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Notes on: Vertigo *SPOILER ALERT


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#21 TheCid

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 06:10 PM

I, too, truly dislike "Vertigo" and always have.  Yes, the musical score is sublime, the locations are beautiful and the shooting is fine.  My problem is that there are no characters you can even remotely like in this film and that's a big problem to me.  James Stewart plays a bizarro, dysfunctional JERK who first obsesses over Madeleine, then completely loses it when he cannot save "her," then obsessively "makes over" Judy in Madeleine's image.  Madeleine/Judy is a bit more sympathetic of a character but the fact that she lets men control her so completely (first Elster, then Scottie Ferguson) makes her incredibly weak and more than a little crazy, too.  Barbara Bel Geddes (clearly the only grownup in the room) is also portrayed as a weirdo who wants to "mother" Scottie Ferguson in a very creepy way.  We all know that Hitchcock had his "issues" regarding women, particularly his leading ladies, and professed to "make them over completely" much as Scottie Ferguson does Judy.  Every time some self-proclaimed "expert" gushes that that "Vertigo" is Hitchcock's best or, even worse, "The Best Film Ever Made" I feel a desperate urge to throw things at the screen (or at the very least, melt down Carlotta's tacky necklace!)

 

Lydecker

Haven't watched in forever because I don't like it.  Only redeeming value for me is James Stewart's  '56 De Soto Firedome Sportsman.


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#22 lydecker

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 05:15 PM

I, too, truly dislike "Vertigo" and always have.  Yes, the musical score is sublime, the locations are beautiful and the shooting is fine.  My problem is that there are no characters you can even remotely like in this film and that's a big problem to me.  James Stewart plays a bizarro, dysfunctional JERK who first obsesses over Madeleine, then completely loses it when he cannot save "her," then obsessively "makes over" Judy in Madeleine's image.  Madeleine/Judy is a bit more sympathetic of a character but the fact that she lets men control her so completely (first Elster, then Scottie Ferguson) makes her incredibly weak and more than a little crazy, too.  Barbara Bel Geddes (clearly the only grownup in the room) is also portrayed as a weirdo who wants to "mother" Scottie Ferguson in a very creepy way.  We all know that Hitchcock had his "issues" regarding women, particularly his leading ladies, and professed to "make them over completely" much as Scottie Ferguson does Judy.  Every time some self-proclaimed "expert" gushes that that "Vertigo" is Hitchcock's best or, even worse, "The Best Film Ever Made" I feel a desperate urge to throw things at the screen (or at the very least, melt down Carlotta's tacky necklace!)

 

Lydecker


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#23 sandykaypax

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 03:36 PM

I am one of the people that loves Vertigo. The first time I saw it was in a movie theatre when it was re-released in the early 1980's. I was about 17 years old, and while I was fascinated by the film, I didn't fully get WHY. 

 

I guess if you like symbolism in films and literature, which I do, you may connect more with the film. I love the color palette, the symbolism of Madeline/Judy and the color green. I can understand how people may find Scottie and Madeline/Judy creepy or unsympathetic. I find my sympathies with BOTH characters, and also with Midge. 

 

Watching the film last night for the 5th time, I found myself wondering what I would do if I suddenly saw someone who looked and moved like a loved one that I had lost. Not even necessarily a lover, but a friend, parent, child, family member, too. Would I want to talk to that doppelganger? Would being close to them bring back my deceased loved one in some way? Grief makes people do all sorts of things. 

 

SKP


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#24 SlickNikki

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 12:43 PM

There is so much going on in the last moments of the last scene. Scottie overcomes his Vertigo. In the beginning of the film you learn that only another traumatic event will cure Vertigo. Judy confesses to her part of the murder while being "coerced" by Scottie. Scottie reaches his peak insanity. Judy finally accepts that she cannot pretend as if her part in murdering another person can be swept under the rug and forgotten, but is now a part of who she is. Judy confesses that she was willing to go along with Scottie's insanity because of her deep, non-selfperserving love for him. Scottie starts to gain some sanity and finally starts to see the real Judy for the first time. She is a mix of Judy and Madeline. He is coming to terms with her duplicity in every sense. He realizes he can love her as she truly is. Then when there is a sense that this relationship may finally have just a slim chance of survival that is when Judy is scared and falls to her doom. She seems to be haunted yet with her past behavior which is why she is so started by the nun. All of this takes place in the very last moments of the film. I am sure there is more, or there are better interpretations, but this is what I have experienced.
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#25 SlickNikki

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 11:56 AM

I think the fact that you are not emotionally invested at all is the reason you cannot find any love for the film. I feel the same way towards The Birds. Hitch relied in the audience to have an emotional tie to the characters. The stronger the tie, the stronger the suspense is for the audience. It is just fine if you don't care for this film. This film reminds me a bit of withering heights. The characters motivations become very twisted and sick. If you are not invested in them right away you will never like the book. I am looking forward as well as dreading the birds. I am hoping to get more insight so I may appreciate it more. Then again, I may just feel like it is a waste of time like the movie itself.


