Sign in to follow this  
SunAndMoon

Rebecca, Rear Window, and North by Northwest...

12 posts in this topic

...are all better movies than Vertigo.

James Stewart is fantastic as always, but the movie just drags in a way the other three don't. I don't really know why people call it Hitchcock's masterpiece. I didn't feel compelled, just bored.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, SunAndMoon said:

...are all better movies than Vertigo.

James Stewart is fantastic as always, but the movie just drags in a way the other three don't. I don't really know why people call it Hitchcock's masterpiece. I didn't feel compelled, just bored.

While it's "challenging" to see Jimmy Stewart play a creep with a psychologically kinky object-fetish for the girl he lost...we don't believe it for a second.  Maybe Henry Fonda can play villains, but Stewart's got an uphill battle.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, SunAndMoon said:

...are all better movies than Vertigo.

James Stewart is fantastic as always, but the movie just drags in a way the other three don't. I don't really know why people call it Hitchcock's masterpiece. I didn't feel compelled, just bored.

I first saw Vertigo about 25 years ago and I didn't 'get it' and, yea it dragged. 

After joining this site and seeing people list it as a top 5 favorite Hitchcock film,  I gave it another try.   Still didn't really move me.     Still not one of my top 10 favorite Hitchcock films.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, EricJ said:

While it's "challenging" to see Jimmy Stewart play a creep with a psychologically kinky object-fetish for the girl he lost...we don't believe it for a second.  Maybe Henry Fonda can play villains, but Stewart's got an uphill battle.

Stewart's not playing a villain, but a victim in Vertigo - his obsessive behavior being a direct result of his involuntary usage by the real antagonists of the story. It might be uncomfortable viewing, but it fits the state of mind that his character is forced into.

I do agree that the film's pacing seems off in places, but again - some of that could be taken to reflect the 'lost' state of Stewart's character. Additionally, the ending - while dramatically suspenseful - is somewhat downbeat.

The film probably also carries some additional depth for those who personally experience acrophobia...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a thread just like this any number of years ago, and I mounted what I felt was a passionate defense of Vertigo as the greatest of all Hitchcock films at that time. I seriously don't think I have the energy anymore to mount that kind of defense again. You live on this board long enough, and everything gets posted again and again and again like some kind of Kafka nightmare. But just let it be noted I am violently, passionately opposed to the concept of "Vertigo ... meh".

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha ha, well, I don't have much defense to offer for those crazy-a** eyebrows. She apparently thought they looked good, and neither Hitchcock nor Paramount stopped her from showing them like that. I just kinda try to squint and ignore them so they don't overtly impact my opinion of the movie's greatness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

Ha ha, well, I don't have much defense to offer for those crazy-a** eyebrows. She apparently thought they looked good, and neither Hitchcock nor Paramount stopped her from showing them like that. I just kinda try to squint and ignore them so they don't overtly impact my opinion of the movie's greatness.

She was a cheap shop girl from Kansas; she actually looked the way those kind of girls looked in the 1950s. Heavy Eyebrow pencil and eye liner with pale eyeshadow was all the rage-- (I spent a lot of time in Woolworths buying records and stuff.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

Ha ha, well, I don't have much defense to offer for those crazy-a** eyebrows. She apparently thought they looked good, and neither Hitchcock nor Paramount stopped her from showing them like that. I just kinda try to squint and ignore them so they don't overtly impact my opinion of the movie's greatness.

Going by this article, the skybrows were Hitch's responsibility...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, EricJ said:

While it's "challenging" to see Jimmy Stewart play a creep with a psychologically kinky object-fetish for the girl he lost...we don't believe it for a second.  Maybe Henry Fonda can play villains, but Stewart's got an uphill battle.

Maybe so, but I think he succeeds in the final scene. However,  he was an " APT Pupil " for playing villains.  After all, way back in 1936 in After the Thin Man, he gave a great performance as a methodical vindictive murderer. 

Also you have to remember in this film that it takes a long time for him to work up to the point where he is actually  hatefully angry and vindictive. When you consider all that he went through--- even briefly ending up in a Mental Sanitarium, you can understand why he makes the nasty transition so fast and so smoothly. I don't think Richard Widmark, Kirk Douglas or Burt Lancaster could have frightened me more. It was that sudden transition that made him so scary and horrible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, SunAndMoon said:

...are all better movies than Vertigo.

James Stewart is fantastic as always, but the movie just drags in a way the other three don't. I don't really know why people call it Hitchcock's masterpiece. I didn't feel compelled, just bored.

I won't try and change your opinion, s and m, but I'll offer up an observation I've made before for your consideration.

Vertigo (1958) is Alfred Hitchcock's best movie, but it is not the best Hitchcock movie.  Vertigo is almost completely opposite from the standard Hitchcock movie.  It is character driven, not plot driven.  It has virtually no action.  It has tension, but no suspense.  The pace is, well, deliberate, not quick, or active.  There is no MacGuffin.  A lot of the dislike--or, let me rephrase it, disappointment a lot of people have for the movie might stem from their unfulfilled expectations for a movie with the name Hitchcock attached to it.  For the best Hitchcock movie, you can take your pick, mine is The Birds (1963).  But Vertigo is Alfred Hitchcock's best movie, and a masterpiece.  For me, it's what makes me rank him with the best.  In it, Hitchcock did what he almost never did any time else--at least to any great extent.  He explored the characters' inner workings, their motivations, dire needs, compulsions, insecurity, and agony.  It has some of his best camerawork, both innovative and magnificent.  His expanding space with the use of a telephoto lens to visualize Scottie's disorientation was remarkable.  And the culminating scene, where Scottie finally realizes his perverted ambition of recreating his dead love, where he and Madeleine kiss, and they and the camera whirl in an ecstatic dream, all bathed in the sickly green illumination from the hotel's neon sign is one the the great moments in movies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While Vertigo doesn't rank even among my top 5 Hitchcock films, there's something about it that keeps me watching again and again.  Yes, the plot is convoluted and at times confusing, but there is something about it that keeps me watching it.  I like the style of it, the scenery, and I like James Stewart and Kim Novak.  Yes, Kim's eyebrows are a little crazy, but I figured that was more for her Judy character and less because Kim liked them. 

I don't know what it is about this film, but I find it fascinating and will give it a re-watch every so often.

A few years ago, my husband and I stayed at the Hotel Vertigo in San Francisco.  This hotel was used as Kim Novak's character's apartment building, the Empire Hotel in the film.  Vertigo plays in the lobby 24/7. We stayed as high up in the hotel as we could, because I wanted to get the dizzying effect looking down the famous square spiral staircase.  There are 6 floors in the hotel, we stayed on the 5th floor.  The 6th floor is the penthouse. The staircase was really cool. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us