Vertigo Essay

1067 words - 4 pages


     Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo is a thrilling film filled with mystery and suspense. However, Hitchcock left many unsolved issues at the end of this film. In contrast, when comparing Vertigo to more recent films of similar genre’, mysteries are usually always solved and thoroughly explained by the end of the film. Ironically, Hitchcock’s failure to explain everything to the audience in Vertigo is one of the film’s best attributes. This lack of knowledge allows the viewer to use their own imagination and speculate as to what might or might not have become of certain characters.

     Vertigo boasted several different themes. However, the “Ideal Woman – Lost” theme was the most prevalent (“Handout #1”). This theme was brought on by an obsessed “everyman” type. Jimmy Stewart, otherwise known as Scottie in the film, played this “everyman” type whose personality was maliciously twisted into an overly obsessive man. His cause for obsession was a beautiful, young woman played by Kim Novak, known as both Madeleine and Judy in the film. Madeleine drew Scottie in so deep, that he literally became a different person. This film mirrored Hitchcock’s personal feelings and was considered to be his favorite film.      

     While there are many scenes that prove the above theme, the following are three specific scenes that clearly spell out Scottie’s obsession. The scene where Scottie was sitting in his car alone after dropping Midge off at her home is a good first example. Midge and Scottie had just spent an afternoon together researching Carlotta Valdes’ history. Before Midge got out of the car she told Scottie, much to his dismay, that she was going view Carlotta’s portrait at the museum. As soon as Midge got out of the car, Scottie pulled out his brochure from the museum and turned to the page that hosted Carlotta’s portrait. As he stared at her picture for several moments, he began to visualize Madeleine’s face. Clearly this was one of the first signs of his growing obsession. An old college buddy hired Scottie to follow his wife, Madeleine, to discover where she was “wandering” off to. However, this job was consuming his life and Scottie was developing a serious intrigue for Madeleine, a very mysterious woman.

     Another good example is the scene where Madeleine jumped into the bay. Scottie rushed to her aid, and pulled her from the bay, saving her life. He immediately took Madeleine back to her car and placed her in the passenger seat. Then Scottie got very close to her face and whispered her name several times. Clearly he forgot that he was suppose to be a stranger to her. She was not suppose to know him and he was not suppose to know her. In addition, he had no reason to have known her name. His act of getting so close to her and calling her name was a clear sign that he deeply cared for her and was very concerned...

Find Another Essay On Vertigo

Composition Of "Vertigo" Essay

1666 words - 7 pages composition of the Alfred Hitchcock film, Vertigo, the audience is able to gain a deeper understanding of what is happening without it being directly presented to them through the characters actions or dialogue. In this suspenseful film, every frame, line and scene is filled with meaning from beginning to end. The names of the director and the two leads appear in front of an extreme close-up of a woman's face and the rest of the cast and crew

Constructing Fantasy in Hitchcock's Vertigo Essay

3368 words - 13 pages Constructing Fantasy in Hitchcock's Vertigo The amount of critical analysis surrounding Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo is itself dizzying, but as the film has recently been restored, it seems appropriate to provide it with a fresh critical reading. The purpose of this paper then, is to draw this film out of the past with a reading that offers not only a new way of understanding it, but a close look at the culture that produced it

Vertigo: A Darker Side of Human Nature

759 words - 3 pages In the essay "On `Sleeping Beauty'," Francine Prose argues that the movie Vertigo is about "a sort of modified necrophilia: not exactly sex with a corpse - literal graveyard amour - but rather sex with a woman who only appears to have left the world of living" (223). This statement certainly has many ties to the movie. Vertigo, Hitchcock's masterpiece, secretly reveals men's sexual desire and obsession towards women, especially for those who

Culinary Delight: An Analysis Of Hitchcock's Vertigo

2484 words - 10 pages Considered by many to be Alfred Hitchcock's greatest film of all time, Vertigo successfully creates a state of mental paralysis as the audience moves through John Ferguson's (Scotty's) world. In an essay on Vertigo, Robin Wood discusses the actual state of mental paralysis that the condition of vertigo creates: "The sensation has been explained, I believe, by psychologists as arising from the tension between the desire to fall and the dread of

