hitchcock

I am so thrilled today to be hosting the wonderful and delightful Cara of Silver Screen Serenade as a part of the massive Alfred Hitchcock blogathon which I am hosting with Rob. If you aren’t already following Cara, hop of over there right now, change that, then come back and read what she has to say about Vertigo. When you’re done, you can always go back and have a look see at the Shenanigans she gets up to.

vertigo poster

“Oh, Scottie. I’m not mad. I’m not mad. I don’t want to die. There’s someone within me and she says I must die. Oh, Scottie, don’t let me go.” – Madeleine Elster

Number of Times Seen – 1 (23 July 2014)

Brief Synopsis – “A retired San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend’s wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.” (from IMDb)

My Take On It – Hitchcock Blogathon! Let’s DO this! I was so, so excited to hear that Rob and Zoë were doing this because I’ve only seen a couple of Hitchcock films (Psycho and North by Northwest), which is kind of unforgivable for a movie buff. Or at least I guess. I don’t know the rules. Haha. Whatever the case, it was high time I got around to one or two of his other films, and this was just the push I needed to do it. So thanks, Rob and Zoë, for a brilliant idea!

I have a confession to make: I’m kind of in love with Jimmy Stewart. I think I have been ever since I first saw The Philadelphia Story. Shortly after that, I watched It’s a Wonderful Life for the first time as well, and my love grew. Though his role in Vertigo is much darker than the aforementioned films, Stewart is equally fantastic in it. He has this undeniable likeability in just about anything he does—no exception here. As retired detective John a.k.a. Scottie (I’m still not sure why the latter is his nickname), Stewart is just so natural and believable. Once his obsession kicks in he’s a little lot creepy, but given the story behind that obsession, it’s kind of understandable.

As for the leading ladies, they certainly hold up, too. Right from the start, I adored the chemistry Stewart has with Barbara Bel Geddes, who plays Scottie’s good friend and one-time fiancée, Midge. I enjoyed their rapport so much that I was kind of hoping they’d end up together; in fact, I’m a little baffled as to why Midge called off their engagement all those years ago because they seem great together. But it’s pretty clear that Scottie only has eyes for Madeleine (Kim Novak), which is tricky territory since she is an old friend’s wife. Novak is fantastic as Madeleine—alluring and mysterious and vulnerable to perfection. The actress even has the challenge of playing dual roles…but that’s getting into spoiler territory, and I wouldn’t want to do that. 😉

vertigo 2

Here’s what I love about what I’ve seen of Hitchcock’s work: each film tells a gripping story. I don’t think his work will ever stop inspiring filmmakers. Vertigo is undoubtedly one of those inspiring films. The premise sounded intriguing to me, and it certainly delivered. Due credit to the writers for that. It’s as much a baffling mystery with a hint of the paranormal as it is a dramatic love story. It crescendos into powerful moments and then proceeds to outdo those moments with the next big twist. And can we talk about some of those twists?? Wait—nope. No, we can’t because that would be spoiling things! I’ll just say this: it reminds me of Psycho in that something huge happens somewhere in the middle of the film, which brings on what at first seems like an entirely new story. But it all comes full circle in the end with a shocking final punch. Seriously, I was left gaping at the screen saying, “Hitchcock! WOAH, dude!”

In addition to being a master storyteller, Hitchcock also has an excellent eye. The use of color and swirls in the opening credits is trippy but mesmerizing. I could say the same of a dream sequence Scottie has later in the film. And some of the shots! The ones in which Scottie suffers his bouts of vertigo are the best. Hitchcock stretches out the distant and makes you just as dizzy and nervous as the main character. The one at the beginning of the film is the best—Scottie hangs from a rooftop, watching in terror as a police officer who tried to help him plummets to his death. Simply put, it’s iconic. There are lots of moments like this throughout the film.

vertigo 1

If I have to pick on some things about Vertigo, I will say that it’s fairly slow-paced, but the payoff in the end is well worth it. Other than that, my only qualms involve Scottie’s relationships with the ladies. His relationship with Midge isn’t really addressed as much as I’d hoped it would be in the end; in fact, it pretty much fizzles out as soon as he meets Madeleine, and his relationship with her is a whirlwind. He later develops another relationship that’s strained to say the least—and that’s mostly his fault since he gets a little crazy. It takes away a smidge of his Stewart charm, though not enough to make you completely dislike him.

Bottom Line – Vertigo is considered one of Hitchcock’s best for good reason. It’s brilliantly woven and masterfully presented story that gets a reaction out of you. It’ll leave you guessing, and it’ll take you by surprise. Plus, Jimmy Stewart. ‘Nough said.

Rating – Oscar Worthy

47 thoughts on “Alfred Hitchcock Blogathon: Vertigo (1958) – Silver Screen Serenade

  1. movierob says:

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    Cara of Silver Screen Serenade graced us with her review of Vertigo for our Alfred Hitchcock blogathon. Check out her review here!

    Like

  2. theipc says:

    Cara, Zoe,

    Two words: High Anxietyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

    HA HA HA HA HA I make myself laugh!

    Love,

    Proby

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zoë says:

      Waddup Proby!!

      It’s all good, you make us all laugh.

      Love,

      Zoë (did I just get downgraded in name status?! 😦 )

      Liked by 1 person

      1. theipc says:

        No, never! I was addressing the authors of the post – one sec 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. caragale says:

        You consider being called your name instead of Jail Bait a DOWNGRADE?!?! #befuddled

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Zoë says:

        Let me clarify: the familiarity of a nickname being discarded makes me feel like I’ve done something wrong. You have no idea how seldom it actually is that I hear my name in its entirety 😛 Usually when I do, I am in trouble…

        Like

      4. caragale says:

        Oh like you’d ever be in trouble with Eric. 😉

        #probielove

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Zoë says:

        😛 Imagine! I wouldn’t know what to do!

