating) (1997) / Portugal:M/12 / Spain:T / Sweden:15 (original rating) / Sweden:11 (re-release) (1984) / UK:A (original rating) / UK:PG (tv rating) / UK:PG (re-rating) (2012) / UK:PG (video rating: DVD audio commentary) (2005) / UK:PG (video rating) (1988) (2000) / USA:Approved (PCA #18867) / USA:TV-PG (TV rating) / USA:PG (re-rating) (1983) / West Germany:12 (f) (re-rating) / West Germany:16 (nf) (original rating)

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