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Vertigo
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Reviews & Ratings for
Vertigo More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Veritgo

7/10
Author: dmcleod-805-330346
30 September 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A man's fear of heights lead to one woman falling off a church steeple, one woman purposely falling of the church steeple, and one man getting away with murder and stealing boat loads of money. But after I watched it the first time I said aloud, "What?"

Vertigo, explicitly based off of The Living and the Dead by Bolieau-Narcjac, is based in San Francisco. To avoid spoilers, and make the movie sound interesting, a retired detective follows his lover all the way to death. But throughout the movie, it's a piece of deception, not just for the affected main character but also to the audience. You are literally blindsided at the end due to a "emotional shock" episode.

But, don't get too comfortable when you watch the movie. There are moments of high suspense with extreme darkness and extreme light. There are also odd moments of excitement. Even with these odd moments, the ending is very abrupt. Even with the alternative ending, it didn't seemed fully complete. According to Turner Classic Movies, Hitchcock was never fully satisfied with the script. Three different writers re-wrote the movie till Hitchcock was the least dissatisfied.

Odd moments like Midge (Barbara Bel Geddes) leaving the psychiatric hospital talking to Scottie's (James Stewart) doctor and the "off" transition between her and the doctor was weird. After that, it was the last time we saw Midge. After Scottie left the hospital, it was never recognized again throughout the movie. Scottie's uncomfortably close watch of Madeline (Kim Novak.) Scottie's inquiries at Agory's Book Shop, the screen suddenly get dark, making you think the brightness on your device has had a lapse.

Aside from scenes, looking at the film again, the foreshadowing is overwhelmingly obvious. Elster's (Tom Helmore) calm mode talking about his wife's, Madeline psychotic episodes, Madeline's whore-ish attitude toward Scottie, the cover of the film, and the unveiling of the deception two-thirds into the film. Even when Elster's wife jumped into the bay, her "husband" didn't care. The acting did a sure fire justice to screenplay.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Hitchcock at his most unpredictable...

Author: Red_Identity from United States
6 September 2010

Vertigo is the 6th film I have seen from Hitchcock, and it is among his best. Where Psycho's first half completely turned the tables in the second half, Vertigo goes to have a resolution midway through the film. Since I had no idea of what the plot would be, it made it a bigger treat to see the film unravel the way it did. At first, I was skeptical whether the film could reach the amount of fame it has, but once the film was over I got it. It is a fabulous written film with amazing set locations, great performances at it's core, and unpredictable story lines. At the end of it all it remains probably one of Hitchcock's most simple films, but It has an aura and tone that is distinctive to the rest of his films that I have seen. I look forward to rewatching this film and as of now it ranks up in the top half of his filmography, but I don't think it has quite achieved the same level as Psycho (so far).

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Dizzy plot

7/10
Author: brefane from United States
21 July 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Considered by many to be Hitchcock's masterpiece, Vertigo is overrated and not really one of Hitchcock's best films. Great, even good films, get better with repeated viewings, but not Vertigo. Despite Bernard Hermann's seductive score, excellent cinematography by Robert Burks, an interesting set up, and a story replete with Hitchcok's ironies and themes subsequent viewings make Gavin Elster's convoluted plot to murder his wife with Stewart's Scottie as an unwitting witness seems utterly preposterous, and impossible to pull off and stage. Surely, there are easier ways to get away with murder! And so much time is spent setting Scottie up for the fall that in retrospect much of it seems gratuitous. The overcomplicated murder plot recalls Hitchcok's stiff and stagy, Dial M for Murder(54). The plotting rather than the execution makes Vertigo inferior Hitchcock even though in many respects it's his most personal and audacious film. Much of the dialog between Stewart and Novak's Madelaine is awkward and tedious, and unnecessarily drawn out; one of the film's best sequences employs virtually no dialog. Both Saul Bass' animated dream sequence and Barbara Bel Geddes' Madge feel unnecessary as well. Nonetheless, Vertigo is an interesting film with the parts being better than the whole, and the less you know about it the better. Novak's wispy persona was never better suited to a film role, and Stewart's pale blue eyes are downright vertiginous. Recommended.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Easily, One of Hitchcock's Best

