Now routinely (and justifiably) cited as one of cinema’s greatest works — it was voted one of the ten best films of all time in Sight and Sound’s 1982, 1992, and 2002 polls of international critics — Hitchcock’s dreamlike chef d’oeuvre was released in 1958 to middling notices and indifferent audiences, and was largely scorned by serious-minded reviewers (“far-fetched nonsense” said The New Yorker). A perverse, poetic, moodily muted psychological thriller, Vertigo offers a disturbing, stunningly cynical, and intensely personal view of male-female relationships. Scottie (James Stewart), a former San Francisco policeman suffering from vertigo, is sucked into a vortex of romantic obsession after he is hired to tail the coolly beautiful Madeleine (Kim Novak), wife of an old pal. Many unhappy months later, he meets a Madeleine look-alike, and obsessively, compulsively, shamelessly attempts to make her over in Madeleine’s image. The director’s own unhappy obsessions with his cool-blonde leading ladies are well documented; Vertigo is Hitchcock’s most nakedly honest film — “despairingly sardonic and demanding of multiple viewings” (James Monaco). “Hitchcock’s masterpiece ... and one of the four or five most profound and beautiful films the cinema has yet given us” (Robin Wood). Colour, 35mm. 128 mins.
"The older you get, and the more times you see it, the more this strange, chillingly romantic thriller pierces your heart."Newsweek | full review
"One of the landmarks—not merely of the movies, but of 20th-century art."Chicago Reader | full review
"To watch this movie as it should be seen is too primal an experience to miss. Do yourself an aesthetic favor: Take the plunge. You’ll love the fall all the way down."The Washington Post | full review