Vertigo was awfully impressive! (Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo)

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BearSkinBathRobe's Avatar
"That may be, but I've got the Falcon."


I caught this on Vudu the other night, with Blade Runner & Casablanca to follow. From the trailer, I was expecting a lesser film. I was blown away from the start by the rich technicolor. This may be one of the best-looking films that I have ever seen, including the camerawork, visual quality and locations. Reviews seem to confirm this, with even the smashed tomato scores saying "it still looks really good." Was it released this way? I was wondering because Psycho was b&w when I watched it way back when. They seemed proud of the photographic effects in the credits, and it was pretty trippy and neat.

Anyway, the story had an interesting twist. And then it kind of
WARNING: "spoiler warning" spoilers below
double-twisted, which was kind of overkill
, but provided the kind of ending that I've gotten used to with Hitchcock movies. It got a little too caper-y and convoluted by doing that, but even the first twist reminded me of the kind of schemes I'd hear in the old time radio shows, so I didn't really mind. Felt like Pat Novak, there.

The ending was quite a descent, and I felt so bad for him. Dude already was in a mental ward for 6 months (kind of an odd cut after that part to him just being fine again), so how long is he going to need now? Never mind the fact that he
WARNING: "spoiler warning" spoilers below
may even be in prison soon.


Themes like obsession were neat, and the first act with Jimmy Stewart made him almost disappear to me. I'd previously seen him in Rear Window, but enjoyed him in this a lot more. He
WARNING: "spoiler warning" spoilers below
got pretty abusive there in the third act
but I saw that Roger Ebert (RIP) described that as part of Hitchcock's style about women.

Kim Novak--wowzers! She's up there with Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn in my book. Gorgeous, and fit well with Stewart I thought. I also admired the suits and fashion. I've recently gotten into collar pins and tie bars and got into hats a couple years ago, so it's nice to see the older movies proving the old style was a thing. But from my eye, this appeared to be set in the time of the release date. I'd thought the hat-and-suit thing fell out of favor moving into the 60s (this was late 50s), so not sure about the accuracy there.

What are your thoughts on Vertigo? I felt like the trailer really made it seem like it would be more about Stewart being dizzy all the time. That was more of an afterthought, other than it stopping him from
WARNING: "spoiler" spoilers below
seeing the dead-wife scheme play out the first go around
. My wife has an inner ear disorder that does the same thing to her, and a coworker has more of what his seems like, where she is completely discombobulated by it, to the point of sickness. Wife's isn't that bad.

Question: What was with the first time he's trailing the "wife" and she disappears from the hotel? He sees her in the window, but then the receptionist calls his bluff. This was one reason why I thought it would be more of an Identity-type flick, with stuff not making sense or some possible ghost action (it being more in his mind, so to speak).
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Yep it's Hitchcock's best movie in my opinion. The odd cut I read was cause the movie wants to imply that Scottie imagined getting out of the ward, and everything that happened from then on was in his imagination, when in fact, he was still in the ward all along. But that was just a theory as to why they skip ahead like that.



... This may be one of the best-looking films that I have ever seen, including the camerawork, visual quality and locations. Reviews seem to confirm this, with even the smashed tomato scores saying "it still looks really good." Was it released this way? ...
Yes it was. It was beautifully filmed by Robert Burks in VistaVision and Technicolor.
Question: What was with the first time he's trailing the "wife" and she disappears from the hotel? He sees her in the window, but then the receptionist calls his bluff. This was one reason why I thought it would be more of an Identity-type flick, with stuff not making sense or some possible ghost action (it being more in his mind, so to speak).
That was never explained, which Hitchcock admitted. Scottie follows Madeline into the McKittrick Hotel, but it was determined that she had never been there, despite the fact that she was shown through the window. In the same way, at the beginning of the film, we see Scottie hanging precariously off of a ledge with no way to escape. But the film moves on to the next scene without any explanation as to how Scottie was rescued.

Hitchcock simply believed explanations of these two events were unnecessary to the plot. From the McKittrick Hotel scene we're left to feel that the mystery plays into the story that Madeline was representing the reincarnation of Carlotta Valdes. In the case of Scottie's cliff hanger, by the next scene no one cares. He obviously survived it, so let's move on..

~Doc



BearSkinBathRobe's Avatar
"That may be, but I've got the Falcon."
Yes it was. It was beautifully filmed by Robert Burks in VistaVision and Technicolor.
It looked AMAZING!
That was never explained, which Hitchcock admitted. Scottie follows Madeline into the McKittrick Hotel, but it was determined that she had never been there, despite the fact that she was shown through the window. In the same way, at the beginning of the film, we see Scottie hanging precariously off of a ledge with no way to escape. But the film moves on to the next scene without any explanation as to how Scottie was rescued.

Hitchcock simply believed explanations of these two events were unnecessary to the plot. From the McKittrick Hotel scene we're left to feel that the mystery plays into the story that Madeline was representing the reincarnation of Carlotta Valdes. In the case of Scottie's cliff hanger, by the next scene no one cares. He obviously survived it, so let's move on..

~Doc
Ha, reminds me of the mysterious death of the chauffeur in The Big Sleep. I think even Chandler admitted it was an "oops" moment, whereas Hitchcock's focus seems to be more of the cause behind these scenes. The hotel disappearing act definitely added intrigue to the story for me, so it paid off. As long as it's all going somewhere, I'll stay on the train.

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BearSkinBathRobe's Avatar
"That may be, but I've got the Falcon."
Yep it's Hitchcock's best movie in my opinion. The odd cut I read was cause the movie wants to imply that Scottie imagined getting out of the ward, and everything that happened from then on was in his imagination, when in fact, he was still in the ward all along. But that was just a theory as to why they skip ahead like that.
That would make sense. It was quite contrived. He just happens to see a girl that has a striking resemblance to the woman he loved, and then she bends to his will, etc, etc. Very dream-power like.



