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Vertigo 1958 PG CC

(792) IMDb 8.4/10

San Francisco police detective Scottie Fergusson develops a fear of heights and is forced to retire when a colleague falls to his death during a chase.

James Stewart, Kim Novak
2 hours, 11 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Thriller, Romance, Mystery
Director Alfred Hitchcock
Starring James Stewart, Kim Novak
Supporting actors Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore, Henry Jones, Raymond Bailey, Ellen Corby, Konstantin Shayne, Lee Patrick, David Ahdar, Isabel Analla, Jack Ano, Margaret Bacon, John Benson, Danny Borzage, Margaret Brayton, Paul Bryar, Steve Conte, Jean Corbett, Bruno Della Santina
Studio Universal Studios
MPAA rating PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

244 of 259 people found the following review helpful By Michael K. Beusch VINE VOICE on April 7, 2000
Format: DVD
Vertigo is one of those films that is so ahead of its time, no one at the time of release is able to appreciate it. It was dismissed by critics, ignored by audiences and, to my knowledge, didn't win a single Academy Award (this last part isn't shocking -- Citizen Kane didn't win Best Picture). It's interesting that the reputation of this film seems to have grown substantially since the public found out more about Alfred Hitchcock's private life. For example, Scottie Ferguson's obsession with Kim Novak mirrors Hitch's own obsession with beautiful blondes, most notably Grace Kelly. Actors often bare their souls to the world, but very rarely are we aware when a director bares his/her soul. Those who dismiss Hitchcock as just a taskmaster director of suspense films should study Vertigo. He is essentially dealing with his own weaknesses and inner demons on film.
Vertigo also contains two great performances -- those of James Stewart and Kim Novak. Stewart reveals a dark side that might shock those who just know him from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and It's a Wonderful Life. He is completely believeable as a man (Hitchcock's alter ego) who is consumed by obsession. Likewise Kim Novak is wonderful and totally convincing as Madeline/Judy. Vera Miles (Lila Crane in Psycho) was originally cast, but it's hard to see anyone else but Kim Novak in the role. She is utterly convincing as the distant, aristocratic Madeline AND as the earthy working class girl Judy. I can't think of many actresses who could be so effective in both roles. Grace Kelly, for example, might have been able to pull off Madeline, but probably would have been laughable as Judy. It's too bad more directors couldn't see past Novak's sex kitten image and cast her in more substantial roles.
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86 of 93 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 17, 2008
Format: DVD
It is unusual to see a director produce his best work after the age of 50, but that is exactly what Alfred Hitchcock did. Starting in 1948 with "Rope" and ending with "The Birds" in 1963, this was the era of his most inspired films. "Vertigo", in my opinion, is the best film of his entire body of work.

It is funny to note that when this film was first released in 1957 that it was not that popular in theaters and was pretty much universally panned by critics. In 1992, when the British Film Institute performed a survey of the world film critics to compile an all-time ten-best list that comes out every decade, Vertigo came in at fourth place. It didn't even make that list in 1962 or 1972. Part of the reason for the delayed popularity of the film could be that it requires repeated viewings to really gain an appreciation of it. Such repeated viewings were not possible for most viewers until the advent of home video systems and cable around 1980.

As for the film itself, it is a brilliantly twisted movie infused with touches of genius and madness that focuses on the interconnected nature of love and obsession. Interwoven with this main theme is a crime mystery that is revealed to and solved for the audience but not the protagonist, James Stewart's character, for the last 45 minutes of the film.

Alongside these themes is the issue of lost opportunities - how we grieve over them, and whether or not what we perceive as lost opportunities were ever "real" opportunities in the first place.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Sandy McLendon on July 24, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Of the "Vertigo" CD's available, I like this one best, even though I know there are some problems with it. Some tracks are mono, because they were originally recorded that way. There are some flaws in the playing, including more bowing from the strings than composer Bernard Herrmann might have liked. And the years have not been entirely kind to the recordings themselves. I say, "So What?" This is the version that has the one thing all others lack- the power to put you back into the strange world of "Vertigo".
It's a very complete version; the only thing I believe is missing is the little bit of stock music used when Scotty and Judy dance at the Fairmont.
But the wonderful thing about this soundtrack is that power to return you to San Francisco, circa 1958, when a decent detective got gulled into playing an unwitting witness to a scam, and lost his soul thereby.
I can testify to that power; I played the CD in the car one day, and found myself driving on one of Atlanta's hillier streets, just as the music for Scottie's following of Madeleine was played. For just a second, I was IN the movie, it seemed; I had to take a moment to bring myself back to here and now- reminding myself that I was on my way to a meeting, not tailing a green Jaguar. If I had been in San Francisco when this happened, I think I might have ended up in San Juan Bautista before the spell broke...
Again, I've heard the other versions, and they're fine. They're well-played and state-of-the-art technically; they try to correct every flaw in the actual soundtrack, and on that score they succeed. They just don't have the ability to evoke the movie the way this one does. Madeleine and Scottie are on this CD, and no other. Play the others, and hear beautiful music. Put this CD in, and be transported. I was.
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