A retired San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend’s wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.
- Det. John ‘Scottie’ Ferguson: James Stewart
- Madeleine Elster / Judy Barton: Kim Novak
- Marjorie ‘Midge’ Wood: Barbara Bel Geddes
- Gavin Elster: Tom Helmore
- Coroner: Henry Jones
- Scottie’s Doctor: Raymond Bailey
- Manager of McKittrick Hotel: Ellen Corby
- Pop Leibel: Konstantin Shayne
- Car Owner Mistaken for Madeleine: Lee Patrick
- Diner at Ernie’s (uncredited): Bess Flowers
- Man Walking Past Elster’s Office (uncredited): Alfred Hitchcock
- Priest (uncredited): David Ahdar
- Nun (uncredited): Sara Taft
- Original Music Composer: Bernard Herrmann
- Art Direction: Henry Bumstead
- Producer: Alfred Hitchcock
- Associate Producer: Herbert Coleman
- Director of Photography: Robert Burks
- Editor: George Tomasini
- Makeup Artist: Harry Ray
- Costume Design: Edith Head
- Art Direction: Hal Pereira
- Novel: Pierre Boileau
- Novel: Thomas Narcejac
- Screenplay: Alec Coppel
- Screenplay: Samuel A. Taylor
- Set Decoration: Sam Comer
- Makeup Supervisor: Wally Westmore
- Sound Recordist: Harold Lewis
- Title Designer: Saul Bass
- Conductor: Muir Mathieson
- Hair Supervisor: Nellie Manley
- Assistant Director: Daniel McCauley
- Visual Effects: John P. Fulton
- Visual Effects: W. Wallace Kelley
- Visual Effects: Farciot Edouart
- Sound Editor: Bill Wistrom
- Makeup Artist: Ben Lane
- Set Decoration: Frank R. McKelvy
- Visual Effects: Paul K. Lerpae
- Sound Recordist: Winston H. Leverett
- Other: Richard Mueller
- Other: John Ferren
- Sound Recordist: Jim Miller
- Grip: John Nostri
- Electrician: Warren Hoag
- Assistant Camera: Bobby Greene
- Standby Painter: Dominic Mautino
- Second Assistant Director: Ralph Axness
- Sound: George Dutton
- Eky: All I know, this film wasn’t so successful at first and this probably because the audience didn’t expect a film so dark and claustrophobic. Vertigo was so strange already from the beginning because of its surreal and nightmarish atmosphere. I bow to Hitchcock in his creativity in visualizing Jimmy Stewart’s acrophobia by implementing one of the oldest cinematography techniques, using zoom lens as it zooms in while the object moves away, emphasizing his terrified feeling and insecurity whenever he’s at a particular height due to a chronic vertigo he suffers. As always, the film director’s cameo appearance has always been fascinating since we know it’s his habit therefore we will usually let our eyes wander throughout the film, trying to spot him. In conclusion, this timeless thriller remains a classic gem despite the emergence of new modern films. The great visual effects also seem timeless when compared to digital effects. I hope my review doesn’t give you vertigo = )
- tmdb47633491: I will never understand the universal adoration for Vertigo. Blindly inherited wisdom is the only explanation. How anyone could prefer this to North by Northwest or Rear Window is beyond me. An exceptionally made, exceptionally boring movie
- barrymost: A tense, dizzying thriller from the Master.
Plot in a nutshell: A retired detective suffering from acrophobia takes the case of an old college chum’s wife, who may be possessed by the spirit of her great-grandmother who committed suicide many years previous. But of course, a much darker, and more down-to-earth, secret lies beneath the surface.
Comments: James Stewart is the perfect anti-hero in this: clever and brave, but also disturbed, unhinged, and at times possessive. He does a stellar job with a difficult role.
In the supporting role of Stewart’s faithful friend “Midge” is Barbara Bel Geddes, and she does a delightful job.
According to one source I’ve read, after Vertigo flopped upon release, Hitchcock blamed Stewart, claiming he (Stewart) was too old and people no longer wanted to see him, hence the film’s lack of success. When Hitchcock went on to do North By Northwest, Stewart reportedly begged Hitchcock for the lead role, but Hitchcock refused, giving the lead to Cary Grant, who was actually four years older than Stewart.
But according to a biography of Cary Grant written by Pamela Trescott, the reason Hitchcock wanted Grant instead was simply because they worked well together and had wanted to do another collaboration after the success of To Catch a Thief. In short, that the lead role for North By Northwest had been intended for Cary Grant, and no one else, right from the beginning.
All that aside, Vertigo has established a high reputation as a masterpiece of film, and rightly so. It’s also beautifully photographed, and the entire film has a soft, haunting, dreamy quality to it that’s utterly captivating.
- JPV852: Not one of my favorites from Hitchcock, and certainly dower, but still visually striking and two amazing performances from James Stewart and Kim Novak. This is only the second time seeing this, guessing the last time was maybe 10 years ago or so, not entirely sure when I’ll revisit it. **3.75/5**