You can't win an argument just by being right!
Why do you call it 'awfully impressive?



thank you for specifying which vertigo you were talking about in the thread title
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You can't win an argument just by being right!
Just to mean very. Now that I think of it, not sure why it's such a popular expression.
Thanks for clarifying, BearSkin. I'm fascinated by words at the moment It's funny how "how Awfully' and 'How dreadfully' became common usage terms for something positive, isnt it. I've been picking up alot of stuff like this lately. Reminds me of the common usage of 'dead' with young people back in the 80s and 90s. "That's so dead alive" was uttered by a friend of mine at the movies. LOL. "Wicked" was another. "Your mum's soup is wicked good'



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The hotel disappearance scene I found really oddly out of place, especially since it's before Scottie goes kind of crazy, so he's not delusional at that point.

As for how Scottie is rescued, I think we can assume he called for back, or back up already new and was on the way, or someone heard the gunshots and called the police to respond.



...
Ha, reminds me of the mysterious death of the chauffeur in The Big Sleep. I think even Chandler admitted it was an "oops" moment, whereas Hitchcock's focus seems to be more of the cause behind these scenes. The hotel disappearing act definitely added intrigue to the story for me, so it paid off. As long as it's all going somewhere, I'll stay on the train.
Great comparison! As you know, during filming of The Big Sleep, Howard Hawks' crew contacted Chandler to ask him who killed the chauffeur, Owen Taylor. Chandler said didn't know. There again, as in Vertigo, it didn't really matter to the story. A plausible prevailing view is that Taylor, distraught over being dumped by Carmen Sternwood, drove off the pier to commit suicide. No one really had any motive to murder him.

~Doc



BearSkinBathRobe's Avatar
"That may be, but I've got the Falcon."
Great comparison! As you know, during filming of The Big Sleep, Howard Hawks' crew contacted Chandler to ask him who killed the chauffeur, Owen Taylor. Chandler said didn't know. There again, as in Vertigo, it didn't really matter to the story. A plausible prevailing view is that Taylor, distraught over being dumped by Carmen Sternwood, drove off the pier to commit suicide. No one really had any motive to murder him.

~Doc
Right, funny that. I've read I believe the next 2 or 3 books in Chandler's Marlowe series. Took a break to read a sci-fi book, but my reading has kind of stalled as of late. Would like to read the official sequel to Big Sleep. Is the other adaptation any good? Have you seen it?



BearSkinBathRobe's Avatar
"That may be, but I've got the Falcon."
Thanks for clarifying, BearSkin. I'm fascinated by words at the moment It's funny how "how Awfully' and 'How dreadfully' became common usage terms for something positive, isnt it. I've been picking up alot of stuff like this lately. Reminds me of the common usage of 'dead' with young people back in the 80s and 90s. "That's so dead alive" was uttered by a friend of mine at the movies. LOL. "Wicked" was another. "Your mum's soup is wicked good'
Ah, the power of slang and free will to use words we feel like using and then it catches on. I've always appreciated etymology, so join the club!



BearSkinBathRobe's Avatar
"That may be, but I've got the Falcon."
Vertigo was a mess.
To each their own. Definitely in your own boat, though. Most movies don't get respect from both approval/disapproval critics.



BearSkinBathRobe's Avatar
"That may be, but I've got the Falcon."
The hotel disappearance scene I found really oddly out of place, especially since it's before Scottie goes kind of crazy, so he's not delusional at that point.

As for how Scottie is rescued, I think we can assume he called for back, or back up already new and was on the way, or someone heard the gunshots and called the police to respond.
That was a strange scene, especially since it's in the trailer. Like I said the theme really wasn't equated to a serious physical disability but rather "vertigo" in the sense of his discovery of the scheme. That rooftop scene is also started mid-scene of them chasing somebody. Oh, well.

And yes, the disappearing act is a head scratcher. I'm guessing it was just to throw some red herrings at the audience. It worked for me, but on its face it doesn't make a lick of sense! Neither did the wife's mental/forgetful issues. I don't know much about mental health, but I'm not seeing a connection other than say schizophrenia. There's also that odd scene toward the end of them being back in that Mexican village when they embrace.



You can't win an argument just by being right!
Ah, the power of slang and free will to use words we feel like using and then it catches on. I've always appreciated etymology, so join the club!
Oh yes. and its changing rapidly right now.Bless the word smiths!

Did i see a post when I was quickly running in and out of mofo the other morning that 'Lil' was an internet word now? I tried to find it later but no luckC'Mon!!! I'veonly seen me use it. I think it was from my mate Larry. Dont follow my words, Larry. I just make up nonsense for some fun on mofo.



You can't win an argument just by being right!
That was a strange scene, especially since it's in the trailer. Like I said the theme really wasn't equated to a serious physical disability but rather "vertigo" in the sense of his discovery of the scheme. That rooftop scene is also started mid-scene of them chasing somebody. Oh, well.

And yes, the disappearing act is a head scratcher. I'm guessing it was just to throw some red herrings at the audience. It worked for me, but on its face it doesn't make a lick of sense! Neither did the wife's mental/forgetful issues. I don't know much about mental health, but I'm not seeing a connection other than say schizophrenia. There's also that odd scene toward the end of them being back in that Mexican village when they embrace.
I cant remember this movie but I'm sure Ive seen it. I just wanted to comment that since coming to ofo myvertigo both increased rapidly then completely disappeared. i was able to watch that video without a problem whereas previously I would have screamed and pushed the laptop away. So all I can say is

THANK YOU, MOFO!