Vertigo Overview:

Vertigo (1958) was a Crime - Mystery Film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and produced by Alfred Hitchcock and Herbert Coleman.

The film was based on the novel The Living and the Dead written by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac published in 1954.


When the restored version of Vertigo debuted in theaters, it reignited interest in and appreciation for what is generally considered to be Hitchcock's most personal work. It also underlined Hitchcock's technical mastery in the use of color and camera effects (the famous zoom-in-doily-out shot used to simulate vertigo) and the importance of Herrmann's jittery score. Stewart plays another character (as in Rear Window) who, because he is psychically or physically separated from his real life, creates an imaginary, anxiety-provoking substitution. Stewart leaves the San Francisco police force after his vertigo leads to a partner's death. He takes a job tailing the wife (Novak) of a school friend who has been behaving strangely. When he saves her from a suicidal plunge, his fascination turns to longing, a longing that comes to a bitter end when she seemingly succeeds in dying, again due to Stewart's vertigo, in a leap from a bell tower. After gathering his shattered mind in an institution, Stewart spots a woman with an uncanny likeness to his lost love. His obsession drives him to re-create her in the exact image of his suicidal lover, forcing a confrontation with the truth of her identity. Critics have long discussed the relevance of the Stewart character's manipulating of the Novak character and the director's own obsession with creating the ideal cool-blonde heroine. Among the most fascinating and suspenseful of classic movies. The special edition video release has been restored and remastered from the original negative. Based on the novel D'Entre Les Morts by Boileau and Narcejac, the authors of the story for French director Henri-Georges Clouzot's Diabolique.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


Vertigo was inducted into the National Film Registry in 1989.

Academy Awards 1958 --- Ceremony Number 31 (source: AMPAS)

Best Art DirectionArt Direction: Hal Pereira, Henry Bumstead; Set Decoration: Sam Comer, Frank McKelvyNominated

BlogHub Articles:

4K UHD Blu-ray Review: Vertigo

By Devon Powell on Sep 13, 2021 From Hitchcock Master

Distributor: Universal Pictures Release Date: September 07, 2021 Region ? 4K UHD: Region Free BLU-RAY: Region A Length: 02:08:27 Video ? 4K UHD: 2160P (HEVC, H.265) BLU-RAY: 1080P (VC-1) Audio ? 4K UHD: English DTS X 2.0 Mono English Digital Audio 2.0 Mono Spanish (Latin American) DTS Digital Audio... Read full article

Vertigo: Another Life for Alfred Hitchcock?s Classic

By Devon Powell on Sep 16, 2020 From Hitchcock Master

Exclusive Guest Article By: Dan Auiler This article is the second in a series of four guest articles to appear on this page in celebration of Universal?s release of??The Alfred Hitchcock Classics Collection.? Vertigo in 4K?The clarity, the better black levels from HDR, the extraordinary color?but I... Read full article

The Directors' Chair: Vertigo

By Theresa Brown on Apr 18, 2020 From Classic Movie Hub Blog

The Directors’ Chair: Vertigo (1958) ….. VERTIGO? ( 1958 ) ~ YOU STEPPED OUT OF MY DREAMS…AND INTO THE NIGHTMARE I CREATED VERTIGO is my favorite movie. Hands down, this is my favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie. In fact, caveat emptor…if you fall in love in Hit... Read full article

Bernard Herrmann and Vertigo (1958)

By Carol Martinheira on Jan 27, 2020 From The Old Hollywood Garden

Bernard Herrmann and Vertigo (1958) On January 27, 2020 By CarolIn Uncategorized If pressed, I would have to say that Bernard Herrmann’s score for Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958) is my all-time favorite movie score. I’ve mentioned this a few times h... Read full article

Film Noir Review: Vertigo (1958)

By Danilo Castro on May 22, 2018 From Classic Movie Hub Blog

“If I let you change me, will that do it? If I do what you tell me, will you love me?” As cinema?s reigning ?Master of Suspense?, Alfred Hitchcock usually made a point of keeping his audience in the loop. He believed that information and tension went hand in hand, and that by telling us ... Read full article

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Quotes from

Gavin Elster: She'll be talking to me about something. Suddenly the words fade into silence. A cloud comes into her eyes and they go blank. She's somewhere else, away from me, someone I don't know. I call her, she doesn't even hear me. Then, with a long sigh, she's back. Looks at me brightly, doesn't even know she's been away, can't tell me where or when.
Scottie: How often does this happen?
Gavin Elster: More and more in the past few weeks. And she wanders - God knows where she wanders. I followed her one day, watched her coming out of the apartment, someone I didn't know. She even walked a different way. Got into her car and drove off to Golden Gate Park. Five miles. Sat by the lake, staring across the water at the pillars that stand on the far shore. You know, Portals of the Past. Sat there a long time without moving. I had to leave, get back to the office. When I got home that evening, I asked her what she'd done all day. She said she'd driven out to Golden Gate Park and sat by the lake, that's all.
Scottie: Well.
[Scottie gets up]
Gavin Elster: The speedometer on her car showed that she'd driven ninety-four miles. Where did she go? I've got to know, Scottie, where she goes and what she does before I get involved with doctors.

[to Scottie]
Gavin Elster: There's no way for them to understand. You and I know who killed Madeleine.

Scottie: I hope we will, too.
Madeleine: What?
Scottie: Meet again sometime.
Madeleine: We have.

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Facts about

Alfred Hitchcock had originally opted for another location for the famous staircase sequence, but associate producer Herbert Coleman's daughter (Judy Lanini) suggested the Mission at San Juan Bautista (the location that was eventually used) as a more suitable location for filming.
Scotty's apartment actually exists, and it boasts the improbably stunning view of Coit Tower through its living room window, which looms over Scotty and Madeleine in the apartment scenes. True aficionados can find it (near Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco) by positioning themselves in the same relation to the tower that is seen through the window.
Midge's remarks about the "cantilevered" brassiere designed by an aircraft engineer are a reference to the story that Howard Hughes had an engineer invent a new type of underwired bra for Jane Russell.
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Released 1958
Inducted 1989

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Also directed by Alfred Hitchcock

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