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, as he believes she has been possessed by a dead ancestor who committed suicide. Scottie is skeptical, but agrees to the assignment after he sees the beautiful Madeleine.Written by
Madeleine enters her hotel without being seen by the desk clerk, and disappears from her room only moments after Scottie sees her standing in the window. The audience is allowed to believe that this is a manifestation of the supernatural, specifically Madeleine's possession by a dead ancestor, but that is later proven to be untrue. See more »
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 »
An addition to the ending was made for some European coutries due to certain laws prohibiting a film from letting a "bad guy" get away at the end of a film. In the new ending, after Scottie looks down from the belltower (the original ending) there is a shot of Midge sitting next to a radio listening to reports of police tracking down Gavin Elster. As Midge turns off the radio the news flash also reports that 3 Berkeley students got caught bringing a cow up the stairs of a campus building. Scottie enters the room, looks at Midge plainly, and then looks out a window. Midge makes two drinks and gives one to Scottie. It ends with both of them looking out the window. This ending can be found on the restoration laserdisc. See more »
There are no accidents here. Next year, in a few weeks, Vertigo will be 60 years old and it will celebrate it on top of the list of The Greatest Films Ever Made overtaking Citizen Kane and many other masterpieces. Why? Maybe when a filmmaker of Hitchcock's greatness taps into his own unconscious and reveals himself. By now we know enough about Hitchcock the man to know he was obsessed in finding that woman who'll look and behave just the way he wants and once he find them, they are destroyed to then embark on a quest to replace or duplicate her. Vera Miles was suppose to be the object of James Stewart's obsession and she opted for motherhood instead. Kim Novak replaced her and her coldness and detachment worked beautifully here. Barbara Bel Geddes the real woman who loves him he doesn't even notice, his focus is in the impossible.The magic touch in Vertigo is truly Bernard Herrmann. Try to see Vertigo without the score. No, don't. This classic is a marriage of images and music. A thriller with an uncomfortable truth at its very center. A personal truth from its filmmaker. I don't know if Vertigo will still be the number 1 in the list a hundred years from now, I will never know but I suspect that it will always be among the top.
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