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Alfred Hitchcock's VERTIGO


MissGoddess
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This one Hitchcock movie, more than any other, seems to strike people very differently. Either they love it or hate it---with the critics mostly loving it. For once I agree with them, even if many of the things read into have still escaped me and though there are some scenes I don't understand.

 

For me, it is Hitchcock's most deeply romantic, shimmeringly melancholic movie. For others, James Stewart's "Scottie Ferguson" is weird---for me, he is tragic. And it's the only time Jimmy has ever elicited so much compassion from me for one of his characters. Not even in *It's a Wonderful Life* did I feel as much empathy, maybe because that character was sounder, but not Scottie. Scottie wasn't always responsible for himself or his actions. Maybe that's why control became so important to him after he met "Madeleine's" double.

 

It's a movie about falling. Falling from heights, as we do in love, and falling for a terrible trick.

 

Let me know *your* thoughts, good bad or indifferent about Vertigo---and whether or not you think it was the master's "masterpiece".

 

vertigo-cover.jpg

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Maybe that's why control became so important to him after he met "Madeleine's" double.

 

Well, Judy Barton isn't Madeleine's double, Scottie just comes to believe that -- until Carlotta's necklace tips him off that the two are one-and-the-same and that he's been played for a patsy

by Gavin Elster in persuance of his plot to murder his wife, the real Madeleine.

 

And today's critics generally agree that VERTIGO is Hitchcock's masterpiece; it's critics at

the time of the film's original release who failed to apprehend that.

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Oild Buddy CS, jr:

 

>>>Well, Judy Barton isn't Madeleine's double, Scottie just comes to believe that<<<

 

I meant to express it in the sense of Hitch's playing with the concept of the double or doppleganger.

 

Yes, the public and critics were not warm toward *Vertigo* at its release. I usually don't agree with modern critics about lots of things, but I am glad they appreciate this film more today. However, I doubt many find it as romantic as I continue to.

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I believe it IS Hitchcock's masterpiece.

 

And I say that with a lot of thought of "The Birds" "Rebecca" "Notorious" "Rear Window" "Suspicion" "Psycho" etc. etc. etc., classic upon classic upon classic.

 

James Stewart pretty much becomes unhinged after he loses "Madeleine." It's very methodical how he slowly makes over Judy into the girl of his dreams. Hey...who wouldn't want the chance to make...create the person of their dream. It is interesting that she allows this to happen in order to keep the man she has fallen in love with. Co-dependants. Then he lets us in on the fact that Judy IS Madeleine. OMG!!! Hermann's music is dizzyingly romantic. Kim Novak is...is...amazingly stunning.

 

This is my favorite Hitchcock film. I think it's his master- piece and MissGoddess get ready for the screams, the shrieks, the naysayers in response to your question. You asked for it.

 

I'll take Vertigo...yah yah yah.

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>>>Hey...who wouldn't want the chance to make...create the person of their dream<<<

 

I hadn't thought of it that way, very interesting. Losing the one you love, especially under such circumstances, is something difficult for even a strong person to come to grips with. Ferguson was not strong and he couldn't accept Madeleine was gone. How many hundreds of millions of people throughout time have felt the same?

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Many images from Vertigo will always float in and out of my conscious mind because the first time I saw this movie was late at night with my Mom when I was about 5/6. The vision of the tower, the staircase, and the confusion about who was real and who wasn't still creates an anxiety about the difficulties of the adult world that perplex me from time to time, even though I've viewed this movie several times since then. I think Vertigo is a cinematic question mark about the paths our lives might take, and with a doppelganger, that scenario is always a given.

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>>>The vision of the tower, the staircase, and the confusion about who was real and who wasn't still creates an anxiety about the difficulties of the adult world that still perplex me from time to time, even though I've viewed this movie several times since then. <<<

 

That's deep. "Anxiety" is a good adjective for much of the feeling this movie seems to generate, and Scottie's character in particular.

 

>>>I think Vertigo is a cinematic question mark about the paths our lives might take, and with a doppelganger, that scenario is always a given.<<<

 

That's even deeper. I was hoping for responses like this, because I love to find new things to carry into my next viewing of this movie.

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"Judy" is supposed to be from Salina, Kansas. So why does she adopt a very discernable New Yawkish-type accent (and I would know) when she talks to Scottie at her hotel? Does Novak think that makes her sound more "common" or streetwise, i.e., not elegant or sophisticated like Madeline, to throw Scottie off her track?

 

Who does Judy think is the black figure at the tower, a harbinger of her death?

 

Why is Scottie so obsessed with Madeline? It seems to take him about 5 seconds to look at her at the restaurant for the first time and fall in love.

 

Is Novak as Madeline foretelling her own death as Judy to Scottie when she talks about the open grave waiting for her?

 

Does Judy unconsciously want Scottie to know she's Madeline when she "inadvertantly" puts on the necklace before they go out for that steak dinner? Would that be her way of saying to him (instead of in the letter she tore up) "And so you found me".

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Neat questions raised by you, Bronxie, and Thistledown! For now at least, I'll leave the others to be answered by other more knowledgeable posters and will just take this one:

 

*Why is Scottie so obsessed with Madeline? It seems to take him about 5 seconds to look at her at the restaurant for the first time and fall in love*

 

That's the start of what I find so romantic about this movie. Here is a man that really didn't want to come out of retirement to take on Gavin Elster's job, but totally changes his mind over a pretty face. I think it's simply her bewitching beauty that hits him, and that's enough for most men to start with. The more he follows her after that first glimpse, the more he becomes fascinated. But to begin with, I think it's just her beauty he is taken by (and I like a guy like that, hee!)

 

madeleine.jpg

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Miss G, that photo of Kim's profile as Madeline is just gorgeous. Of course, any guy would instantly be smitten I guess, so, why NOT Scottie.

 

I can't seem to warm up to VERTIGO and am having a difficult time defining it as a masterpiece, but it certainly seems like it really is the most personal of all Hitchcock's films.

 

Anyway, I'm going to watch SHADOW OF A DOUBT in a few minutes; this in my opinion is one of his greatest.

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Will someone explain to me Kim Novak's eyebrows?

No, Judy thinks the nun at the end is Madalyn

Does anyone else think Hitchcock gave away the Mcguffin to soon

Why did he want us to know right away Judy was Madalyn?

 

Never liked the gull-wing eyebrows.

 

There's no logic to Judy's reaction to seeing the nun; it's actually Hitchcock's comment on his detested Catholic upbringing.'

 

The film doesn't have a traditional Hitchcockian "maguffin."

 

Hitch didn't want audiences to realize Judy and "Madeleine" were one-and-the-same. Were you gazing into your Magic 8-Ball when watching the film for the first time?

 

The character's name is still spelled Madeleine.

 

Message was edited by: CineSage_jr

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