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Vertigo
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Customer Reviews:

  • Hitchcock's Masterpiece.
    By far the best of all Hitchcock's films, in my opinion, and I've seen them all. Kim Novak shines. ...more info
  • Hitchcocks masterpiece?
    This is definitely one of my favorite (and one of the strangest) Hitchcock flick's. It's a brilliant movie and almost a love story in many way's, albeit a very cynical one. The story is about a retired detective (James Stewart) who is affraid of heights that is hired by an old freind to spy on his wife(the beautiful Kim Novak) because he think's...get this....she is possessed by an evil spirit. He end's up falling in love with her and I don't want to spoil to much but like most Hitchcock film's there is a twist, or in most cases a couple twist's. Thing's are never as they appear in Hitchcock film's and even if you think you have it all figured out by the end he alway's leaves a piece of the puzzle out to make it impossible and give you that one last jaw-dropping moment. They don't make em like this anymore and to this day nobody can tell a story quite like Hitchcock. I can't recommend this movie enough and encourage any thriller/suspense fans to check it out....more info
  • DO NOT BELIEVE THIS IS NTSC!!
    If you go to amazon.co.uk and look up this title you will see that it is listed as PAL (the European standard) NOT NTSC (compatible with the US, Canada etc.).

    Not only is this version Region-2 restricted - it will NOT play on a standard US DVD player unless your player can also properly decode and convert PAL video to NTSC.

    I do not see HOW these 'sellers' can get away with saying that Region-2 is the ONLY restriction.

    The ONLY way to get 'Vertigo' in NTSC Region-1 in Anamorphic Widescreen and properly 16:9 Enhanced (at this time) is to purchase the whole 'Alfred Hitchcock - The Masterpiece Collection' at $95.00.

    I already have most of these films so, sadly, I'm going to wait for the Blu-ray release (which they must surely be working on at this time)....more info
  • screwie plot
    Kim Novak does fine work here, as usual, but the entire story is way too far-fetched to be believable.
    Movie is overrated.
    And that ending? Come on. Really?
    Pfffft....more info
  • A re-release of a classic
    It is unusual to see a director produce his best work after the age of 50, but that is exactly what Alfred Hitchcock did. Starting in 1948 with "Rope" and ending with "The Birds" in 1963, this was the era of his most inspired films. "Vertigo", in my opinion, is the best film of his entire body of work.

    It is funny to note that when this film was first released in 1957 that it was not that popular in theaters and was pretty much universally panned by critics. In 1992, when the British Film Institute performed a survey of the world film critics to compile an all-time ten-best list that comes out every decade, Vertigo came in at fourth place. It didn't even make that list in 1962 or 1972. Part of the reason for the delayed popularity of the film could be that it requires repeated viewings to really gain an appreciation of it. Such repeated viewings were not possible for most viewers until the advent of home video systems and cable around 1980.

    As for the film itself, it is a brilliantly twisted movie infused with touches of genius and madness that focuses on the interconnected nature of love and obsession. Interwoven with this main theme is a crime mystery that is revealed to and solved for the audience but not the protagonist, James Stewart's character, for the last 45 minutes of the film.

    Alongside these themes is the issue of lost opportunities - how we grieve over them, and whether or not what we perceive as lost opportunities were ever "real" opportunities in the first place. This issue is raised not only for Scotty (James Stewart) - if only he could have gotten to Madeleine (Kim Novak) in time, if only he could have rescued the policeman from falling to his death at the beginning of the film, if only he could have seen through the scheme that manipulated him so perfectly and ultimately drove him temporarily mad - but for just about everybody else in the cast too. This includes Scotty's college girlfriend (Barbara Bel Geddes) who has remained his friend through the years and obviously still harbors thoughts of what might have been if only she had accepted Scotty's marriage proposal years before.

    Besides the excellent acting and superb plot, the score is outstanding as is the cinematography, especially the visual darkness of the mission San Juan Bautista versus the angelic beauty of Madeleine which belies what is really going on. I highly recommend this film to anyone who has the time to watch it more than once. Just one viewing won't do it justice.

