Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Review of Vertigo

Fig 1: Vertigo Poster

A San Francisco detective Johnny is suffering from acrophobia. Investigates the strange activities of an old friend's wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her. In the film vertigo causes the thrills and spills of Vertigo.

How Johnny changes his women is a bit strange. Johnny is an obsessed individual. “To fall for her himself and then crack up when she commits suicide. Then one day he sees a woman in the street who reminds him of the woman who haunts him.” (Timeout) it’s very strange how Johnny stares at the women Madeline during the start of the movie. How the suspense builds up when Johnny is in the same street as Madeline. As it is a big build up. In one particular scene Johnny witness her succeeding herself by jumping in the river. Then Johnny saves him. This part of the film was unexpected and was of a shock. Also the camera shots used in the film vertigo is when Madeline walks away from Johnny and then her behind a tree. Just the thought of imagining Madeline climbing up the tree then then Johnny would save the day. Maybe as Johnny is acrophobia this is what causes a lot of the dilemma in the film. Which for Johnny it’s a disadvantage.

Fig 2: Vertigo

Alfred Hitchcock always goes for the blondes. Ebert states “The female characters in his films reflected the same qualities over and over again: They were blond. They were icy and remote.” (Ebert) the female characters are all blonde, the reason for this is because blondes gave the overall scenes a coherent dramatic effect to the overall film. The blondes are quite striking in all of Alfred Hitchcock’s films because it does bring at the suspense and they play the part well. Which is best suited for the film. They have great qualities and not only for their good looks. Blondes bring at the crowd such as Madeline and Judy though played by both characters reflect to these thrilling dramas and slashes. As films created by Hitchcock he sure knows how to build the suspense though in this vertigo it did take long to get in the action. Also it seems as there were more chatting then actual action scenes taking place.  

Johnny in Vertigo is very obsessed with Judy. Weber states “Perverse, poetic, steeped in emotional desolation and destructive obsession.” (Weber) It shows how Johnny reacted when witnessing Madeline falling down the church through the window. But after her death Johnny later sees a woman that looks just like her. Then this leads onto them talking and randomly Johnny asks questions where she lives what’s your name?  Is only obsessed with this woman for the looks of Madeline and this is what consumes him. Which the obsession builds up until the point of the dresses when Judy likes the 2 dress. Johnny doesn’t and it’s strange that he knows pacifically what dress he is looking for and at this point Judy can notice. So the pressure is building up for Judy and Johnny. Leading for the mad ending when is like Johnny is losing his mind when he drags Judy up into the church where Madeline died. Only when they reach the top of the church Judy sees a shadow Judy falls through the window. At this point the camera view of this is quick. Just like a blink of an eye then she is gone.   All the suspense build at that very moment which was a very big build up.

List of illustrations:
Fig 1: Vertigo Poster   URL at:
(Accessed on 21/02/12)

Fig 2: Vertigo URL at:
(Accessed on 21/02/12)

Timeout URL at:
(Accessed on 21/02/12)

Roger Ebert (1996) ‘Sun times’ URL at:
(Accessed on 21/02/12)

Bill Weber (2011)
(Accessed on 21/02/12)

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