        #probiesforlife

        Liked by 1 person

    2. caragale says:

      HECK YES PROBY!!!

      #probies4eva #noneofthiscreamwarriorsshit

      Liked by 2 people

      1. theipc says:

        #fuckthatcreamwarriorsbullshit

        Liked by 1 person

      2. caragale says:

        HEAR, HEAR!!!!

        #probiesalwayswin

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Zoë says:

        I completely agree with these statements!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Cream warrior talk is going strong! LOL damn Brian and Seth for coming up with that. hahaha

        Like

      5. Great review Cara!

        Yours,

        Mikey – Chief Commander of The Cream Warriors

        #obey

        Liked by 1 person

      6. caragale says:

        That’s right. The Cream Warriors DO obey the Probies.

        #probiesruleall

        Liked by 1 person

    3. table9mutant says:

      Haha! I loved High Anxiety. I know what you’re on about, dude. I’m old too. :-p lol

      Liked by 2 people

      1. theipc says:

        The Institute for the Very, Very Nervous!!!

        HAHAHAHA!!!

        If you’re late you don’t get fruit cup!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. theipc says:

    Warmest JB,

    Good news!!! MY NINE O’CLOCK MEETING JUST GOT CANCELLED!!!!! Now we celebrate with cookies and chocolate and Tootsie rolls!!!

    *Rolls on the floor in happiness*

    Love,

    Somewhat Freer SC

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zoë says:

      Slightly Freed Up Spock Chop,

      That is most awesome! I celebrate for you! TOOOOOOTSIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! Now!!!

      Love,

      JB

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Favourite Hitch! Probably not the only one to think that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. caragale says:

      Oh you’re definitely not the only one. 🙂 Although I must say, my number one will always be Psycho.

      Like

  5. caragale says:

    Reblogged this on Silver Screen Serenade and commented:
    Have you heard about Zoe and Rob’s epic Alfred Hitchcock Blogathon? Because if you haven’t already popped over to check it out, you really should. I made my debut on it today with my review of Vertigo. Go and have a little looksee!

    Like

    1. table9mutant says:

      Excellent review of an excellent film, Cara! Oh my… You REALLY must watch more Hitchcock. Wait. I’m too lazy to go look again – did you say you’ve seen Rear Window or not?!?!

      Hey… Is this going to be most all of the Probies having Hitchcock reviews in the same week??! Woohoo! Saving the best for last?? ; ) (or we just grabbed all of Hitchcock’s best final films. Lol) : )

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Woo hoo!!!!!!!! We’re all on the Hitchcock train now. Yes Cara you must watch Rear Window! And Rope, Jimmy is good in that too. 🙂

        Like

      2. table9mutant says:

        Yes! CARA!!! How can you love Jimmy & NOT have seen those?! Especially Rear Window – that’s my very favorite Hitchcock film. : ) Watch both! ASAP! Report back to me! Lol

        Like

      3. We want a full report woman!!!!!!!!!! Or a tweet will suffice. Imagine Jimmy doing the ice bucket challenge?!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. table9mutant says:

        He already did that. Saved his brother. Lost his hearing in one ear. Lol! I crack myself up…. ; )

        Liked by 1 person

      5. LOL!!!!!!!! hahahaha If only Jimmy had twitter 🙂

        Like

      6. Zoë says:

        LOL! It would look that way! ALL of you are this week! Crazy stuff!

        Well, you grabbed the goodies, don’t complain. There is a lot of crap stuff to slog through to get there!

        Like

      7. caragale says:

        I haven’t seen Rear Window and I hate myself for it!!! It was actually a Resolution film, but I didn’t have time for it in the end. 😦 I’m definitely going to watch it some time though. Is it Probies week?! Sadly, I have fallen behind on reading. But my sis was here, so I had a good reason for it. Lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Zoë says:

        Hope you had a blast with your sister there lady! Yeah, this last week has been solely for you lot 😉 Loving it!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Excellent work Cara! I’ve not seen this either, better get a-fixin’.

    Adam.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. caragale says:

      Ooooh you should, buddy! ‘Tis a classic! 🙂

      Like

  7. Great review Cara so glad you finally saw this! Totally worth it right? And I agree every time I see that movie, I feel bad for Midge, like seriously what happened to that she totally got pushed aside. Poor chick!

    Like

    1. If i met Kim Novak i’d drop Midge in a heartbeat!

      Like

      1. Oh hell yeah I know you would again poor Midge!

        Like

      2. caragale says:

        Have you seen Kim Novak lately?? Plastic surgery has not been kind to her…Barbara Bel Geddes wins for aging gracefully.

        #TeamMidge

        Liked by 1 person

      3. caragale says:

        #MidgeRulesMikeyDrools #TeamMidge 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    2. caragale says:

      Thanks, Melissa! Yeah I liked it quite a bit! And right?! Midge totally gets the short end of the stick. I feel for her. 😦

      Like

  8. alexraphael says:

    There’s part of me that wouldn’t have minded them getting together either. Great review Cara as always 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. caragale says:

      Right? They just seem to work! Oh well…Thanks, Alex! 🙂

      Like

  9. Tom says:

    Hey I’ve only seen Jimmy in one movie so far, and that was the one I reviewed. And yet, I feel like I’ve known him my whole life. What a great guy. *man-swoon*

    Great review Cara!

    Liked by 1 person

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