    As an aside, this film is so contagious that I am sure that it has influenced other filmmakers over the years to the point of plagiarism, the most obvious example being Tim Burton's 1989 film, "Batman". The Joker dragging Vicki Vale to the top of Gotham cathedral's stairway and the confrontation and revelations of the past once at the top of the tower sure look like the closing 15 minutes of this movie. The following are the extra features:

    Disc 1: Main Feature
    1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
    English DD5.1 Surround and DD2.0 Mono
    English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles
    Feature Commentary with Associate Producer Herbert Coleman, Restoration Team Robert A. Harris and James C. Katz and Other Vertigo Participants
    Feature Commentary with Director William Friedkin
    Foreign Ending
    The Vertigo Archives
    Production Notes
    Original Theatrical Trailer
    Restoration Theatrical Trailer

    Disc 2: Extra Features
    Obsessed with Vertigo: New Life for Hitchcock's Masterpiece
    Partners in Crime: Hitchcock's Collaborators
    Hitchcock / Truffaut Interview Excerpts
    Alfred Hitchcock Presents "The Case of Mr. Pelham"...more info
  • Alluring Kim Novak drives Stewart to the end.
    For me the most amazing movie. James Stewart follows his obsession with a gripping and credible determination.
    The scenery and photography are fabulous. The twists and turns in the story are spellbinding and reach a dramatic climax.
    Kim Novak for me is the most amazing and alluring actress. Her part in the movie not only is mysterious but it is compelling to see the way she is torn between two competing desires. The one to keep a dreadful secret and the other to love and be loved. Enough to drive James Stewart on to the end.
    She is the kind of woman most men are drawn to instinctively....more info
  • The Greatest Hitchcock Film of All Time
    Alfred Hitchcock gives you James Stewart as you've never seen him before in a great suspense thriller of tragic love and high rise fright, Kim Novak in two amazing roles that are the loves of James Stewart in Alfred Hitchcock's Masterpiece "VERTIGO" in the 4th and final collabaration with Stewart and Hitchcock, San Fransisco acrophobic detective John "Scottie" Fergeson retires from the force and wishes to settle down, until a friend is need of him to follow his sucidial wife,Madiliene whom he ends up saving after she falls in the bay, but this story gets deeper and deeper when Scottie and Madiliene fall in love, but will they live happily ever after...... It's terrific entertainment, a beautiful tragic suspense thriller, extrodonary, a masterpiece, a shocking and startling landmark motion picture. You can't turn it off till' the story ends, One of the great american films, Jimmy Stewart is amazing, deserved an oscar. See the greatest suspense film of all time from the Master of Suspense "I just want to know your name" "I look up, I look down"...more info
  • Kim Novak....Ooooo.....la......la.....!!!
    This is a classic film. I was a teenager when I first saw it and I fell in love with Kim Novak just like Jimmy Stewart did---so I was in good company! (And, "once in love always in love! :o) Besides the beautiful Kim Novak, you have Mr. Hitchcock using San Francisco's Fort Point as a backdrop where Kim Novak jumps into the SF Bay. Also used is the little town of San Juan Bautista some miles south of San Francisco. This little town is where the old Spanish Mission is located and important scenes of the movie were shot. If you are "new" to "Vertigo" you must see it! Enjoy! Email is boland7214@aol.co...more info
  • Spellbinding, but not without flaws
    I've been somewhat obsessed with this movie for many years. By now I've watched it often enough that much of its original magic has worn through. The main problem might be that the plotting of the murder is so contrived and implausible. Moreover, the sexual politics have not aged well at all. When the restored film was unveiled in San Francisco several years ago, the audience couldn't suppress laughter during some of the desperate dialogue between lovers Scotty and Madeleine/Judy. "If I change my hair, then will you love me?"
    Nevertheless, I still find much of it haunting. Bernard Hermann's dreamlike score is justly recognized as perhaps his greatest. The art direction and camera work supply many subtly poetic images, and the few suspenseful moments are all the more vivid for being surrounded by such a sleepy atmosphere. But I think Jimmy Stewart's passionate performance, more than anything else, is what truly holds the film together.
    I can't agree with the critics who've placed this among the very greatest films of all time. It certainly appears to be Hitchcock's most personal and profound, but I think its flaws are too numerous and significant for that honor. On balance, it's probably not even Hitchcock's best....more info
  • Vertigo DVD
    Again, one of the great movies by Director Alfred Hitchcock (my favorite). James Stewart and Kim Novak are together again in this great mystery with a surprising ending. Don't miss Vertigo....more info
  • The master of suspense completely outdoes himself...
    I'm sure many, if not all of you, have seen this movie (it is a widely loved classic) but for the sake of those who have not, I will keep this review as brief and as vague as I can.

