Vertigo - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Vertigo Reviews

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September 21, 2017
There is something special about this film, and it is mainly its unconventionally predictable as well as unexpectedly contorted subject. This movie represents many peoples idea of mystery probably in the best way ever seen on screen.
September 9, 2017
Vertigo (1958) is a masterpiece. Beyond that, it gives reviewers like myself anxiety about capturing just how masterful it is in words. I need a rooftop to scream off! The film's exploration of sex, love and obsession (with Hitchcock's suspense woven within) is so involving that it's on the point of hypnotic. Vertigo's bracing and ever-twisting plot, and its handling of moral paradox is powerful enough to provoke a vertigo-like sensation in the minds of its own audience! Hitchcock's use of images over words to capture universal emotions evidences his stature as one of the greatest visual stylists of all time. The film controls its audience. The subtle context in which raw, real emotion is presented allows the film's more subtle elements (music especially) to add haunting suspense. It may have a few minor plot-holes, but Vertigo embodies an open-minded, creative spirit of filmmaking that is seldom ever matched. This alone makes the film's power and purpose everlasting. Vertigo (1958) is truly amazing. It demands multiple re-watches and much deeper analysis and debate than I have attempted here.
September 5, 2017
Hitchcock is overrated. Despite all its reviews and awards, this film is shit. The plot only relies on a single plot and twist. Though the ending was good and disturbing, as a whole it's still a POS.
August 30, 2017
I'm not sure why it's regarded so favorably compared to Psycho, but Vertigo is clearly a classic in the Hitchcock canon. The writing is sharp, entertaining, and often funny, which draws you in quickly. The plot deflates eventually, though, in my opinion, particularly after an event that reminds me a great deal of Psycho; the main female love interest dies halfway through the film/
August 30, 2017
One of Hitchcock's most labyrinthine works, and definitely his most troubling, 'Vertigo' is a riveting film which is perhaps one of the most artistically accomplished films of the director's career - with its unsettling plot adapted from Boileau-Narcejac's 'D'entre Les Morts', it is a mad, thought-provoking work. 'Vertigo' is more than a cinematic achievement; it is an artistic one, as powerful in its visuals than in its sound (I can't find the words to describe Herrmann's score), as brilliant in its acting than in its directing, and it goes just as high in terms anxiety and haunting ability than any film can go, and I guess in every art.
August 27, 2017
The best Hitchcock/Stewart collaboration ever, and one of Hitchcock's finest overall. Spellbinding story, and innovative camera effects - the first time to use the simultaneous zoom in/zoom out method to elicit the sensation of vertigo.
August 25, 2017
My Favorite Film Of All Time Is 1941's Citizen Kane.
August 22, 2017
All I can say is ...masterpiece. perfection. iconic. If you have never experienced this film do yourself a favor and watch it immediately.
½ August 2, 2017
In Vertigo James Stewart plays a retired cop that sufferers from a debilitating fear of heights, triggered after a horrific accident that occurs at the beginning of the film. He gets a call from an old friend that begs him to investigate his wife's strange behavior, Stewart agrees, and to tell you anymore plot details would just rob you of experiencing this creepy, hypnotic masterpiece.

Though originally critically panned, and a box office failure on release, Vertigo has since become known as one of the best films of all time, even beating out Citizen Kane in certain lists. It really is one of his most accomplished films, with a fantastic use of color, inventive camera tricks, like the now iconic "Vertigo effect" and great use of his two leads, particularly James Stewart.

My only minor complaints are firstly that the film does drag in its first thirty minutes, that would be a bigger problem if it didn't pay off so well by the end. However it is a bit annoying, and might make repeated viewings difficult. My second complaint comes from the ending itself, it happens so fast the viewer barely has any time to take it all in, or really think about what has just happened.