10/10
Author: Scars_Remain from United States
22 March 2008

Every time I see this movie, it totally blows me away and leaves me with chills. It's very rare that a movie has that kind of effect on me. I could watch it over and over and not get sick of it because it's one of those movies where you pick up on new things every time you see it. It truly is one of the most brilliant films of all time.

Jimmy Stewart rules, like always. I would say that he may be the greatest actor in history and put together with Hitchcock, he definitely couldn't go wrong. The story is perfectly crafted and a bit complex so be sure to pay attention when you see it. I cannot recommend this movie enough and you won't know what I'm talking about until you see it for yourself.

Vertigo is a film that fully consumes the viewer. Any movie fan needs to see it. I tell you the truth!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely hypnotic

10/10
Author: aernest from United States
23 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Can't add much to what has already been said except that this movie is absolutely hypnotic, primarily due to the lush music and photography. A fourth star of the movie might be the city of San Francisco, which never looked better! Barbara Bel Geddes is also quite a standout as Midge - that look she gives Jimmy when he says that SHE broke up with HIM - what the heck is that? I've never figured it out.It's almost as if Hitch wants the audience to suspect her, too! Stewart's much-debated age works for him, I think, adding a pathos that might otherwise not be there. Bel Geddes might have thought she had the confirmed middle-aged bachelor by default, and when he thinks he's found true love, it's rather pathetic how vulnerable he becomes. My favorite Hitchcock by a mile!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

everything one would expect from Hitchcock

9/10
Author: arthera09 from United States
23 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The only reason I do not give this movie a 10 is kind of the same reason why I did not give the graduate a 10. It is because the love story felt totally uninspired. Maybe they also kissed differently back then, but when Scotty kisses Judy when she dresses up like Madaline again it does not seem very passionate. Other than that the movie was amazing. I don't think I have seen the lighting trick in any other movie used as effectively as in this movie. When Scotty is learning about the history of Carlotta and the scene just gets dark is a great scene. Somehow the story seems like a standard affair in terms of plots for modern movies, but Hitchcock manages to make it an edge of your seat thriller. Jimmy Stewart did an amazing job as allows and the end it seems as if he just may have it in him to kill Judy. He manages to shed his nice guy persona and is downright scary. There is nothing better than watching a classic film and seeing where the greats get their motivation for making great movies. I have to say that I did love the dream sequence and the look in his face is possibly one of the best reaction shots to a dream. I do not know why movies are just not better written now a days. There was some quick dialog that you do not get in movies like this. It is hard to imagine not falling in love the type of characters that Jimmy Stewart portrays because they just don't make actors like him anymore. If you gave him the lines all you needed to do was put a camera on him. I also liked how they did not show what happened after Judy killed herself because I would like to think of him falling back into despair, but the fact that it is left up to the viewer shows a level of respect to the viewer that one does not see anymore. Jimmy Stewarts up and downs in the movie could not have been done better and seeing him in his most pathetic is really a testament of how good of an actor he is. Overall great movie and it is great to watch the masters at work doing what they do best.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A Work of Art

10/10
Author: john-basileo from United States
21 February 2008

I'm not sure I can adequately express what I feel about this film. It's hypnotic, almost surreal. Does anyone else think that? Maybe it's the way it was shot, or the score, or the actors but the net effect on me is that I'm watching a movie but I'm also watching something more than just a movie. It's almost like you're viewing a work of art, something not unlike a great painting or piece of sculpture. And no matter how many times you view it, it still has a profound effect on you.

