|Rating: The Good – 87.7
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Duration: 128 mins
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: James Stewart, Kim Novak
Hitchcock’s timeless mystery delves deep inside the psyche as private detective Scottie (Jimmy Stewart) is called into investigate the strange behaviour of his friend’s wife but ultimately develops a dangerous obsession with her. Hitchcock’s films are always remembered for his ground-breaking direction and edge-of-your-seat action but Vertigo is the finest example of both. It’s also his most aesthetically plush film where colour and theme play off each other in dizzying manner wrapped up warmly in Bernard Herrmann’s ultra audacious and seminal score. Stewart responds with a haunting performance that more than anything else grounds the often surreal story in reality while Kim Novak is a picture of ambiguity with the voice and poise to match and it’s difficult to imagine a more suitable Madeleine.
Though the movie has ascended to top of many people’s all time great movies list in recent years, there are some who believe that it’s not even Hitch’s best. It could be argued that the story is too drawn out in parts and that there is a tendency to disengage especially from the final act of the film. This renders it less enjoyable than many of Hitchcock’s other classics which never once lose the audience. That said, Vertigo is still head and shoulders above the vast majority of thrillers and the fact that so many back it as the greatest film of all time must count for something.