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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, he believes she is possessed by a dead ancestor. Scottie is skeptical, but agrees after he sees the beautiful Madeleine.Written by
The name "Madeleine" refers, of course, to Mary Magdalene, or Mary of Migdala. "Migdal "is Hebrew for "tower." "Madeleine" is the only name of the four main characters from the original French novel that was retained in the film. "Judy" was "Renée" in the book. So it is fascinating that Hitchcock did not keep the name. After all, Renée = re-née = reborn. See more »
In the various shots inside Scottie's apartment, the portable television set next to his couch changes direction, sometimes facing the couch, sometimes facing the bedroom. See more »
Over the years, this film has been regarded as one of Hitchcock's masterpieces. Its been called the most personal, emotional, and complex of Hitchcock's films. I agree with all of these things except for one, this film IS Hitchcock's masterpiece work. All of the others pale in comparison to this. There are phenomenal performances here by Jimmy Stewart who plays the biggest anti-hero of his career and Kim Novak whose stunning beauty and exceptional personalities shine through this dark film. Barbara Bel Geddes provides great support as well. Everything about this film, the cinematography, the story, the depth, etc. leaves you mystified and transfixed on this dizzying, surreal artwork of a film. It truly is flawless. If you are a Hitchcock fan and haven't seen this you need to get up right now and buy, not rent, this as soon as possible!
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