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22,438 Ratings


Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
United States, 1958
Mystery, Romance, Thriller


In San Francisco, an ex-police officer who suffers from an intense fear of heights rescues a mysterious blonde from the bay and must unravel the secrets of the past to find the key to his future. The pair become trapped in a dizzying web of mistaken identity, passion and murder.

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Vertigo Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1959 | 2 nominations including: Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White or Color

James Stewart is the embodiment of the anti-hero – as he already was in Rear Window (1954) and The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) – and he finds himself falling for Kim Novak as the archetype of the femme fatale. But what makes Vertigo different is how this love affair exposes the weaknesses and failings of these two people – to the point that everyone can identify with it. That’s the power of love according to Hitch.
July 20, 2015
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Dive (or fall) deeper into Vertigo and it’s clear the reasons for the film’s enduring influence extend far beyond its ample surface pleasures. Hitchcock counted this as the most personal of his works, and it plays as a self-lacerating roman à clef, a deeply felt dramatization of the dark side of his filmmaking practice—the voyeuristic concerns of Rear Window (1954) pushed to their extreme.
April 08, 2015
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[Watching the film is] a vertiginous experience, a descent into a maelstrom of conflicting responses, a dizzying flight through mental space in which you reach out for touchstones like positive and negative, healthy and sick (Hitchcock’s vision, after all, is profoundly moral), and at the same time realize the uselessness of all such labels outside a normal frame of reference.
June 10, 1971

What are people saying?

  • Spiritchaser's rating of the film Vertigo

    Hitchcock's genius lies in the greatest (Lacanian) psychoanalytic film which succinctly demonstrates 'objet petit a' and the death drive without possibly having read Lacan. Of how desire "kills" the actual/Real person when we force upon her an imaginary persona, with death soon after obtaining desire. The irony was that Psycho, made afterwards, was strictly Freudian and lacked the nuances of his greatest film.

  • cin·aes·the·tic's rating of the film Vertigo

    I'm not necessarily a Hitchcock fan. But I'm a fan of this film. I hope that makes sense. I do have a touch of vertigo myself, and so the 'money' shot with Stewart looking down the bell tower...brilliant. Scary as hell, but forever etched on my brain and an example of the melding of art and science in cinematography. A psychological drama. A pulp fiction thriller. A love letter to San Francisco. A paean to Kim Novak.

  • A.B. II: The Return's rating of the film Vertigo

    I don't really feel this is Hitchcock's definitive masterpiece, but it's still a hell of a film. The outstanding cinematography is completely in-sync with the mysterious and romantic natures of the story. Herrmann's luscious score isn't just his personal best, but one of the greatest scores of all-time. I've never seen Stewart and Novak in better form, and Barabara Bel Geddes' work is very underrated.

  • Chris_Parker's rating of the film Vertigo

    Vertigo is arguably Hitchcock's greatest & most personal film, a sprawling masterpiece about Male Identity, Woman as a work of art & the relationship of the creator and creation taken into the realm of love and sexuality.

  • Rafael Fonseca's rating of the film Vertigo

    The eerie paranormal intrigue is demystified by a second viewing, but Vertigo rightfully stands and crystallizes into something much more. It's all about James Stewart's eyes, the hypnotic glares of the two and the sacred silences of the shared scenes. Scottie's fever and its cure. The forest. The grey blazer and the red diner and the green-lit metamorphosis. Mr. Herrmann's grandiose of sound.

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film Vertigo

    Grows each time you see it—over the years my rating has crept from a 3 to a 5. An atmospheric dream about the gulf between men and women, the burden movies place on actresses, and cinema's complicity in giving an outlet for dark fantasies. ("If I let you change me, will you love me?"). Cheers to the Castro Theater for a great presentation. SF does Vertigo right; something of the film is in the air in this city.

  • El Biffo's rating of the film Vertigo

    1958 San Francisco in Technicolor. I don't even care about the story. The images get 5 stars. 2012 digital restoration looks fabulous on the big screen; I m really glad I saw it that way (I had never seen it before today)!

  • Ben Wheeler's rating of the film Vertigo

    I had the pleasure of seeing a 70mm print of Vertigo last week in Hollywood, at the Egyptian. I thought, This must have been what it was like to watch a Hitchcock premier in the 50s! It was an experience---immersive with sound and color. The viewing gave me a fresh perspective on Hitchcock, reviving that euphoric feeling of having watched a great movie. Great experience.

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