Film Review: Vertigo (1958)

Posted by prla1983 on October 08, 2005 • 0 commentsEmail This Post

[ This review was originally published here ]

"Psycho" and "Rear Window" are probably the films that always get quoted first but Hitchcock's "Vertigo" should, in all fairness, be featured alongside those two. It is a remarkable film, using avant-garde special effects for its time (the way Hitchcock depicts the main characters' vertigo is a good example) and featuring an interesting and intricate plot of which I'm not going to talk about as it is the very essence of the film.

After acting in three previous Hitchcock movies, most notably as the voyeur in "Rear Window", James Stewart has in "Vertigo" his very last collaboration with the master of suspense. And he yet again proves how good of an actor he really is, always in the right tone as he unravels the deep mystery that was dropped on his lap.

I have a hard time appreciating all the blonde craze of the 50s/60s (I have a soft spot for Grace Kelly though, who shared the screen in "Rear Window" with Stewart, sadly getting both her life and career cut short) but I can understand that Kim Novak was particularly hot for that era. I'm not too crazy about her acting either, as it seems too forced, especially when put alongside Stewart's effortless presence.

As a whole though, the film works very well and you feel compelled to try and solve the mysteries yourself, feeling as puzzled as Stewart is along the way. The payoff is rewarding and when all is said and done, "Vertigo" is a textbook thriller, done by the genre's rightfully most acclaimed director.

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