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Thread: vertigo explained!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2001
    toronto canada

    Default vertigo explained!

    I've been watching Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo.
    It's a Rubick's (SP?) Cube of sexuality, necrophilia, and hysteria. Here is most of what you need to know, maybe even more!
    If you get the DVD be sure to get the restored version which shows with brilliant clarity San Francisco in 1958 - most of it now disappeared.
    I used to have a boss who would review my advertising copy attempts by pronouncing :"Too clever by half.'
    I hate to think what he would have made of this movie!
    Richard Sutherland

  2. #2


    Against the odds I read all of that essay.

    The only truly useful signpost was the 'watch it again' advice...which I might follow.
    San Francisco did look good, and not vastly different from when I was there. Elements of the film have stayed with me enough to
    have followed your link. I do often feel though that some academics, and 'critics' both amateur and professional import their own hang-ups, and predilections sometimes to explain the inexplicable.

    Your old boss might have trotted out his familiar pronouncement upon reading the essay...let alone watching the film.

  3. #3

    Default take two

    Watched it again today. It's gone up a notch in my estimation.
    Still do not attach much of the bs in that essay though.
    Where was the 'necrophilia' in anything but extremely fanciful allusion.

    My other half enjoyed and gave it a whopping 8 !
    6.5 for me. Ever so slightly nebulous around the edges.
    Detected certain nuances from Stewart's acting though that were pure class second time around. Also saw the title sequence this time - excellent. Several chilling moments seemed creepier this time too.

    I see VEra Miles was wanted for the Novak role - she might have been better.

    Also, what about the early fatal flaw? How the hell did Scotty get out of his fingertip gutter clinging predicament in the opening scenes?

    I shall fall asleep to the commentary track in bed tonight.

  4. #4


    I have watched the commentary over several late nights, and finished it this morning at 7-00am. I now know more things about this film than is probably healthy !

    I am re-visiting my mark for the picture and award it a seven.

    THe reaction on release was lukewarm. It's only with the benefit of time that the film has been elevated to 'classic' status. The production and the restoration proved a most interesting story.

    I think more than two viewings are needed in order to see the plot through the eyes of the different characters. It's not an overly complex story, but certain signposts do escapethe first time viewer. A key scene was almost omitted on Hitchcock's say-so. Thankfully those around him convinced him to leave it in.

    The special effects - such as they were back then - were little more than crude graphic devices and flashing neon lights but were used to considerable effect.

    I now understand why Vertigo is rathed highly...but perhaps not why quite so very highly. I shall no doubt wrestle with this over the coming minutes, before placing the disc back in its box and wondering what to watch next .

  5. #5

    Default cubist

    [quote=rich;522117]I've been watching Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo.
    It's a Rubick's (SP?) Cube of sexuality, necrophilia, and hysteria. Here is most of what you need to know

    There was no 'hysteria' within the plot or the movie in my ,rather more grounded opinion . Perhaps there is evidence of hysteria in those who now rate it the best film made...or close.

    To describe what took place as 'necrophilia' is fanciful at best. A man thought he saw much of his dead lover in an almost living human being. Once he realised they were one in the same any scintilla of the necrophile vanished.

    A Rubik's cube? Indeed...but not as difficult to fathom. I managed inside four hours yet never mastered my kids eighties plaything save peeling the coloured stickers off and replacing them where appropriate. A good analogy though . I bet you have used it before...maybe you still play with one

    Only kidding...let's see the humour of Rich shine through if you deign to reply. I'm not reaching for the dark glasses.

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