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2 Vertigo 
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Post Re: 2 Vertigo 1958
I'm the first one to respond? For shame!

Unfortunately (for me, at least) I won't be able to write at length on Vertigo (or anything else on the forum) until after the 21st of this month due to stuff and other things/stuff. You know how it is.

But, to be brief (with a promise to give my customary long-winded attention to Vertigo in just a little time):

Rob Holloway, he who has urged readers to pay attention to the classics and give films like Vertigo (as well as Vertigo specifically -- it's in the fellow's signature, for the love of monkeys) a spin, has shouted loudly about this film. I'd like to join him in the shouting an tell you, with sincerity to the guy or girl reading this, to see this movie RIGHT NOW. Drop everything and shut down the operation for 2 hours and watch this film. Rob gives it a 10/10 and we both know that he's underrated the film... considerably. I can't sell this movie enough.

I haven't been as excited by an English-language film in over a decade. You think Taxi Driver is the only film that chronicles pain and loneliness to the brink of complete madness? You haven't seen Vertigo. You think James Stewart is just okay? The last 20 minutes of this film represent the best performance he's ever given (at least out of those I've seen, of course) -- he takes misery out of the ballpark and it's absolutely terrifying to watch.

Vertigo f*cking RULES. It took me 29 years to see it (although, to be fair, several of those years were spent in childhood/infancy) and I can say this: there are movies and then there's this one. It has all the power and contemporary feel (ignore Berardinelli's comments that say otherwise) of all those Paul Schrader scripts/films the kids rave about.

So...

Put down the DVD of Benjamin Button. Go to the Classics section. Look under 'V'. Print a damned t-shirt if you have to -- this shouldn't be missed.


Sun Aug 09, 2009 7:48 am
Post Re: 2 Vertigo 1958
majoraphasia wrote:
I'm the first one to respond? For shame!

Unfortunately (for me, at least) I won't be able to write at length on Vertigo (or anything else on the forum) until after the 21st of this month due to stuff and other things/stuff. You know how it is.

But, to be brief (with a promise to give my customary long-winded attention to Vertigo in just a little time):

Rob Holloway, he who has urged readers to pay attention to the classics and give films like Vertigo (as well as Vertigo specifically -- it's in the fellow's signature, for the love of monkeys) a spin, has shouted loudly about this film. I'd like to join him in the shouting an tell you, with sincerity to the guy or girl reading this, to see this movie RIGHT NOW. Drop everything and shut down the operation for 2 hours and watch this film. Rob gives it a 10/10 and we both know that he's underrated the film... considerably. I can't sell this movie enough.

I haven't been as excited by an English-language film in over a decade. You think Taxi Driver is the only film that chronicles pain and loneliness to the brink of complete madness? You haven't seen Vertigo. You think James Stewart is just okay? The last 20 minutes of this film represent the best performance he's ever given (at least out of those I've seen, of course) -- he takes misery out of the ballpark and it's absolutely terrifying to watch.

Vertigo f*cking RULES. It took me 29 years to see it (although, to be fair, several of those years were spent in childhood/infancy) and I can say this: there are movies and then there's this one. It has all the power and contemporary feel (ignore Berardinelli's comments that say otherwise) of all those Paul Schrader scripts/films the kids rave about.

So...

Put down the DVD of Benjamin Button. Go to the Classics section. Look under 'V'. Print a damned t-shirt if you have to -- this shouldn't be missed.


Major,
Your comments are so dead on I couldn't put it any better myself. For those of you who are looking for the next great film, don't waste your time. Go watch this instead, or at least before. It will put all other films in perspective for you. For those of you who don't really know James Stewart(of like many people, only know him from It's a Wonderful Life), you NEED to see him in this film, he is fantastic. We will all be waiting for your comments.....


Sun Aug 09, 2009 1:21 pm
Post Re: 2 Vertigo 1958
Generally speaking, I don't like using the word "overrated" to describe a movie because, of course, everyone has wildly different tastes and who am I to say that the majority of people are wrong about something, anyway? But then I look at a movie like Vertigo and, I dunno, I just feel its standing in the esteem of critics/movie lovers is ridiculous. I understand that it was maybe too unfairly shat upon when it first came out, but I think that, after decades of over-compensation for that initial reception, the film's reputation is now way out of whack

I mean, I guess it's just a personal thing, but I don't respond emotionally to the film at all. I find it shallow, a bit dumb, humorless to a fault and even unintentionally silly at times. To be fair to you chumps, though, Vertigo is legitimately wonderful on the technical front. Great sound design, music, visuals, etc. But those are really the only things I get out of the film. My loss, huh? I've seen maybe ten or so Hitchcock flicks that I much prefer

Vertigo gets a C- from me, I think


Sun Aug 09, 2009 5:19 pm
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Post Re: 2 Vertigo 1958
I went into Vertigo with literally no background knowledge. I knew that it was Hitchcock, and my parents said that it was good, and that was good enough for me. So when I say that Vertigo is BY FAR my favorite Hitchcock movie, I do so without having been affected by other movie critics and the Hollywood elite.

