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Alfred Hitchcock's VERTIGO


MissGoddess
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in watching the documentary on the making of this film, it is said that Hitch paid particular attention to colors. Has anyone else ever noticed the color scheme here:

 

After her leap into the Bay, Scotty brings Madeline into his home and sets her to warm by the fire.

He places GOLD colored pillows on the floor for her to sit on.

 

When he brings Judy back to his place, he gives her the same treatment....a la GREEN pillows. The pillows come from the same sofa and look to be the same shape and size, just changed in color.

 

Now, does this mean his Maddie is Royalty and Judy can be bought? I love it, but wonder what he was really thinking...also Scotty's door is painted red. Red doors on homes have significance in some cultures. Friendship or such meanings. Curious observer......anyone else notice these types of things?

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What I meant was when Scotty first sees Judy, he follows her to her hotel, confronts her-

she convinces him she is really Judy Barton from Kansas, they agree to meet the next

morning--after she closes the door ,she remembers playing Madeleine, and running up the stairs

of the tower, when she gets to the top we see Ulster throwing Madeleine over the side.

Then she walks to the closet and we see the grey suit. She confesses this to Scotty in a letter, which she tears up and throws away--My question was why would Hitchcock give away Judy's identity so soon? -why not let the audience find out at the same time he sees the necklace.

 

:

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Your sister isn't the character in the movie; how your parents chose to spell her name is irrelevant to that in the script and film..

 

As to the revealing of Judy's role in impersonating Madeleine, it's very much in keeping with Hitch's belief that suspense and tension

are a product of the audience's knowing what the protagonist does not (such as Hitch's example of showing the ticking time-bomb

under the table), thereby magnifying their expectations and fears as to the outcome of the character's not coming to the necessary

realization in time.

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The entire plot was stupid.

 

If the killer was able to get into the tower and up to the top

with both his wife AND Judy, with both looking just alike and dressed alike,

with the wife not screaming and kicking and yelling, and then he threw the wife

off and then totally escaped with Judy ? who is dressed up just like the lady who just fell off the

tower! ? and he and Judy got away without being seen by anyone, then why did he need Jimmy

Stewart and Judy at all, and why did he need to use the impossibly

complex scam, and why, then, did he let Judy still work in

a major store in downtown San Francisco AND keep some of his wife?s jewelry, which

was featured in a major painting at the local art museum??

 

This plot was designed to trick only the audience, not the cops.

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Exactly.

 

Hitchcock got carried away with that film and decided to develop a plot that was so intricate

he would have the audience completely mystified throughout most of the movie.

But in doing so, he invented an impossible plot that was much too complex

to be carried out in real life, plus he made the big mistake of leaving Judy

working as a clerk in a major store right in downtown San Francisco, where anyone who

knew the other lady would realize that Judy looked just like her.

In fact.... she WAS her, since both parts were played by the same actress.

 

Also, Hitchcock had Judy at the end ? who was supposedly the ?real? girl ? being a stupid

uneducated girl living in a cheap hotel in downtown San Francisco,

yet earlier she played a highly complex sophisticated and educated woman who

had a million complicated things to remember to keep her scam from falling apart.

 

The killer didn?t need to go to all this trouble, since he was able to get into the

town and the tower with his wife and out of the town and the tower

without being seen by anyone. He didn?t need Judy or Jimmy.

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The entire plot was stupid.

 

If the killer was able to get into the tower and up to the top

with both his wife AND Judy, with both looking just alike and dressed alike,

with the wife not screaming and kicking and yelling, and then he threw the wife

off and then totally escaped with Judy ? who is dressed up just like the lady who just fell off the

tower! ? and he and Judy got away without being seen by anyone, then why did he need Jimmy

Stewart and Judy at all, and why did he need to use the impossibly

complex scam, and why, then, did he let Judy still work in

a major store in downtown San Francisco AND keep some of his wife?s jewelry, which

was featured in a major painting at the local art museum??

 

This plot was designed to trick only the audience, not the cops.

 

 

No, the biggest point is that Elster, who's already going to have a murder-rap hanging over his head if the police ever find out he killed the

real Madeleine, conspicuously leaves Judy -- his accomplice and the only one who can finger him for the murder,and possibly blackmail

him -- alive, and living in the same town as Scottie (remember that San Francisco was, back then, a pretty small city). And he lets her keep

(or doesn't pay attention to what happens to) Carlotta's necklace. Since Elster can only be executed for murder once, it makes no sense for

him not to kill Judy, too.

 

Of course, the bottom line is that if a film is compelling enough, holes in mere plot, even those as gaping as VERTIGO's, are

irrelevant.

 

And thistledown: it's Gavin Elster -- or do you also have a sister called Ulster?