I think the fact that you are not emotionally invested at all is the reason you cannot find any love for the film. I feel the same way towards The Birds. Hitch relied in the audience to have an emotional tie to the characters. The stronger the tie, the stronger the suspense is for the audience. It is just fine if you don't care for this film. This film reminds me a bit of Wuthering Heights. The characters motivations become very twisted and sick. If you are not invested in them right away you will never like the book. I am looking forward as well as dreading the birds. I am hoping to get more insight so I may appreciate it more. Then again, I may just feel like it is a waste of time like the movie itself.

#26 jfedelchak

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 12:50 AM

I must be one of only a handful of film buffs who just doesn't like Vertigo. Released the year I was born, I have  watched this film repeatedly over the decades and as I got older I did so with the intention of truly trying to discern why the film is "the best" of Hitchcock's efforts and why everyone loves it so, and to this day, I just cannot figure out why that is?

Sure it has a terrific musical score and opening sequence that blend ever so well together. And sure it has wonderful stars and fantastic locations for filming (San Francisco will always be, in my heart,  a star, ...but then I also love Bullitt.) And there are innovative techniques and special effects, which for me seem a tad dated even for 1958, but in truth I just don't understand the story.

      Now it's not because of the more obvious plot point paradoxes, like how did Stewart get down off the roof at the beginning of the film or how did Judy and the Husband steal themselves out of the tower after the murder with no one seeing them? Or how did Stewart get both his car and Madeline's back to his apartment after her faked suicide attempt in the bay. 

      I just don't see the obsessiveness of Stewart as anything more than catastrophic, and usually Hitch always would redeem his lead characters in the end, no matter what has transpired earlier. Johnny's obsession leads to solving the crime, true, but it does not result in the punishing of the real culprit, the husband, but that of a scared woman who tries repeatedly to dissuade Stewart from their combined destructive ends. Yes she is guilty of assisting in murder and coning Stewart, but I don't know that she deserves her fate? Stewart is an ex-cop, should he not want to pursue justice? And so in the final analysis, I end up feeling more sorry for Novak and very unsympathetic toward Stewart; I only see that most of the characters in the film (with the possible exception of Midge) as just being bat-sh*t crazy, and therefore I don't really care if they all end up in jail or dead or both. Which, in the end, is just about how the movie ends for them.

     I guess I feel the movie makes no sense, and so stubbornly refuse to accept  its possible genius. ... one thing I do know is that after all these year I still do not like this move.


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#27 Michael Linehan

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 11:02 AM

I love this movie.

 

SPOILER: The reveal towards the end where she is exactly the same woman worked on me. I did not realize for a minute that that was the same actress the first time I saw the film. The pure sickness of Scotty and the tragedy of him losing his love forever at the end because he couldn't sell out to a murderer is the pure essence of the film.


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#28 Hitch_nnw

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 08:54 AM

It's sometimes called the greatest film of all time.  I'm not so sure about that.  However, it may feature the best title sequence and best music score of all time.


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"Drama is life with the dull bits cut out."


#29 Hitch_nnw

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 08:33 PM

I remember that I originally had trouble with the fact that no explanation was given for how Scottie (hanging from the gutter) was rescued in the first scene.  Also, it had that breathless opening scene, and then slowed WAY down.  

 

But, yes, it is a masterpiece: so dream-like and richly layered.


"Drama is life with the dull bits cut out."


#30 mijiyoon38

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 04:57 PM

Notes on:  Vertigo...do not read this if you have not seen this movie & do not want to know what happens with a key character

 

This movie is not one of my favorites because I found it to be extremely confusing & here is why: The character/s  Judy/Madeleine Kim Novak...after reading (Wiki) & Robert Erbert/Scanners...Verdant Vertigo: Dreaming in Technocolor...I can get an idea of what this movie is about...that being a murder plot set up by  Gavin Elster Tom Helmore an acquaintance of John "Scottie" Ferguson after they knew each other in collage.

 

Also, I had no idea this story was taken from a french novel to begin with...no wonder I was  confused & had little interest in trying to watch this movie again...years ago I'm talking about. I did not want to continue my confusion.

 

Poor Scottie..seems like he received a rotten deal from people around him. PTSD ...suicide, murder...another suicide...seems like more than one character can handle...even for a Hitchcock character.

 

I may return to this page  and comment further after re-watching: Vertigo...now that I know what it is about. 


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