Sunday, March 8, 2009

Vertigo. A

'Vertigo' contains scenes, techniques, and themes that rank among the greatest ever captured on film. Many consider 'Vertigo' to be Alfred Hitchcock's finest work. I'm settling for number two, just a fraction of a point behind 'Psycho,' one of the greatest movies ever made. This is a tale of mad love and obsession, mixed identities, and deceit. It is a brilliant psychological mystery that really forces the viewer to think about the characters and the way they treat one another and so on and so forth. Hitchcock created so much in this movie. Consider Scottie's (James Stewart) sense of vertigo when he is in an elevated area a looks down. The technique Hitchcock uses is fascinating. He zooms in with the camera lens and then physically pulls the camera up to create the effect. There are other masterful angles that Hitchcock uses, such as when Scottie is walking up the stairs of the hotel. Notice the angle and how the shot makes us feel almost dizzy. It reminded me a little of the unique angles found in 'Psycho' when the detective is walking through the Bates' estate. I also loved how Hitchcock always made Kim Novak's character reminiscent of ghostly, demented spirit, especially in the iconic scene in the hotel with the green lighting. 'Vertigo' has been restored for optimum sound and picture quality by Robert A. Harris and James C. Katz. It looks terrific in my opinion and I think this was a very necessary restoration. AFI ranks this as the greatest mystery film of all time. Indeed, it is. (for full review and analysis, email me at

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