Vertigo (1958)

PG   |    |  Mystery, Romance, Thriller


Vertigo (1958) Poster

A former police detective juggles wrestling with his personal demons and becoming obsessed with a hauntingly beautiful woman.

TIP
Add this title to your Watchlist
Save movies and shows to keep track of what you want to watch.

8.3/10
315,216

Videos


Photos

  • "Vertigo" Kim Novak, Alfred Hitchcock 1958 Paramount
  • "Vertigo" Kim Novak, Alfred Hitchcock 1958 Paramount
  • Kim Novak in Vertigo (1958)
  • James Stewart and Kim Novak in Vertigo (1958)
  • Vertigo (1958)
  • James Stewart and Kim Novak in Vertigo (1958)

See all photos

More of What You Love

Find what you're looking for even quicker with the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


26 January 2005 | slabihoud
10
| Let there be color!
Since there are already so many real good comments on this film I want to focus on only one aspect.

Vertigo is a great example for what color films really can look like! Not only do I want to praise the quality of the Technicolor dye transfer prints but also more the way Hitchcock used color to create moods. Many directors used light to create moods in black and white movies but only very few ever got so far as to use the much greater palette of colors for the same purpose. One wonders why. Some directors decide for an overall color look, which is often done in the lab, but not on the set.

Vertigo is full of scenes where the colors have been saturated or changed to create a special feeling. Hitchcock even went so far as to openly dye some frames is bright unnatural colors. He played around with colors in all his color films but never as much as in this one. Think for example on James Stewart's nightmare in the middle of the film. There are frames dyed purple and green; the cemetery scenes are red, inserted to the rhythm of the music with normal frames. Kim Novak is often bathed in colored light like in the famous hotel room scene, where she appears like a ghost with all the green light around her.

The shading is also important. In the scene in the bookshop we hear a dark and sad story while at the same time the light dimes down to simulate dusk. In the scene where Judy remembers the real events in the bell tower it starts with an outdoor scene, which we have already seen but it is now much darker than the first time. In the sequence where Stewart follows Novak to the cemetery everything feels unnatural since every scene glows through the use of a filter that creates a blur.

The non-color of Kim Novak's dress as Madeleine is also a very important aspect in the film. She has to color her hair to become Madeleine again at the end of the picture.

The way color is used in this film gives it this dreamlike quality that allows endless interpretations. A true masterpiece!

Metacritic Reviews


Critic Reviews



More Like This

  • Rear Window

    Rear Window

  • North by Northwest

    North by Northwest

  • Psycho

    Psycho

  • Dial M for Murder

    Dial M for Murder

  • The Birds

    The Birds

  • Casablanca

    Casablanca

  • Citizen Kane

    Citizen Kane

  • Sunset Boulevard

    Sunset Boulevard

  • Rope

    Rope

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey

    2001: A Space Odyssey

  • Taxi Driver

    Taxi Driver

  • The Shining

    The Shining

Did You Know?

Trivia

In a later interview, Sir Alfred Hitchcock said he believed Kim Novak was miscast, and the wrong actress for the part.


Quotes

Officer on rooftop: Give me your hand. Give me your hand.


Goofs

Madeleine enters the McKittrik Hotel and the sky is overcast. When she appears in the window of the 2nd floor room, she is clearly illuminated as from sunlight, throwing a distinct shadow against a light background, whilst the rest of the shot remains illuminated modestly (possibly assembled footage).


Crazy Credits

The opening Paramount logo is in black and white while the rest of the film, including the closing Paramount logo, is in Technicolor.


Alternate Versions

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.


Soundtracks

Symphony No. 34 in C K. 338, 2nd Movement, Andante di Molto (piu tosto allegretto)
(uncredited)
Composed by
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Played as 'cue 10B' on a record in the psychiatric ward

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Mystery | Romance | Thriller

Gemma Chan's Surprise 'Captain Marvel' Audition

The secrecy behind the Marvel process is real. Find out how Captain Marvel star Gemma Chan had to keep everything under wraps.

Watch now

Featured on IMDb

Check out our guide to the SXSW 2019, what to watch on TV, and a look back at the 2018-2019 awards season.

Around The Web

 | 

Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com