If I do what you tell me, will you love me?

Next up in my second Hitchcock-a-thon, Vertigo is a first-rate suspense mystery with an ending that’ll knock you on your heels. Considered the benchmark of Hitchcock’s later career, this is clearly one of the man’s best films.

The film is a capable mystery, albeit one that often belies straightforward thinking in favor of what will produce the most effect. The film also contains some rather trippy sequences, and pioneered the use of what would come to be known as the “Vertigo effect”, the dolly zoom that creates the disorienting feeling accompanying Stewart’s fear of heights. The score by Bernard Herrmann is immediately recognizable when the opening credits start rolling, and indeed the music throughout the film does help an awful lot to impress the mood upon the viewer. While I’m not too sure of the decision to reveal the mystery itself with a third of the film to go, as well as other parts of the plot that follow that I won’t reveal here, the story is otherwise effective with what it does.

The film gets somewhat predictable once the initial mystery has worn off, and Jimmy Stewart delivers just about the same performance in every Hitchcock film he appears in, but this is still a top-notch film even with its flaws. I can see how it is now considered as a standard in the man’s filmography. If you haven’t seen this one yet, make the time to do so.

Arbitrary Rating: 8/10


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