Vertigo is simply something that should not be missed. It's sadly easy to see why it didn't catch on well with audiences in 1958. The first half is largely long stretches that are entirely dialogue free, with Hitchcock using great locations and color to keep the viewer locked in. Combine that with it's twisty, odd, but ultimately wonderful story, and it's not hard at all to understand why it was just too obscure for an audience that was used to dialogue filled films, with little to no symbolism at the time, Vertigo was simply just too much for audiences back then, and it's a shame considering Hitchcock really poured his heart into this film, believing he had made one of his best. To echo what others have now said: it's a beautiful, haunting film that depicts love, obsession, and madness with great skill. Do yourself a favor and see what has rightfully been called an American classic.
July 31, 2017
Vertigo is an absolute Masterpiece from Hitchcock. While at times it's uneven pacing bogs down the film its direction and storytelling are shocking and surprising. For a movie that is over 40 years old it caught me off guard quiet a few times. A true masterpiece and classic from Alfred Hitchcock. That also has an amazing soundtrack to Boot.
½ July 30, 2017
Shouldn't have watched it half a sleep.
Antonius Block
Super Reviewer
½ July 28, 2017
What a wonderful, creepy, beautiful, disturbing film this is. From the opening credits, Hitchcock makes us uneasy with spiraling patterns on the screen, which hints at the vertigo/acrophobia to follow, but what we find are so many other disturbances and twists of the mind: obsession, guilt, insanity, and manipulation. There is creepy sexual desire, and what self-abasing lengths a woman will go to do what 'does it' for a man. Jimmy Stewart turns in a great performance, but as a nitpick, he's twice the age of Kim Novak (50 and 25), and also looks too old to have gone to college with his sidekick Barbara Bel Geddes (who's great by the way). The film takes place in absolutely gorgeous scenery in San Francisco, Muir Woods and Mission San Juan Bautista, and it's at once both dream-like and nightmarish. It feels like a quiet movie with its pace and small cast, but there is tension and mystery throughout. There are several stunning moments, which I won't spoil, and the ending is absolutely brilliant. Hitchcock's delving into dark places of the mind, his storytelling, and his camera angles, are all superlative. Excellent film.
July 21, 2017
Hitchcock expertly tells a story about distance, the deep yearning for a connection that is too far away to obtain and is further shrouded by fears and former obligations. The viewer too feels this great longing long after the credits rolls.
July 17, 2017
A truly impactful psychological thriller seeped in ominous dread and tragedy.
July 14, 2017
Back when it was released, it was one of the first films to compete with Citizen Kane as the greatest film ever made. Is it? It stars James Stewart as a former detective who suffers with a disease known as acrophobia which is a fear of heights which gives him vertigo. (hints the title) His college friend (played by Tom Helmore) is wanting him to privately investigate his wife as she is going through strange stages involving her ancestor. I'll start off by saying that this is Hitchcock's masterwork. He directs with an original style of filmography. He uses unique camerawork. Camerawork that is beyond breathtaking. Not only for the time. It still holds up very well. He also knows how to use different colors to express emotion, and to tell the story. James Stewart plays his character very well. In fact, everyone pulled off a very solid and believable performance. If you notice this in a movie, than it is a good sign. The VFX were nothing short of fitting as it matches perfectly with the protagonist's disease. Not to mention, this is one of the best thrillers ever made. (at least in my opinion) The first act gave us very useful information that you need to know for the rest of the movie, but at the same time, something was building up tension. I don't know what it was, but it was a bomb ready to go off. Once you see what it builds up to, the plot thickens to an extreme extent. So extreme that it becomes completely unpredictable and you don't know if it wants you to figure out what will occur in the future, or if it wants you to sit through the tension and see how it ends. All of it unfolds, and at the end, my head felt heavy with information. It is a film that made me want to see more with all of this information. It is a movie that requires a few viewings to lay out all of this info and come up with a conclusion of how it all unfolded. How did it do this so perfectly? Two words: Alfred Hitchcock.

Plot: 9.5/10
Visuals: 10/10
Acting: 8.5/10
Sound: 10/10
Editing: 10/10
Cinematography: 10/10
Entertainment value: 9.9/10
Over all score: 10/10

Over all, Vertigo was a brilliant thriller. One has a heck of a good reputation because of the perfect combination of style and substance. Everything that could've went south went north in the best possible way. 5/5 stars.
½ July 13, 2017
A Hitchcock film, underrated at the time of release. It is considerably darker than North by Northwest, released around the same time. The haunting story stayed with me and left a haunted feeling long after the movie ended.
July 3, 2017
The best film of Alfred Hitchcock of all times i have never seen for my life. The music was great. I love this film and i love the music of this film
June 30, 2017
Right now, I am working my way through Hitchcocks archive. I have just watched Pyscho again, & just watched "The Birds" and loved both. Film's that will eventually get added to my collection. Today, I went back even further to 1958 and watched "Vertigo". Before watching the film, I had read that "Vertigo" had received very mixed review's when released in 1958 for being "too slow" and "too long" for just a "physiological murder mystery". However in the 1960s the film was re-evaluated and the rise of popularity for the movie started in 1968 when a British-canadian scholar called Robert Wood studied Hitchcocks work and called "Vertigo" a "masterpiece". After being re-released in cinema's in 1983 it was classed as "one of the greatest American films of all time". It's only just recently in 2012, that BFI's film magazine Sight & Sound moved it from 4th to 1st on their list of "greatest films of all time" . So what was my take on it? I am in the "mixed" crowd.

