One aspect of the 366 is to watch films that are considered classics. I’ve heard lots of good things about Vertigo, but I actually knew very little of the story. This film twisted me up inside and has definitely left a lasting impact on me. If you’ve not seen Vertigo, you’ll be glad to know it is a Must See film.
John ‘Scotty’ Ferguson (Jimmy Stewart) is a detective in San Francisco who is suffering from acrophobia. He is hired as a private investigator to investigate the strange behavior of his friends wife. Slowly, he falls dangerously obsessed with Madeleine Elster (Kim Novak).
This is a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. I’ve not seen many of his films, but earlier this year I watched Rear Window. There is so much going on in this film I know I’ll be watching it again. The vibrant colors, the interesting camera techniques, and then the story. The visual storytelling that Hitchcock uses to help unfold the mystery is, not surprisingly, masterful. Seeing the caliber of work really makes me appreciate the art behind the process.
Jimmy Stewart continues to make me a fan. I’ve only seen three of his films, but I plan on watching more. His ability to relay emotion and severity of a situation is powerful. This film in particular really impressed me. There is a scene early in the film where Jimmy Stewart is with Midge Wood (Barbara Bel Geddes) and he is determined to get over his acrophobia. He is simply climbing up a small step ladder. Yet, the tension Hitchcock and the actors are able to bring to this moment is palpable.
There is so much I want to say, but I don’t want to take away the experience of watching this film. It is one I definitely plan on watching with my students next year. The production, the lighting, the acting, and the storytelling all stand out. This is a film that people should see.