Cactus Classic Cinema: Vertigo starring James Stewart and Kim Novak (1958)
Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Showtime 7:20 pm
Vertigo is a 1958 American psychological thriller film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock. The story was based on the 1954 novel D’entre les morts (From Among the Dead) by Boileau-Narcejac. The screenplay was written by Alec Coppel and Samuel A. Taylor. The film stars James Stewart as former police detective John “Scottie” Ferguson, who has retired because an incident in the line of duty has caused him to develop acrophobia (an extreme fear of heights) and vertigo, a false sense of rotational movement. Scottie is hired by an acquaintance, Gavin Elster, as a private investigator to follow Gavin’s wife, Madeleine (Kim Novak), who is behaving strangely.
It is the first film to use the dolly zoom, an in-camera effect that distorts perspective to create disorientation, to convey Scottie’s acrophobia. As a result of its use in this film, the effect is often referred to as “the Vertigo effect”.
Vertigo received mixed reviews upon initial release, but is now cited as a classic Hitchcock film and one of the greatest films ever made. In 1989, it was one of the first 25 films selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry for being culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. The film appears repeatedly in polls of the best films by the American Film Institute, including a 2007 ranking as the ninth-greatest American movie ever. Attracting significant scholarly attention, it replaced Citizen Kane (1941) as the greatest film ever made in The Sight & Sound Greatest Films of All Time 2012 poll and came in 2nd in 2022.
This film is un-rated; psychological thriller
Running time: 2 hours, 8 minutes
$7 all ages
or included in series pass available through Sept 30