An Alfred Hitckcock masterpiece. Regularly voted in polls as the greatest film of all time. It stars James Stewart and Kim Novak.
The film was unavailable for decades because its rights (together with four other pictures of the same period) were bought back by Alfred Hitchcock and left as part of his legacy to his daughter. They’ve been known for long as the infamous “Five Lost Hitchcocks” amongst film buffs, and were re-released in cinemas around 1984 after a 30-year absence. The others are The Man Who Knew Too Much, Rear Window, Rope, and The Trouble with Harry (Source: Website, IMDB).
I will admit, i have only seen about five of Hitckcock’s films, so far and i am sure i am not alone in saying that ‘Pyscho’ was originally my favourite. Then i saw this! This film really stays with you. It is actually not just a film about a man with Vertigo but a deep psychologicial thriller. Stewart is Stewart, as he always but he really does give an outstanding performance here. Novak, it must also be said, shines on screen.
It is interesting to note that the film uses repitition and reflection throughout the film. There is a great sense of duality about the film as will be self evident as you watch.
The film recieved mixed reviews on release but as is often the case, it has grown in popularity over the years to the point of its success present day. The print, which was restored in 1996, looks beautiful. The locations are simply stunning and, as you would expect, the soundtrack is perfect. Look out for the usual Hitchcock cameo, as well as a young Barbara Bel Geddes who went on to play Miss Ellie in ‘Dallas’.
If you want a film with intrigue and suspense, this is for you. It really does make you think and question things all the way through the film. Equally so, you will probably want to watch it again at somepoint as you are left with one or two questions regarding certain scenes. A must see. While i am not here to give a vote, what i will say is that, this film is near perfection. While, not all Hitchcock’s films that i have seen are on this level, if you are going to watch any of his films, start with this one.