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>No, the biggest point is that Elster, who's already going to have a murder-rap hanging over his head if the police ever find out he killed the real Madeleine, conspicuously leaves Judy -- his accomplice and the only one who can finger him for the murder,and possibly blackmail him -- alive, and living in the same town as Scottie....

 

And that?s how his stupid scheme was uncovered.

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Well, it goes even deeper than that: Elster bases his entire murder scheme on his having heard that old bud Scottie's come down with a bad case of vertigo, therefore reasoning its likely he won't pursue Judy/Madeleine up the mission's belltower, giving Elster the freedom to throw the real Madeleine off the top without interference.

 

That is pretty darned preposterous.

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And of course, the same store sold THREE copies of the very same

gray suit in the same size to THREE women who looked exactly alike!! Lol.

 

1 ? To Madeleine, who was pushed off the bell tower.

2 ? To Judy pretending to be Madeleine.

 

And Later:

 

3 ? To Judy who Jimmy was trying to dress up like Madeleine.

 

I can hear the manager of the ladies department of that store now, ?Hmm, we sold three

copies of that gray suit, and all three of the ladies fell off the church bell

tower down at San Juan Bautista! Dang!?

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>Well, it goes even deeper than that: Elster bases his entire murder scheme

on his having heard that old bud Scottie's come down with

a bad case of vertigo, therefore reasoning its likely he won't

pursue Judy/Madeleine up the mission's belltower,

 

But Scottie DID pursue Judy up the mission's belltower!

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Let me join in the fray. Nobody gives a good god****#@! what your f*&^%$g bozos think about "Vertigo." Pull the damn plot apart, call it 'stupid.' Scoff at Novak's eyebrows for god's sake. You're damned ridiculous!!!

 

The movie is about longing. It's about loss. It had all those trappings (that make no sense to you) but that doesn't matter to those of us who get the deeper meaning of Hitchcock's film. It's about losing one's self foolishly...willingly, perhaps.

 

Bronxgirl you say you can't warm up to the film. I can totally respect that. But the other stupid assinine comments by other oh-so-clever posters are just so unworthy of a civilized discussion.

 

I've read some stupid, unkind, cruel things on this TCM Message Board, but I dunno...this stuff here takes the (*&^!!@ cake. Go on and blast me. I'll take the hit for "Vertigo."

 

(P.S. Love "Shadow of a Doubt." Teresa Wright is one of my favorites and Hitchcock always tells a deeper tale than the surface plot devices would have us believe).

 

Yeah man...I'm steamed!!!

 

Message was edited by: CineMaven

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But Scottie DID pursue Judy up the mission's belltower!

 

Well, yeah. It turns out that Elster wasn't as smart as he thought he was; if you think about it, that's exactly the mechanism undergirding most crime stories in which the cops and prosecutors triumph at the end.

 

Of course, if I were a cop or prosecutor, I'd be a bit peeved at Hollywood's collective, decades-old implication that crimes are solved not because the authorities are resourceful and smart, but because the criminals are inept and stupid.

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Of course, the bottom line is that if a film is compelling enough, holes in mere plot, even those as gaping as VERTIGO's, are irrelevant.

 

I totally agree, there was so much stuff that Hitchcock wanted to get across that eludes easy descriptions or summary; looking for plot holes in the movie is a bit like looking for cracks on the surface of the Mona Lisa.

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>Well, yeah. It turns out that Elster wasn't as smart as he thought he was

 

That's my whole point.

 

And tell me how could stupid uneducated Judy so easily succeed in acting like a well-educated intelligent and sophisticated woman and then so easily go back to being stupid Judy?

 

Why didn?t Elster make her move to some obscure place like Kansas City or Omaha after the murder? Why did he allow her to continue to work as a clerk in a major store in downtown San Francisco?

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>>>in watching the documentary on the making of this film, it is said that Hitch paid particular attention to colors. Has anyone else ever noticed the color scheme here<<<

 

I do notice it very distinctly. Red and Green were two colors Hitch seemed particularly fond of using in his movies. I don't know enough about symbolism to comment on what they mean, I'm sure others here know more about that. But I have noticed that Hitch seemed to find something romantic or positive about the color green, particularly soft, spring or celedon greens. And he usually has his blonde leading lady wear a stylish grey suit. I want a grey suit like that, it looks smashing on fair ladies.

 

I didn't notice the switch in colors of the seat cushions--good call!

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And tell me how could stupid uneducated Judy so easily succeed in acting like a well-educated intelligent and sophisticated woman and then so easily go back to being stupid Judy?

 

Elster obviously sent Judy to study with Professor Higgins in London before embarking on his murder plot.

 

The point of the above quip being, of course, that VERTIGO was always meant to be a warped, futile Pygmalion story.

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