    `Vertigo' is a masterpiece.

    Okay, so I'll say more than that. The thing is, `Vertigo' is one of those movies that the less said about the better. I personally knew nothing of this movie when I saw it. I merely knew that it was supposed to be the best film Alfred Hitchcock ever made. While I am partial to `Psycho' I must admit that `Vertigo' is a much grander achievement and seriously is one of the best films ever made, by anyone. With every twist and turn and shocking revelation, `Vertigo' remains suspenseful throughout, and the end result is beyond satisfying. It's those twists and turns that make it so hard to review or even talk about without giving something vital away.

    So, I'll attempt this.

    John Ferguson is a former police detective suffering from acrophobia (fear of heights) who is hired by an old friend, Gavin Elster, to follow his wife Madeleine. Gavin feels that Madeleine is possessed by the spirit of a madwoman, and after John watches her closely for a time he begins to think the same way.

    Then the unthinkable happens.

    I don't want to say anything more, for the second half of the film is just brilliant. All you think you know vanishes before your eyes and when the truth is revealed it will leave you breathless. It's less the actual revelation and more the way in which Hitchcock does the revealing. He is a master of suspense (as we are all already aware) and here he builds the tension masterfully, so when the final scene is upon us we are clenching our seats in anticipation.

    A lot has been said about the lack of talent possessed by Kim Novak, but I personally find her performance here to be iconic. Maybe it is solely the character (that twofer she has going here is a whirlwind) but I like to think that she brings a lot of the films mystery with her connection to the role. The role may have only required her to be desirable, but she captures that desire with a hint of ambiguity that really intrigues us. James Stewart is also very, very good here as John. He manages to look and act confused without crossing over into recklessness. He is in complete control all the time. Personally, Barbara Bel Geddes steals the show for me with her small yet powerful portrayal of Midge, John's friend and confidant. She has so much spunk and fresh vitality that one cannot take their eyes off of her. She is a revelation.

