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Vertigo (1958)
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Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

Starring: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes


Vertigo DVD - Just The Good Stuff Vertigo ranked # 61 on the American Film Institute's Top 100 American Films list.

Vertigo is a 1958 psychological thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film is usually taken as a classic of the genre and is considered by some critics to be Hitchcock's masterpiece.

The prologue of Vertigo tells how San Francisco detective John "Scottie"/"Johnny Oh" Ferguson (James Stewart) develops acrophobia after a fellow policeman falls to his death during a rooftop chase. When Scottie looks out from a high window, he is paralyzed with fear and dizziness.

Vertigo is notable for the "Hitchcock zoom," an in-camera perspective distortion special effect created by Hitchcock that suggests the dizzying effect that gives the film its title. The film's famous score was composed by Bernard Herrmann. In many of the key scenes Hitchcock essentially gave the film over to Herrmann, whose melodies, echoing Richard Wagner's Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde, dramatically convey Scottie's obsessive love for the woman he imagines to be Madeleine. Recently, the American Film Institute named it as one of the best scores in the history of Cinema.

Vertigo was one of several 1950s Paramount films shot in the VistaVision widescreen format, a horizontal 35mm process developed to compete with several similar processes from other studios (such as 20th Century Fox's CinemaScope).

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