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21,156 Ratings


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


A surreal thriller from the Master of Suspense. Set in San Francisco, an acrophobic detective 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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Vertigo does a number of things astoundingly well. The double structure is a stroke of genius, with the film’s first half producing a terribly compelling thriller, and the second opening up Jimmy Stewart’s Scottie in a way that reveals his motivations while illuminating his true colorus… Yet at the core of the film sits a love story that, for a modern audience, is virtually impossible to abide.
March 17, 2013
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What are people saying?

  • 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)!

  • chanandre's rating of the film Vertigo

    It manages to be perfect even on digital. That's saying a lot. This on film is something quite different. 2 examples? Opening sequence (you can really get the scope and size of Frisco's skyline - on DVD you can't - trust me i've seen it once too often on DVD even in film school) and the hotel where the green jaguar always drives from: the walls seem to crush us like Costa's white buildings on 'Juventude em Marcha':<3

  • dionysus67's rating of the film Vertigo

    Hitchcock's masterpiece on doublings and on ways of seeing, systematized here with unprecedented psychological and cinematic clarity. It is moot to reiterate the existentialist discourse of the void as a way of looking at the world and as being personified in the fantasy-object of Madeleine (an iconic Novak). A definitive identification between the cinematic and the psychological gaze into the subject's own desires.

  • André Vieira's rating of the film Vertigo

    I saw this at a late special showing in Lisbon. It's visually stunning and filled with troubled individuals. The first hour is a bit slow but when you reach the one hour mark, the plot takes off and makes you think about everything you saw before. And when I mean everything, I really mean it. Even a simple pair of shoes. The zoom out/track in shots are outstanding considering the technology back then.

  • Spiritchaser's rating of the film Vertigo

    Hitchcock's genius was that he has created THE Lacanian psychoanalytic film in Vertigo that succinctly demonstrated 'objet petit a' and the death drive without possibly having read Lacan. What's most intriguing though was the fact that Hitchcock's Psycho, released AFTER Vertigo, was strictly Freudian.

  • 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.

  • Wee Hunk's rating of the film Vertigo

    A good movie, but not great. The ultimate Rorschach test for movie critics. "The hair which was previously white and represented snow and purity is now red, and perversely represents blood, passion, and the rose on my lapel. How did the rose get there? I don't know. I don't do my own laundry. I have a maid that comes every Thursday. Her name is Judy Barton. Coincidence? I don't think so."

  • ASHES IN THE HOURGLASS's rating of the film Vertigo

    I HATE the cult behind Hitchcock. The man has directed many great films but also a lot of overrated misfires (Psycho, Rope, The Birds, Shadow of a Doubt) that are almost disgustingly worshipped. However, this film is deserving of it's praise. Everything comes together here (Structure, Performance, Direction, Music, Theme) to form something that is both simple and ludicrous enough to be classified as sheer madness.

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