Vertigo

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Vertigo

Year: 1958 Country: USA
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Featuring James Stewart / Kim Novak / Barbara Bel Geddes

Introduction

A former detective with a fear of heights is hired to follow a woman apparently possessed by the past, in Alfred Hitchcock’s timeless thriller about obsession.

“If Vertigo remains, unchallengeably, Hitchcock’s masterpiece, this is surely because there the attitude to the unknown and mysterious is not simply one of terror but retains, implicitly, a profound and disturbing ambivalence.”
Robin Wood, Hitchcock’s Films, 1977

This classic from the master of suspense was so poorly received upon release that Alfred Hitchcock later withdrew it from distribution for several years. Its reputation has since grown and it is now widely regarded as Hitchcock’s finest film, a haunting examination of male desire memorably filmed in real San Francisco locations.

The story of acrophobic Scottie Ferguson (brilliantly played by James Stewart), who compulsively remodels Judy Barton (Kim Novak) in the image of his dead love Madeleine Elster (also Novak), is unflinchingly dark and tragic. Though Hitchcock was originally deemed to have erred in giving away the film’s plot twist halfway through, Vertigo succeeds as a hallucinatory fable about the traps of desire. A thriller of dreamlike allure, it’s whipped to dizzying heights by Bernard Herrmann’s Wagner-influenced score.

Laid up with a broken leg, James Stewart becomes the ultimate armchair detective in the best of his three previous Hitchcock collaborations, Rear Window (1954).

191 critics voted for this film

Diego Batlle Michael Koresky
Francisco Algarín Navarro Richard Koszarski
Thomas Allenbach Violeta Kovacsics
Florence Almozini Jay Kuehner
Nigel Andrews Fernando Lara
Inácio Araujo Isaac León Frías
Senem Aytaç Matthew Leyland
Cameron Bailey Kjetil Lismoen
Robin Baker Guy Lodge
Gabriele Barrera Kalle Løchen
Nico Baumbach Tony Macklin
Ricardo Bedoya Geoffrey Macnab
James Bell Miguel Marías
Horacio Bernades Antonio Mariotti
Anne Billson Steven Markovitz
Stig Björkman Jeff Masino
Iulia Blaga Demetrios Matheou
Enrique Bolado Peter Matthews
Núria Bou Paul Mayersberg
Elisabeth Bronfen Gonzalo Maza
Pedro Butcher Martin Melarkey
Dan Callahan Annette Melville
José María Caparrós-Lera Thierry Méranger
Rolando Caputo Daniela Michel
Noel Carroll Rima Mismar
Dylan Cave Khalid Mohamed
Justin Chang Philip Molloy
Peggy Chiao Luciano Monteagudo
Mihai Chirilov Nathalie Morris
Jaime N Christley Wesley Morris
Roberta Ciabarra Marco Müller
Andrew Collins Venkateswaran Narayanan
Jesús Cortés Santiago Navajas
Nevena Dakovic Bill Nichols
Chris Darke Martha P Nochimson
Rhidian Davis Dario Oliveira
Thomas Dawson Karen Oughton
Inge de Leeuw Camille Paglia
Stéphane Delorme Marcelo Panozzo
David Denby Milan Pavlovic
Bruno Di Marino Stojan Pelko
Philip Dodd Miguel Pendás
Thomas Doherty Olivier Père
Jože Dolmark Julio Pérez Perucha
Kim Dong Ho Nick Pinkerton
Mark Duguid Francesco Pitassio
Richard Dyer Nenad Polimac
Roger Ebert Richard Porton
Jim Emerson Miroslaw Przylipiak
John Ewing James Quandt
Edna Fainaru Leonard Quart
Mark Fisher Nicolas Rapold
David Forgacs Julie Rigg
Víctor Fowler Calzada Kong Rithdee
Philip French Mohammed Rouda
Graham Fuller Martin Rubin
Andreas Furler David Rudkin
Petr Gajdosik Git Scheynius
Vigen Galstyan Augusto M Seabra
Steven Galvin Steven Shaviro
Fran Gayo Graham Shirley
Andrei Gorzo Jim Sinclair
Jamie Graham Neil Sinyard
Tom Gunning Paul Julian Smith
Roman Gutek Fernanda Solórzano
Malte Hagener Mohamed Soueid
Robert Haller Kate Stables
Rahul Hamid Chuck Stephens
Piers Handling David Sterritt
Sanam Hasan Heather Stewart
Molly Haskell Chris Stults
Liz Helfgott Richard Suchenski
Carlos F. Heredero Amy Taubin
Tim Highsted Matthew Taylor
John Hill José Teodoro
Sam Ho Jean-Philippe Tessé
Jim Hoberman David Thompson
Jan Holmberg Stephen Thrower
Jan-Christopher Horak Tomoyo Kawai
Philip Horne Margit Tonson
Peter Howell Gorazd Trušnovec
Mikhail Iampolski Kenneth Turan
Pasquale Iannone Suncica Unevska
Nachman Ingber Miguel Valverde
Alby James Nuria Vidal
Nick James Lucy Virgen
Pavel Jech Peter Walsh
Sheila Johnston Simon Ward
Lamia Joreige Catherine Wheatley
Fernando E. Juan Lima Charles Whitehouse
Mariano Martín Kairuz Samuel Wigley
Christian Keathley Wheeler Winston Dixon
Dave Kehr Ain-Ling Wong
Shu Kei John Wrathall
B (Brent) Kite Firat Yucel
Uri Klein