    The film is lauded as cinematic perfection, and for once I actually agree with the critics of the world. This truly is an iconic film; a masterpiece. I'm sure you've already seen and possibly own this film, but if you haven't I urge you to see it immediately....more info
  • Alfred Hitchcock at his best.
    What can I say that hasn't already been said by the other reviewers, this film is a Hitchcock masterpiece and is considered to be one of his greatest achievments. The film is about how far a person can be pushed by obsession and whether it can take us over the edge of sanity, James Stewart does a great job with his role as a retired detective who is acrophobic has a fear of heights, he is hired to follow the wife of an old friend but then becomes increasingly obsessed by the beautiful blonde played by the brilliant actress Kim Novak. The woman actualy thinks that shes possessed by a ghost or old spirit called Carlota and as you'll see in one of the paintings in the art gallery she has the same hair and wears the same necklace, this being a Hitchcock film nothing is what it seems and there are plenty of twists and turns and the suspence is at an all time high. This film is a murder mystery as well as a romantic drama and it also helps that the music done by Bernard Herman is absolutely amazing and it feels very emotional. If you've seen Hitchcock's other films like Psycho, The birds or Rear window then its obvious that you need to watch this its fantastic and one of the greatest films ever made, everything from the direction to the memorable and weird dream sequence and the script is 100% pure genius. I got this film along with the Hitchcock collection boxset from Amazon.co.uk and I thought it was worth it now all I need is to get To catch a thief which I also heard was pretty good. Overall Vertigo was both very suspencefull and thrilling and is probably the one Hitchcock film that stands out from his other great films with all due respect it is absolutely perfect and I highly recommend this....more info
  • Church towers as the golden gate to hell
    This film is one of the best and not only of Hitchcock's films, but of all universal global cinema. What's good about it? Everything. And yet what exactly, if I may ask? First of all it is a beautiful love story. A man who has been disabled by life, or rather by his profession - he was a cop and saw his partner die by falling from a roof when trying to save him - and his developing a severe case of acrophobia, is hired by a friend of his to watch his wife and find out what she is doing in her afternoons when she gets out and does not seem to remember later in the evening what she has done. The man falls in love with the woman who is of course not the wife but a bait that is supposed to make that man witness her suicide, or rather the husband's wife's murder by the husband himself. But that he cannot know. And that love will survive that event, and even his second phase of disability, this time entirely mental since he feels guilty for having been unable to stop the woman when climbing in the tower of the Mission's church because of his acrophobia. And this love survives so well that he falls again when he sees the woman again in the hotel room where he had seen her when she was baiting him into the drama, though now he does not know it is her, he just thinks she looks like her. And she falls again herself in spite of all her attempts at resisting. And the next phase in the drama is going to lock up these two in total bleakness. But there I stop. You have to find out these superb details all by yourself. The second reason that the film is a masterpiece of global cinema is because it is a thriller that is so well sown up and patched up and glued up that even if you know every detail you will enjoy it just the same: it is a thriller that deserves to be watched a hundred times. The haute cinematographic couture of Hitchcock makes every single viewing more enjoyable than the previous one. Even, I think, you may see in the one hundredth viewing elements you had not seen before because the film, each frame of the film, each image of the film, is loaded with myriads of details that are all more significant than the others. And yet it does not look neither baroque nor rococo. It is just perfect and yet so rich that the perfection takes one hundred viewings to be seen. The third reason why this film is a jewel is that Hitchcock plays on height and stairs and staircases and climbing, and descending or ascending, as he so often, or should I say always, does. Here the stairs are coming naturally since we are in San Francisco and the streets are going up and down, and the houses are perched on slanting slopes, and the embankments have stairs to walk into the Bay, and naturally all buildings, churches, hotels, and whatever have stairs in the front and stairs in the back and stairs inside to go up to the upper floors. And the best is of course the staircase going to the top of the church tower in the Mission, and we will go up that winding staircase twice. And we will fly down that staircase twice in exactly the same way. And the whole film will be dominated by the long apparition of the Golden Gate Bridge, that bridge under which all fish bite into the bait that is thrown at them and are fished out of the foaming water into the burning furnace of the hell of a frying pan. The staircase metaphor is powerful in that film, and so natural, that we just wonder if at that moment Hitchcock has not been able to control his own derangement and we can maybe envisage the fact that he is not completely schizophrenic or psychotic, just psychedelic. The last thing I would like to say on that film is that Hitchcock is also a master of rhythm. He must have been a conductor in some other life of his and his temperament is definitely not perfect. He likes rhythmic variations and he can have scenes that seem so slow that they must last hours and some others that go in a wink of an eyelid. But it is neither haphazard nor unjustified nor in any way disturbing or boring. Every single pace, no matter what, is entirely ingrained in the plot and is part of the beauty of the film and our pleasure. We don't even have the freedom to breathe some when the rhythm is going down because then the dramatic tension goes up and vice versa. The denser the slower and the faster the least intense, but then the two together always give the maximum meaningful signification you can imagine.

    Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines
    ...more info
  • A fascinating psychological suspense masterpiece which worked on the audience on several levels...
    Scottie Ferguson is a retired detective with a paralyzing fear of heights... He had quit detective work after he sees a colleague falling to his death, and nearly he looses his own life at the same time while chasing a crook across some San Francisco rooftops...

    An old college friend gives him the job of following his blonde wife Madeleine who had some kind of mental problem or might even be possessed from beyond the grave by a figure from the past whose portrait she stares at in a museum...

    Scottie follows Madeleine around San Francisco and when she tries to drown herself in San Francisco Bay, he rescues her and falls promptly in love with her... But Scottie' s vertigo made him powerless to save her when she climbed to the top of the bell tower at the mission at San Juan Batista, and jumped from the tower to her fatal end...

    Scottie must spend the second part of the movie regaining from the trauma... His loyal ex-fianc¨¦e Midge helps him overcome his psychological torment...

    One year later, completely recovered from his nervous breakdown, he meets a red-haired woman who seems the living image of Madeleine...

    Stewart gives a terrific performance of a man recognizing his own limits, suffering by his acrophobia... When he is given the chance to pursue this enigmatic woman, his boring life takes on new meaning... He is drawn into her romantic obsession with the past... Madeline makes him feel important in her life... This is something totally new to his world: a lovely straight-forward woman who takes him into a haunting dream... When he fails to keep her alive, his real world was suddenly shattered...

    Stewart delivers an accurate portrait of an annoyed human being searching for the unattainable... He is a pragmatic man dealing with events in the light of his intuition...