Hitchcock usually has a musical score that pervades his films; Vertigo does it best. North by Northwest, Rear Window, and Psycho have nothing on this stuff. It perfectly complements the narrative until the aforementioned neon green scene when it swells and takes over. Fantastic stuff. There is a great homage to this scene in 12 Monkeys, another of my favorite movie.

Stewart plays one of his better characters. Not necessarily the most likable, especially compared to the Capra characters that he played in the past, but he involves the audience better than anyone else could have in the part. With the intensity and obsession that he exhibits toward the latter half of the film, it would have been impossible to maintain audience sympathy for his cause had the lead not been played by Stewart.

I like to call this a film noir - at least, a Hitchcock noir. It has similar stylings and cinematography to other noirs that I have seen. Of course, it also has the investigation and the double crossings. But you usually don't hear others call it a noir.

I agree with Rob. This film is draining. The narrative is highly involving because it is so enigmatic. It has very deliberate pacing, and then the ending seems so abrupt. It takes a lot out of you. I recommend that you give this movie time to sink in.

But yeah... this is the best Hitchcock film. I like it better than Citizen Kane. It is truly a great cinematic achievement. 10/10


Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:23 pm
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Post Re: 2 Vertigo 1958
have any of you seen Stewart's westerns with Anthony Mann? I think he had been building towards Vertigo for some time. There's some pretty shocking stuff from him in The Man From Laramie, The Naked Spur, & Winchester '73, all before Vertigo. He played pretty dark, obsessed characters in those films as well.
They are also must sees if you have an interest in the evolution of the western(Leone & Peckinpah weren't the first to make more adult westerns)

here's what amazon wrote about Naked Spur:

Quote:
The Anthony Mann-Jimmy Stewart Westerns in the 1950s infused the genre with a psychological intensity and psychopathic edge. The brutal The Naked Spur, their third collaboration, is generally considered their best work together and one of the finest Westerns ever made. Stewart is a hard, angry bounty hunter tracking outlaw Robert Ryan in this lean five-character drama set in the deceptively beautiful mountain wilderness of the Midwest. Stewart finds himself saddled with two unwanted partners, sourdough prospector Millard Mitchell (his sidekick in the earlier Mann Western Winchester '73) and dishonorably discharged cavalry officer Ralph Meeker. Ryan's tomboyish sidekick Janet Leigh becomes increasingly torn between duty to her desperate guardian and her growing attraction to Stewart. The rugged landscape of jutting peaks, narrow passes, and torrential rivers is as gorgeous as it is dangerous: a well-protected plateau becomes a sniper's perch, an old mine turns from protective cave to dangerous cave-in. Stewart delivers the most ruthless performance of his career as a man haunted by betrayal, unwilling to trust and unable to love. Ryan's jovial banter and charm masks a cold-blooded savagery (he once remarked that it's his favorite performance). The tension stretches to the breaking point in this taut battle of wits, which culminates in a standoff next to the white water of a raging river, where Mann brilliantly uses the jagged landscape as a deadly battleground--nature itself becomes an enemy


Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:41 pm
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Post Re: 2 Vertigo 1958
calvero wrote:
have any of you seen Stewart's westerns with Anthony Mann? I think he had been building towards Vertigo for some time. There's some pretty shocking stuff from him in The Man From Laramie, The Naked Spur, & Winchester '73, all before Vertigo. He played pretty dark, obsessed characters in those films as well.
They are also must sees if you have an interest in the evolution of the western(Leone & Peckinpah weren't the first to make more adult westerns)



Cool. I haven't seen The Naked Spur or Winchester '73. It's high time I start looking back into the westerns -- these sound like as good a starting point as anything else.


Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:39 am
Post Re: 2 Vertigo 1958
majoraphasia wrote:
calvero wrote:
have any of you seen Stewart's westerns with Anthony Mann? I think he had been building towards Vertigo for some time. There's some pretty shocking stuff from him in The Man From Laramie, The Naked Spur, & Winchester '73, all before Vertigo. He played pretty dark, obsessed characters in those films as well.
They are also must sees if you have an interest in the evolution of the western(Leone & Peckinpah weren't the first to make more adult westerns)



Cool. I haven't seen The Naked Spur or Winchester '73. It's high time I start looking back into the westerns -- these sound like as good a starting point as anything else.


Both movies are part of my DVD collection, although I'm not a fan of Westerns. They are very good, but don't build up your expectations too high. Winchester '73 is the better film in my opinion, although it is a bit gimmicky. Effectively, the film follows the gun as it changes ownership and brings doom to everyone. The Naked Spur has an interesting Technicolor outdoors look.

I would argue that Hitchcock tapped into a dark side of the James Stewart persona in Rear Window already - the character he plays shys away from responsibility (marriage) and is an obsessive voyeur.


Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:54 am
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Post Re: 2 Vertigo 1958
Unke wrote:
I would argue that Hitchcock tapped into a dark side of the James Stewart persona in Rear Window already - the character he plays shys away from responsibility (marriage) and is an obsessive voyeur.


Actually, I would look back even farther. The character that James Stewart plays in Rope is fairly dark as well. Although he later comes to his senses, he spouts morally and ethically questionable ideas throughout most of the film, and he was the inspiration that led to the murder.


Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:09 am
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Post Re: 2 Vertigo 1958
darthyoshi wrote:
Unke wrote:
I would argue that Hitchcock tapped into a dark side of the James Stewart persona in Rear Window already - the character he plays shys away from responsibility (marriage) and is an obsessive voyeur.


Actually, I would look back even farther. The character that James Stewart plays in Rope is fairly dark as well. Although he later comes to his senses, he spouts morally and ethically questionable ideas throughout most of the film, and he was the inspiration that led to the murder.


Good point! It is also strongly implied that the killers are gay and had some sort of homosexual relationship with the James Stewart character in college, which was of course rather disreptutable in the 1940ies/50ies.


Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:17 am
Post Re: 2 Vertigo 1958
Really interesting stuff.

I too had forgotten about James Stewart in Rope. I've never thought of the character in Rear Window as being particularly dark though. In fact quite normal ;-)

I saw Winchester 73 over 20 years ago. The Naked Spur sits at 723 on the top 1000. I'll check them both out.
I've been on a western binge of late watching quite a few. it's not a genre that I love though there are films within it that are some of my personal favorites.

I have always struggled with racist undertones, simplistic moral values and ridiculous portrayal of the impact violence. I'll check these two out.

Rob


Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:58 pm
Post Re: 2 Vertigo 1958
I'll throw in another recommendation for The Naked Spur, expect I think it suffers a lot from being made under the Hays Code, since the ending doesn't gel with the rest of the movie at all. Imagine Unforgiven expect instead of the ending it was made with, everyone makes peace with everyone else and they all have a big slumber party. It's not that bad, but I still think it suffers.


Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:13 pm
Post Re: 2 Vertigo 1958
Zeppelin wrote:
I'll throw in another recommendation for The Naked Spur, expect I think it suffers a lot from being made under the Hays Code, since the ending doesn't gel with the rest of the movie at all. Imagine Unforgiven expect instead of the ending it was made with, everyone makes peace with everyone else and they all have a big slumber party. It's not that bad, but I still think it suffers.


It's in my Netflix queue alongside Winchester '73. Can't wait.
Rob


Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:39 pm
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Post Re: 2 Vertigo 1958
The Naked Spur & Winchester '73 are on youtube.

I also recommend The Man From Laramie, maybe the most violent of the Stewart/Mann collaborations.

here is a trailer for the dvd:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63L0b13m ... L&index=52


Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:27 pm
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Post Re: 2 Vertigo 1958
I've seen Vertigo twice in the past couple of years, and I can't think of a single movie I've ever been more conflicted over.

On one hand, it may be the most beautifully-made film I've seen from Hitchcock. Every technical aspect of the production, from its haunting cinematography to its magnificent score (which is without a doubt one of the best I've heard), contribute to the film's near-flawless mise-en-scene. Hitchcock's direction is, of course, masterful, and James Stewart gives one of his best performances here as Scottie Ferguson.

Unfortunately, the story all of this wonderful filmmaking is centered around isn't very good (in my opinion, anyway).