This feeling is something you either get or don't get. I know all sorts of people who say it's boring or it's tedious or it's not believable. These are the ones who don't "get it." But it's like someone else's comment here about the film....see it 20 times and you'll come to realize how magnificent it is. To compare Vertigo to North by Northwest is preposterous. I love NBNW but Vertigo is Hitchcock's crowning achievement. Many claim it's the greatest movie ever made and I'm not prepared to argue with them.

Another thought....the scene where Judy emerges from the bathroom, now totally transformed by Scotty back into Madeleine, and bathed in the soft green neon light of the hotel sign, and with Herrmann's leitmotif, played heretofore in various unfulfilled versions, now fully realized and climaxed....well, this is unquestionably the most beautifully spine-tingling moment in the history of film.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Hitchcock's exquisitely mysterious masterpiece.

10/10
Author: galileo3 from United Kingdom
18 February 2008

Vertigo (1958)

Number 1 - 1958

Top 5 - 1950s

Top 100 - All Time

Vertigo displays Sir Alfred Hitchcock's mastery to frighten, surprise and tantalise at its highest level - this is a triumph not only in its genre but as a cinematic landmark in creative, modern cinematic attitudes.

Of course, like most of Hitchcock's films,Vertigo, upon its release it was met with mixed reviews.

Variety magazine said said the film showed Hitchcock's "mastery", but was too long and slow for "what is basically only a psychological murder mystery". However as time passed, Vertigo was met with vigorous excitement and favourability and has since become a classic, analysed and re-analysed so many times.

The story of an acrophobic detective (James Stewart), who retires from the force and is later hired by a wealthy businessman to observe his wife's bizarre behaviour, claiming that she might be possessed. However, the truth is far from that as John 'Scottie' Ferguson realises as time passes and in true Hitchcockian fashion, the ride is thrilling from start to finish.

Cinematic excellence, one of Hitchcock's finest films, highly recommended.

10/10

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

a masterpiece!!!

10/10
Author: (tonydudas@sbcglobal.net) from United States
17 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Vertigo" is my favorite movie. Is it the best movie ever made? Perhaps not. It is more of a work of art from Hitchcock and, as been noted by others, a very personal film. This film is about compulsion, obsession and of having , what is to Scotty, the ideal woman in his grasp, only to lose her in tragic circumstances. It is also about guilt, bereavement and murder. Even after Madeleine's death, Scotty cannot let it go. He continues to search for a "dead" woman. He is almost willing to go to any lengths to recapture what was lost. But as the old saying goes..."be careful what you wish for"?

Hitchcock's direction and screen composition is right on. The art direction and color schemes are fantastic. The setting and filming of San Francisco, magnificent. The performances are fantastic all around. However, despite all of the above, the one factor which really sets this film apart as a "classic" is the Hermann score. It is truly great and captures and adds to the mood and tone of this film in all of its facets.

This film should definitely be rated higher on this site. I guess without constant explosions, shootings, car chases and other myriad CGI effects todays audiences could not sit through this movie. To watch this film is to watch a master at his craft during the height of his creative genius. A definite 10!!!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

What a brilliant film

10/10
Author: triumph_of_the_bugle from Australia
8 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I absolutely love Hitchcock- believe me, I have never seen one of his films and been bored. But yet this film, which seems so complicated when you first see it, stands out.

The acting is not particularly brilliant, and the plot seems so clustered to work- but Hitchcock pulls this film off to perfection. For me, this is one of the best films ever- and indeed for a lot of others. James Stewart plays his reliable, good guy character- but something about his character is so unsettling. The way his actions mirror Hitchcock's own.

You can never stop analyzing this film and its never ending meanings- sure, it may be jam-packed full of phallic imagery and clever metaphors, but it is a great movie before you even try and delve into its hidden meanings. While some people might not find the movie interesting, they might think it is predictable- thats because this film is so classic that it has been copied a hundred times.

If you die without seeing this film your life was incomplete- definitely a must-see!

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