    Kim Novak is so delicate as Madeleine... Her performance is skilled and highly refined... She is a pretty woman, very sensitive, not sensual, yet conscious of her charm and magic...

    This fascinating suspense masterpiece reveals something new with each viewing...

    Note: Hitchcock appears after eleven minutes of the beginning of the film, walking past a Shipbuilding Co.

    ...more info
  • Amazing Film!
    This happens to be my favorite Hitchcock film.

    The DVD is great. There are interviews and extras galore!

    This is considered Hitchcock's most personal film. I think it might have something to do with the fact that almost the entire film is shown solely from Jimmy Stewart's perspective.

    Scotty has had an accident and discovers he has vertigo. Almost simultaneously, an old friend calls upon him to follow the Mrs. Apparently she slips into trances that take her back to another time (and into insanity!). But complications arise as Scotty realizes his attraction to her has little to do with the job ...

    This is a movie I watch over and over again. The funny thing is, I have talked to many others who have the same obsessive reaction to it as well.

    Give it one viewing, and you will be hooked. ...more info
  • One of Hitchock's best!
    This haunting, mysterious, romantic movie about obsession is amazing every time I watch it. Although Hitchcock didn't originally cast Kim Novak as the source of Jimmy Stewart's affections, he later admitted that she made this movie what it is. The beautiful San Francisco Bay Area is truly a memorable "character" in this fabulous classic. ...more info
  • **THIS REVIEW IS ONLY FOR THE DVD**
    Good extras, but should have been more. BOTH versions of this DVD are the same, just with a different cover. The extras include ALL:

    *"Obsessed with Vertigo" Featurette
    *Commentary by: Herbert Coleman, Robert A. Harris, and James C. Katz
    *Production Notes
    *Talent Bios
    *Film Highlights
    *Theatrical Trailer

    There SHOULD have been more features, considering this is considered Hitchcock's best film....more info
  • I Feel Dizzy!
    Skip this edited or censored disc. I remember with excitement the original with James Stewart and Kim Novak. But, according to the "product details" provided by Amazon, Stewart and Novak are missing from this third "special" version. My advice is to wait for the fourth dip into the Hitchcock canon, when hopefully Stewart and Novak will be restored to their starring roles....more info
  • VERTIGO
    I wonder if Sir Alfred Hitchcock was trying to make a statement that we as moviegoers are voyeurs and are just as fanatically obsessed by the images on the screen as "Scottie" Ferguson is with Madeleine in VERTIGO. VERTIGO is in effect a movie about people who love the cinema and are captivated by it. Those people who do not like VERTIGO state that it is not realistic and too improbable. That is just the point. VERTIGO is about an artificial world and the fascination of that world. Those who like VERTIGO are drawn to it over and over because it is about something that is inside each of us that is ever so fleeting and will always remain unobtainable. Bernard Herrmann, the film's composer seems to have understood the essence of this film as he captured the erotic passion and ultimate hopelessness of its characters with his haunting score. Herrmann had always expressed his desire to be a symphony conductor, yet the lure of the cinema was more than just a means of collecting a paycheck for him. I think he had a great understanding of the cinema and its power over human emotions, yet it seems to have remained an enigma even for him. I have always enjoyed this VHS copy of VERTIGO....more info
  • The master filmmaker's finest and most complex film
    It is unusual to see a director produce his best work after the age of 50, but that is exactly what Alfred Hitchcock did. Starting in 1948 with "Rope" and ending with "The Birds" in 1963, this was the era of his most inspired films. "Vertigo", in my opinion, is the best film of his entire body of work.

    It is funny to note that when this film was first released in 1957 that it was not that popular in theaters and was pretty much universally panned by critics. In 1992, when the British Film Institute performed a survey of the world film critics to compile an all-time ten-best list that comes out every decade, Vertigo came in at fourth place. It didn't even make that list in 1962 or 1972. Part of the reason for the delayed popularity of the film could be that it requires repeated viewings to really gain an appreciation of it. Such repeated viewings were not possible for most viewers until the advent of home video systems and cable around 1980.

    As for the film itself, it is a brilliantly twisted movie infused with touches of genius and madness that focuses on the interconnected nature of love and obsession. Interwoven with this main theme is a crime mystery that is revealed to and solved for the audience but not the protagonist, James Stewart's character, for the last 45 minutes of the film.

