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The "face" in Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo


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In the opening credits of Vertigo, the camera focuses on the lips, eyes and face of a young woman while Bernard Herman's haunting theme is playing. It is my opinion that the person's face being photographed is NOT Kim Novak but Hitchcock's daughter, Pat. Can anybody corroborate this, please?

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No it isn't Kim Novak. And I don't think it's Pat Hitchcock.


It looks like Judith Evelyn to me. She played the deaf mute in "The Tingler" and the murder victim in "Female on the Beach."


There is no listing in the IMDB credits for the part. I know there is a book about Vertigo that was published when the restored version was released, but I don't think it named the actress either.

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Judith Evelyn would have been 44 in 1957 (when Vertigo was shot) and that seems too old for the actress in the opening credits. It's a young face. I visually compared it to Pat Hitchcock in her role in her father's film, Strangers On A Train and there seems to be a strong resemblance, especially around the eyes. She would have been about 29 at the time Vertigo was filmed. Incidentally, Judith Evelyn played Miss Lonelyhearts in another classic Hitchcock film, Rear Window.

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  • 6 years later...

Looks like I'm a bit late to the discussion. (I only just recently discovered Vertigo due to the shakeup in this year's Sight & Sound poll.)


I too was curious about the face. There are various mentions here and there on the web that this shot features Kim Novak's face, but it certainly doesn't look like Kim Novak (just look at the eyebrows).


When I saw this thread, I was inspired to construct a composite from multiple screenshots throughout the pan, to help get a better idea of the face as a whole; it's not perfect, as there was some zoom and a tiny bit of angle change/parallax during the pan.


(Note: due to the forum formatting, you might have to scroll the frame to see the right side of the images. Or you can just right-click it and open in new window to see the full image.)









Not to discount Roger Ebert (or his source Robert Harris), but upon seeing that someone thought it might be Patricia Hitchcock, I couldn't help but do a quick comparison. I do see a resemblance in the bottom of the nose; compare with the shot from Strangers on a Train below. Notice in both photos the nostril on the right is larger than the one on the left, and what appears to be a concave indentation running the length of her nose between each nostril.










Although I'm not sure if it's a definite, because there are a couple of dissimilarities: in the black and white shot of Patricia, her philtral columns are more prominent, and the main part of her nose seems a bit more bulbous. The mouth too looks different, though that could be just a difference in expression.



Well what do you think? ?:|



Edited by: nabziF on Oct 25, 2012 1:06 PM

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  • 1 year later...

Hey, I know I'm also late to the discussion by 1 year but the face in the opening sequence to me is definitely Pat Hitchcock.


She would have been 30 when this sequence was filmed, It looks exactly like her, and Hitchcock has used her in other of his films before so it would just make perfect sense. I honestly don't see why there's so much uncertainty!


The nose is the same. In the picture you posted of Pat, her nostrils are flared. You can see it better in this picture:



Her lips are different because her lipstick overlaps her lips. You can see her real lip line if you look closely though. Also, since she is wearing makeup, her eyebrows are filled in, but they nonetheless have the same shape.

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