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I've searched my memory and have been unable to find a murder scheme more preposterous than the one laid out by Gavin Elster. Not one. I understand that the murder mystery was just a setup for Scottie's relationship with Judy and his psychotic lust for Madeline, but I still feel that the transition was handled clumsily. Had there been a better backstory to Scottie's necrophiliac obsession, I might have cared more about the characters and their fate.

Another problem I have is with Kim Novack's performance as Madeline/Judy. She has her moments, but I found the bulk of her acting to be a bit wooden. Hitchcock does a perfectly fine job showing Judy's inner conflict without Novack's help, but I think a more emotive actress could have made her character more sympathetic.


All that being said, it's undeniable that Vertigo has several moments of incredible power; the final scene atop the bell tower may be one of the finest endings to a movie that I've seen. Still, I can't help but wish Hitchcock had had a better screenplay to work with.

For now at least, I give Vertigo ***/****.

Rear Window remains, in my opinion, Hitchcock's greatest film.


Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:33 pm
Post Re: 2 Vertigo
You know, there's a complete giddy joy in watching this movie. I mean in the 1950's the endings were conventional, James Stewart was a kind, bumbling gentleman and Disney Acid Sequences happened in Disney Movies. In Vertigo however, Hitchcock breaks each of those things. James Stewart is really creepy in this especially in the last 20 minutes and there's a trippy Disney Acid Sequence for no reason but to be awesome. To see Hitchcock break the cinematic rules at the time into teeny tiny pieces is a great feeling. Is this my favorite Hitchcock? I prefer Psycho a bit more since that had better pacing but other than that, this is a really great film.

9/10


Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:45 pm
Post Re: 2 Vertigo
Patrick wrote:
You know, there's a complete giddy joy in watching this movie. I mean in the 1950's the endings were conventional, James Stewart was a kind, bumbling gentleman and Disney Acid Sequences happened in Disney Movies. In Vertigo however, Hitchcock breaks each of those things. James Stewart is really creepy in this especially in the last 20 minutes and there's a trippy Disney Acid Sequence for no reason but to be awesome. To see Hitchcock break the cinematic rules at the time into teeny tiny pieces is a great feeling. Is this my favorite Hitchcock? I prefer Psycho a bit more since that had better pacing but other than that, this is a really great film.

9/10


Two great movies in a couple of days? You cinephile!

Anyway, I agree with you on the pacing. Vertigo is probably Hitchcock's most ambitious and cerebral film, but there are a couple I still prefer. Guess they're just a wee bit more fun.


Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:16 pm
Post Re: 2 Vertigo
Eh, I just happened to rent some movies that were on the list. And my reasons for renting Vertigo was just to impress Holloway.


Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:29 pm
Post Re: 2 Vertigo 1958
majoraphasia wrote:
You think James Stewart is just okay? The last 20 minutes of this film represent the best performance he's ever given (at least out of those I've seen, of course) -- he takes misery out of the ballpark and it's absolutely terrifying to watch.




That's absolutely spot on Major. If Stewart has ever been better than in the third act here, I'd love someone to name the film and performance? He's just mesmerizing to watch. This film grows on me more with every viewing.

Shutter Island tries so hard to echo Vertigo, but (for starters) trying to compare Leo with Stewart is impossible.


Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:06 pm
Post Re: 2 Vertigo 1958
wisey wrote:
majoraphasia wrote:
You think James Stewart is just okay? The last 20 minutes of this film represent the best performance he's ever given (at least out of those I've seen, of course) -- he takes misery out of the ballpark and it's absolutely terrifying to watch.




That's absolutely spot on Major. If Stewart has ever been better than in the third act here, I'd love someone to name the film and performance? He's just mesmerizing to watch. This film grows on me more with every viewing.

Shutter Island tries so hard to echo Vertigo, but (for starters) trying to compare Leo with Stewart is impossible.


Right on! And an appreciative nod for the BUMP. Stewart's performance runs the gamut -- the entire range of emotions from lovey-dovey to lunatic -- and does so without any silly contrivances. The third act, as you've said, is the Big Acting Risk and he pulls it off without a hitch. Tee-hee. Hitch.


Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:04 am
Post Re: 2 Vertigo
James Stewart

Who'd have thought it?

He was that nice guy from that Xmas movie with angels and Capra

Now he turns up in this - arguably Hitch's darkest movie - and I include Psycho

For me- the greatest movie ever made.... but what do i know?

Rob


Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:43 am
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