    Alongside these themes is the issue of lost opportunities - how we grieve over them, and whether or not what we perceive as lost opportunities were ever "real" opportunities in the first place. This issue is raised not only for Scotty (James Stewart) - if only he could have gotten to Madeleine (Kim Novak) in time, if only he could have rescued the policeman from falling to his death at the beginning of the film, if only he could have seen through the scheme that manipulated him so perfectly and ultimately drove him temporarily mad - but for just about everybody else in the cast too. This includes Scotty's college girlfriend (Barbara Bel Geddes) who has remained his friend through the years and obviously still harbors thoughts of what might have been if only she had accepted Scotty's marriage proposal years before.

    Besides the excellent acting and superb plot, the score is outstanding as is the cinematography, especially the visual darkness of the mission San Juan Bautista versus the angelic beauty of Madeleine which belies what is really going on. I highly recommend this film to anyone who has the time to watch it more than once. Just one viewing won't do it justice.

    As an aside, this film is so contagious that I am sure that it has influenced other filmmakers over the years to the point of plagiarism, the most obvious example being Tim Burton's 1989 film, "Batman". The Joker dragging Vicki Vale to the top of Gotham cathedral's stairway and the confrontation and revelations of the past once at the top of the tower sure look like the closing 15 minutes of this movie. ...more info
  • Greatness
    Enough things have been said about this great movie, I cannot add anything further, just let me tell you: the scene where Judy comes out from the room dressed as Madeleine, the dreamlike view, the Music, Scotty's reaction, just like he is watching his dead love rise to life before his eyes: is powerful stuff. Just for that short scene this film is worthy of artistic greatness, a masterpiece, something that is rare in this days.
    Absolute recommendation for any film buff, some few naysayers claim the movie is slow and the vertigo effect is dated ...yeah sure it is, but does it really matter?...more info
  • Veritgo
    I bought this as a gift for my son. He really likes Alfred Hitchcock and
    loved this movie. And Jimmy Stewart gave an awesome performance. ...more info
  • art
    i am terribly surprised about how many seemingly quasi-intelligent people have left less than stellar reviews. and one of the only things i can think of that could cause these people to react in this way is that they just really dont think with the literary mind. why must we always be entertained the way we expect to be? our expectations of what someone else is saying always taints the way we listen. an objective ear is needed. a truly artful one. one that is connected with the greater picture of human existence, not our tawdry allegiances to technicality.

    there is a thing we talk about in all stories called the suspension of disbelief. people read beowulf and dont believe that any of it really happened. but you allow yourself to be deceived by the story so that you can see something else beyond it. if all you look at is what is spoonfed to you and if it doesnt add up.....well im sorry to be so abrasive but what a sad existence you must lead....more info
  • Slipping From The Roof!
    1953-1963 is, in my opinion, Hitchcock's most brilliant decade. In that period he directed, amongst other films, "I Confess" (1953), "Rear Window" (1954), "Vertigo" (1958), "Psycho" (1960) and "The Birds" (1963) any of them deserves to be ranked as "one of the best suspense movies" of all times.

    "Vertigo" touches many different subjects and Mr. Hitchcock blends them with masterful hand: a detective's story, paranormal experiences, love affair and obsession.
    From this mixture the Suspense Master extracts a film that keeps the viewer on the edge of the seat. The story involves a retired police detective that is hired by an old acquaintance to follow his wife, which he suspects is going mad. From this start onwards events start to get complicated, pointing out to such weird issues as possession and compulsion.

    In a film with very few main characters, three of them give a hallmark performance: James Stewart as Det. Scottie Ferguson, Kim Novak as Madeleine Elster and Barbara Bel Geddes as Marjorie Wood.
    Stewart's Detective is a strange character in his filmography; he depicts a man troubled first by a vertigo syndrome, then deeply depressed and finally obsessed by a dead person. Not quite the "good and straight fellow" that he usually fleshes.
    Kim Novak is fascinating in her troubled, mysterious and dubious double impersonation of Madeleine and Judy. She gave the character a definitely sexy and classy touch.
    Barbara Bel Geddes as the "girl around the corner" in hopeless love with Scottie is just perfect.

