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
Sir Alfred Hitchcock had originally wanted to use his now-famous Vertigo zoom in Rebecca (1940), but due to lack of technology at that time, he couldn't do it. The technique was inspired by a time when Hitchcock had fainted during a party. See more »
When Midge and Scotty's doctor discuss how long it take Scotty to recover, the doctor has his hands folded and arms extended. In the very next shot, his arms are folded across his chest. 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 »
VERTIGO (1958) **** James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore, Henry Jones. Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece of suspense and romantic obsession: Stewart (in one of his best go-against-the-grain performances) stars as San Francisco cop John 'Scottie' Ferguson, whose eponymous phobia leads him to an on-the-job lethal accident. Sitting out his time off from the force he's enlisted as a private eye to watch a friend's troubled wife Madeleine Elster (the ethereal Novak), who believes she has been reincarnated. Scottie's case leads to complications including the necropheliac emotional overhaul he succombs to after Madeleine's 'suicide' and seeing her in mystery woman Judy Barton (Novak again, proving to be an accomplished actress).
More psychological underpinnings you could shake a stick at and thanks to The Master's multi-layered storyline the film never falters largely thanks to the incredibly affective cinematography by Robert Burks, the adaptation of Pieree Bouileau & Thomas Narcejaq's novel 'D'Entre les Morts' by Alec Coppel & Samuel Taylor and once again the excellent chemistry between the tormented Stewart and the bewitching Novak, proving to be one of the most passionate ill-fated couples in cinematic history. Perhaps the icing on the cake is the hauntingly evocative score by long-time collaborator Bernard Herrmann. A true American classic.
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