Friday, March 26, 2010


Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958) [8]

It may seem useless to review a film that has been cemented as a classic but how could this site live up to its name if it didn't? All kidding aside, I've never been a true believer in Hitchcock. Vertigo definitely falls on the better part of the spectrum but I have no doubts in calling this just a good thriller. It has all the standard Hitchcock elements (blondes, landmarks, rousing finish) but I've never found any of that impressive for myself. There is no doubt that Hitchcock is an expert craftsman, knowing when to pull his punches. I actually quite liked the revealing of the story as John Ferguson (Jimmy Stewart) falls into his web of deception and vulnerability. There's a fairly predictable one-eighty to turn the story around and some of the visual tricks look like someone with a rudimentary knowledge of what experimental film should be about. Even so, what seals this as a favorable film for me is the performance that Stewart morphs into. Through years of popular thought saying how Jimmy Stewart always is the nice guy, there's a bit of surprise seeing him turn into an obsessive, somewhat crazy, unlikable guy. Credit should also be due to point out that the film doesn't let Ferguson off the hook for his behavior as the film ends with a less than favorable ending for films of the time. Vertigo isn't quite an impeccable film for me, but then again, I don't care much for Psycho and North by Northwest is my favorite Hitchcock film. Hitchcock seems to be one of those directors that I just can't form a concrete opinion on if I want to like him or not.

No comments: