Vertigo

Vertigo as you’ve never seen it or heard it before.
Year: 1958
Country: USA
Running time: 128 mins
USA
Producer: Alfred Hitchcock
Screenplay: Samuel A.Taylor, Alec Coppel
Photography: Robert Burks
Art director: Hal Pereira, Henry Bumstead
Editor: George Tomasini
Costumes: Edith Head
Music: Bernard Herrmann

With:
James Stewart
Kim Novak
Tom Helmore
Barbara Bel Geddes
Henry Jones
The 1997 New Zealand Film Festival was delighted to present a gorgeous restoration of Hitchcock’s great, perverse, romantic thriller as you had never seen it or heard it before. The colour had been meticulously restored, bringing the ’50s San Francisco locations back to startling life; and the soundtrack, featuring one of the great Bernard Herrmann scores, had been remixed for DTS digital stereo.

“For more than a few people, Vertigo is the ultimate movie – a movie that is, after all, concerned with being hopelessly, obsessively, fetishistically in love with an image. Or, as The New York Times reported in June 1958, it is “all about how a dizzy fellow chases after a dizzy dame.”

“Quintessential film modernist though Hitchcock may have been, he was also a dedicated Pop Artist – the master not only of suspense but of self-promotion and gimmickry... Stars Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak aside, the movie’s main attraction was understood to be its wide-screen ‘travelogue’ treatment of San Francisco. Thus, the restoration’s major visual revelation is the additional weight given the prolonged, gliding, all but wordless automotive chase... Stewart’s Scottie pursuing the ghostly green jade Jaguar driven by Novak’s Madeleine through SF’s hilly streets...

Vertigo is not without its dark humour but it is an intensely, almost shockingly, romantic movie: like bereft Heathcliff in the second half of Wuthering Heights, shell-shocked Scottie pleads with his lost love to haunt him. And once she does return from the dead – her kiss obliterating time and space as Herrmann works variations on Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde – the movie’s own current resurrection becomes secondary. There’ll never be a better opportunity to see Vertigo.” — J. Hobermann, Village Voice

“Still the fetish object supreme.” — Amy Taubin, Village Voice