Right from the opening scene where the cops pursue someone across rooftops Vertigo oozes Hitchcock. It’s maybe the most Hitchcock of all the Hitchcocks. Apparently, when it first came out in the late fifties it wasn’t very well thought of and it’s only over decades that it has come to be seen as one of the director’s best. I definitely agree.
The whole thing looks beautiful especially the scenes on location in San Francisco. The usual feeling of suspense is there in spades; only Hitch can make a bloke driving round, slowly, in a car, feel tense. James Stewart pulls of his brilliant everyman turn but also adds a deeper, more passionate side. Kim Novak looks stunning. Bernard Herrman’s music is awesome.
On the debit side, Kim Novak looks stunning and her acting is also stunning; stunningly bad. The scene where she gets fished out of San Francisco…
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