It hooked me in quite early for the directing by Hitchcock. You watch this extreme close up of a eye that slowly zooms out which looked amazing. "Vertigo" was also the first film to ever feature "dolly zoom" (a camera effect that distorts perspective to create disorientation). This effect was used to create Scotties acrophobia. As a result of it's use in the film, the effect is often referred to as the "Vertigo effect". Anyway, this style of directing was used multiple times and I believe made the film appealing throughout. The "nightmare" scene being my favourite, the use of different colours was nice and you felt like you were in the characters mind.

I must admit though, I didn't take to James Stewart's character as much as I was expecting to. Straight away he comes across as a very noble, kind gentleman and gradually becomes slightly creepy which I believe could of been the point but for me, it put me off. For plot reasons, he had to become creepy but it just didn't sell to me.

I will try my hardest to not spoil it for you but the main plot behind the romance of the film wasn't built up enough for me to enjoy it. I had a lot of difficulty caring for the romance between the characters because I didn't feel the romance wasn't portrayed to the audience enough or in the right way. For a film that dragged for more than 2 hours, I felt let down. I felt I deserved more than what was portrayed. I longed for a real explanation and yet my mind was left wondering if it was actually something mystical that was driving the story.

Then you move into the third and final act of the film that gave you the big "shock" which fair play did actually shock me. I have always loved a good twist and when it is so simple and it still takes you by surprise, that's even better which "Vertigo" for me, did.

Why was it then I felt the film was just left to drag the plot out to an extent, it starts to bore you again? The movie just rambled on and on and I just couldn't get back on board. When I did jump back on board for the conclusion which was quite uncomfortable and made me a little bit anxious, suddenly the film ends very oddly. As I was watching on the train, my head was shouting "Wait a minute, that's it"?

I didn't love Vertigo. However it had it's good elements that I loved. Visually I really enjoyed it. The score was quite intense. Kim Novaks acting was very well done but this just wasn't effective enough for me to enjoy it. I doubt I will ever revisit Vertigo but I can agree it was a very well made film.
June 12, 2017
Alfred Hitchcock was considered the master of suspense, with almost every movie he made. And for good reason. His films always kept the audience guessing, and wondering what was going to happen next. Plus, there was always a hint of tension with each production Hitchcock worked on, giving the audience something to be invested in. With 1958's "Vertigo", which could be argued as Hitchcock's masterpiece, is a prime example of what he brought forth to the big screen. There are a couple of issues surrounding the film, but the majority of the movie is definitely worth checking out. "Vertigo" may not be the master's greatest work, but it is one of his finest.

The story involves a San Francisco cop named John "Scottie" Ferguson (James Stewart), who has acrophobia, or a fear of heights resulting in vertigo. Hence the title. One day, an old friend asks John to spy on his wife, whose behavior has suddenly changed. The wife, Madeline (Kim Novak), is overseen by John, who wants to learn more about her, yet becomes slightly attractive to her in the process. What follows, John soon realizes that Madeline might be involved with something even bigger.

For many aspects the film has, "Vertigo" can be considered a high class mystery that lives up to the genre. For starters, the story is one of most invested narratives that audiences will thoroughly enjoy. It keeps the audience guessing as to what might happen next, until the big final reveal at the end of it all. Especially, considering that the film runs at almost two hours in length. In order to fill the void, we have a brilliant orchestrated score from Bernard Herrmann that more than enough sets the tone of the movie. Complemented with the brilliant direction of Hitchcock, who sets up the scenes with great detail, one has to wonder how he did it. Fortunately, this can be attributed to the brilliant set design, and cinematography representing a nice glimpse into the 1950s. Plus, the costumes fit well onto each actor and actress giving a nice nostalgic look to the film. Finally, both Stewart and Novak deliver some great performances, that truly make "Vertigo" a classic.

With that being said, there is one major and minor problem presented with the movie. The minor problem is that the story does get somewhat jumbled in the middle, and there are certain plot points which do not have a clear conclusion. More importantly, there's a subplot involving John and his girlfriend which starts off nicely in the beginning, but doesn't seem to go anywhere near the conclusion. The major problem is with the film's pacing; it's slow and drags like a rock moving across the road. However, the film does use this as an advantage to keep the progression of the story more in tact, but it just feels that if there had been some more fast sections, then it would have been fine.

Overall, "Vertigo" is a great movie from Alfred Hitchcock, despite it not being his masterpiece, and yet, is still a classic nonetheless.
½ May 27, 2017
A classic for good reason. It has innovative cinematography. We see early effective uses of the dolly zoom. It's the shot where the camera feels like it is rushing forward. Hitchcock also infuses the story with an appropriate amount of mystery and rewards the audience with an interesting ending. Only slight criticism is that the early part of the film feels to drag on a little. But then again that just might be necessary to get invested in the characters and story and to build up intrigue.
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