Blind Spot Series: Vertigo



What I knew going in: I recognized the man falling into the spiral image. Seriously. 

What's kind of nice about most of the films on my Blind Spot list is that I haven't bothered to read the plot lines of some of them. I chose them all out of hear say. So when I got Vertigo in the mail and saw it's PG rating, that was a surprise. I didn't know what I was getting into.

When we first meet Scottie, (James Stewart) a detective, he's running across the roof tops chasing a criminal with his partner. He slips and nearly falls off a building, he looks down, and vertigo hits. Turns out Scottie is petrified of heights. it doesn't help that the other police officer trying to save him falls to his death while doing it. When we see Scottie again, it's been some time since this highly publicized incident. He's retired now, and approached by an old college friend, Gavin Elster (Tom Helmore) who wants him to tail his wife. (Kim Novak)

Vertigo is quite fascinating, it's also kind of a mind fuck. When the credits hit, I nearly restarted the film just to make sure I processed everything correctly. I didn't though, I just gave it a bit of time to settle in. The film doesn't age particularly well. The effects are kind of awful, but it's one of those things you just have to dismiss. I really enjoyed the story Hitchcock told here. It was very complex. James Stewart was also a high light for me. I was surprised to find a lot of negative things said about him on the net about his performance in this film. I thought he was great.

This is one of two Hitchcock films on my Blind Spot list, the next being North by Northwest.  Venturing away from his horror movies is off to a good start.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "It's a brassiere!" - Midge (Barbara Bel Gaddes)

14 comments:

  1. Who DARES speak negatively of Stewart here? He was brilliant! I love this movie though, possibly my favorite Hitch. Very nice and unbiased review here.

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    1. Right? There's a giant thread on IMDb about him sucking. I thought he was great.

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  2. Great blind spot! Yep, Vertigo is one of the first (and still best) mindfucks. Gotta be my favorite Jimmy Stewart performance as well. Ol' Scottie broke bad.

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    1. Is it safe to call this the original mind fuck? I kind of felt like I was witnessing history here. lol

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  3. I finally saw this film last year as part of my Halloween marathon as it's one of many films of Hitchcock that I needed to see as I have more Hitchcock to discover for October.

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    1. I'm kind of behind on my Hitchcock too. I wish they'd put all of his films on Netflix Instant to make my life easier.

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  4. Thrilled that you liked this movie. I've seen it around 5 times, and it only gets better each time I watch it. And Stewart is fantastic!

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    1. I imagine this is one of those films that gets better with each viewing. I hope I can catch it again eventually.

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  5. I saw it for the first time quite recently, I think it actually ages better than some of Hitchcock's films I've seen, like Marnie, for example, which really looked dated. I liked Stewart here but I wasn't that impressed with him, my fav thing about the film was definitely the atmosphere.

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  6. "Mind Fuck" is a great description of this film. I'd go one step further and call it "Really Fucking Dark". I mean - we're talking about a story where one man is obsessed with hiitin' it with a dead lady! How much darker does it get?


    I was lucky enough to see this on the big screen two years ago, and that experience undelined something I hadn't really thought of before: this movie wants to make us feel dwarfed by life around us. Everything from that steeple that towers over the mission, to the enormity of The Golden Gate Bridge in the background of Mrs Elster's suicide attempt, to those massive redwoods in the forest that she and Scottie walk through. Vertigo - and by extension, Hitchcock - seem bound to tell us that in the face of everything around us, and everything that has come before us, we are wickedly insignificant.

    Like I said - "Really Fucking Dark".

    Glad you dug it!

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    1. Wow, that is a hell of a way to describe this! I didn't think of it that way either. Thanks for reading! Really fucking dark indeed.

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  7. If there's anybody I would complain about then it's Kim Novak. Sure, she's pretty and all that jazz but I found her sort of wooden and stiff. Further watches will show if that was just me. Stewart is great though, he's starting to become one of my favorite actors of all time.
    I think Vertigo is a really good film, not a favorite nor my favorite Hitchcock but definitely one I ought to re-watch.

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    1. Stewart was definitely stronger than Novak. I need to see more of his performances.

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No seriously, post one. I need attention.