    This is a film to be enjoyed by Hitchcock's fans and any detective or mystery film lover.
    Reviewed by Max Yofre....more info
  • One of the best movies I have ever seen
    I have recently got into watching Hitchcock movies; this was the fifth I watched and by far the greatest one so far (and one of the greatest of all movies I have ever seen). Jimmy Stewart plays his part even better than in Rear Window, and this was the first time I had seen Kim Novak in a movie - she was wonderful! At first I expected her to be a pretty face and an enticing voice, but she was so much more than that, proving to be a versatile actress, in a demanding role!

    The movie kept me hooked throughout - I forgot where I was; nothing mattered but the film. In typical Hitchcock style, the film is thrilling and mysterious, and leaves you changing your mind about the plot every few minutes. He knew exactly how to keep you guessing and keep you enthralled.

    See this if you haven't already - they don't make 'em like this anymore!...more info
  • The dark side of romantic love.
    ----Some major spoilers below---
    What I find striking about this film is how it presents such a cynical view of romantic love.

    James Stewart (as Scotty) starts out playing one of his every-man/average-guy hero characters, who falls into depression and then into a troubling obsession because of his misplaced romantic love.

    Most films seem to glorify romance & love.
    Hitchcock seems to have wanted to point out that though this emotion can be at the center of our lives it is often based upon superficialities.

    Many films present love as something that is DESTINE to happen between two people.
    I think that Hitchcock was having fun with this idea, flipping it on its head and twisting it with all sorts of irony.
    e.g. (SPOILERS) The person who Scotty fell so deeply in love with did not really exist, she was simply an 'act' (i.e. It's Judy pretending to be Madeleine, who were two very different types of women).
    Scotty does not appears to be capable of loving Judy for who she really is.
    Scotty becomes morbidly obsessed with Judy's fake version of Madeleine, and later he pressures Judy into looking & acting like her (once again) which she does out of love for him.
    Contrast this with Scotty's best friend (Midge), a fairly attractive woman who adores him. She seems like a woman much more suited to Scotty's taste than Judy is. But he is just too romantically fixated on Judy's 'faux' Madeleine for Midge to have a real shot at him.

    This movie is great for a lot of reasons, many of which have already been mentioned here in other reviews, including:
    Novak skillfully playing two very different personalities.
    The view it gives us of San Francisco circa the 1950's.
    The movie's plot goes through very interesting thematic changes (Starting as a supernatural love story/drama then changing mid-stream into a psychological drama heavily laden with irony.).
    It has a wonderful musical score.
    And there is a VERY dark ending to the story (Something almost unheard of in American movies prior to the mid-1960's)

    There are some glitches to this film's storyline,
    None of which I feel are too distracting with the possible exception of the somewhat convoluted wife-murder-scheme, which might seem too far-fetched for some people to accept.
    (Perhaps this somewhat bizarre murder scheme was necessary to set up the two-in-one character role played by Kim Novak.)
    If I remember correctly Hitchcock said that he felt that such background details were not that important when trying to get an audience immersed into a story.
    Hey the story works for me! :)
    This is one of my favorite movies....more info
  • You Were a Very Apt Pupil
    The script has James Stewart deliver this line not once but twice near the end of this once-in-a-lifetime movie.

    The observation underscores a simultaneous strength and weakness of the movie. How plausible is it that someone could be so overtaken by a "job" of assuming someone else's identity, for money or love, that they would complete that job with such conviction? However, the movie's acceptance of that plausibility is itself questioned by Stewart's pleading and accusatory statement.

    "You did such a good job that you convinced me to love the person you became," he says to her in these lines.

    But the movie's greatest resonance is that we all do this when we fall in love. Love's noblest outcome is that the lover strives to become everything her partner comes to desire, and can define no other role for herself than the one she has assumed. "Why couldn't you learn to love just me instead of the person I imitated to gain your love?"

    The timeless quality of this film is that, in the coldest and seemingly most hopeless terms, Hitchcock tells us, honestly and simply, that romantic love is mutual deception at best and narcissism at worst.

    If you don't get scared off the tower by an approaching nun, try jumping off...

    This sounds really depressing, but underneath that is the film's haunting and puzzling final visual image, Stewart is unafraid to look down, and see reality for what it is. He is cured of his illusions and, nasty as that shock was, he is now healthy. Hitch's message is that delusions, even romantic delusions, help nobody, and that honesty is much, much better than overadaptive madness....more info