Gender Confusion in Hitchcock's Film, Vertigo

2124 words - 8 pages Gender Confusion in Hitchcock's Film, Vertigo Post World War II America was a society full of anxiety. In the late 1950s Americans were deeply troubled by so many social shifts. Major changes were occurring both internally and externally. They were in the midst of the Cold War, and were vastly approaching the atomic age. There was a communist scare and fear of Russian expansion. Joseph McCarthy was hunting down major celebrities for their

Camera Techniques Used in Hitchcock’s Thriller Movie, Vertigo

536 words - 2 pages Camera Techniques Used in Hitchcock’s Thriller Movie, Vertigo A thriller is a type of film that usually instills excitement and suspense into the audience. A thriller is commonly described as a tense edge of the seat environment. The movie, Vertigo, is one of the most famous thrillers ever made. However, Vertigo does not fit into the stereotypical genre of thriller. Vertigo, often viewed as an experimental film because it was one of the first

Vestibular Neuritis

2112 words - 8 pages Vestibular Neuritis There are various disorders that will cause a patient to experience vertigo. The top three most common causes of peripheral vertigoare Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Meniere’s disease, and Vestibular neuritis. There are additional causes of vertigo such as cerebrovascular disease, migraines, psychological disease, perilymphatic fistulas, multiple sclerosis, and intracranial neoplasms (Labuguen, 2006

Old Friends

770 words - 4 pages Edgar Allen Poe’s story “The Fall of the House of Usher” and Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Vertigo is very similar in a couple of ways. One way is that they both have friends that help with a murder. Second, both stories have death, mystery, and trickery involved in them. In the movie Vertigo John “Scottie” Ferguson gets a phone call by Gavin Elster, who is an old friend, to help him with a job. In the story “The Fall of the House of Usher” Rodrick


1715 words - 7 pages to the brain using a nerve called the vestibulocochlear nerve. Nerve deafness occurs if there is damage to the inner ear and although it is possible to regain some hearing through the help of a hearing device, nerve deafness is often permanent. (deaf websites, 2013) Damage to the inner ear can be caused by old age, exposure to loud noise, family history or Ménière’s disease. Ménière’s disease is an incurable disorder with ‘vertigo, tinnitus


2618 words - 11 pages severe attacks of vertigo have stopped but when balance problems may remain. A physiotherapist can help improve balance by teaching vestibular rehabilitation techniques. These exercises teach patients how to cope with the abnormal and disorientating signals coming from the inner ear. They are taught to use alternative signals from your eyes, ankles, legs and neck, to keep you balanced. 5. Medication Medicine is taken to treat or prevent any

Freud and Film

3129 words - 13 pages with us in this way because we are in a highly suggestive sleep-like environment. Take perhaps the image of a bend or fork in a road or a bridge, these may indicate a decision one has to make or a choice one is facing, just as the image of a house may indicate a set of values or a belief system. In the film, Vertigo, imagery is only as important as it is in any other film but it is more apparent and easily discernable in this film as in most

Similar Essays

Vertigo Essay

946 words - 4 pages VERTIGO The film is about a man, who is a retired detective, Scott Ferguson( Johnny ). One of his friends wants him to chase after his wife, Madline, whom Scott thinks that she is ill and wants to commit suicide. Scott fells in love with her, but because of his vertigo illness ( acrofoby ), he can not stop her of commiting suicide. After a time he sees a woman, who looks like Madline very much and realises that she is Judy Barten. With his

"Vertigo" Essay

1535 words - 6 pages attempt to discourse upon surrealism as a palpable mood pervading the "trailing sequence" in Vertigo, how it is established and sustained. In the latter concern I shall be dealing with two aspects of the narration: mis-en-scenes and sound.The sequence under discussion begins with the restaurant scene. What makes the latter so pivotal to the entire construct of the "trail", besides serving to introduce the character of Madeline, is that it is the

Film Review: Vertigo (1958)

821 words - 3 pages Director: Alfred HitchcockProducer: Alfred HitchcockCast: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel GeddesRunning time: 129 minutesProduction Company: Alfred J. Hitchcock Productions"Vertigo stands as one of the thrill master's most psychologically dense and twisted works in which obsession, commitment, and dual identities all merge to create a voluptuous tale of thwarted love" - Marjorie Baumgarten (1996), Austin Chronicle.All great art reflects

Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo Essay

1603 words - 6 pages The film, Vertigo (1958) directed by Alfred Hitchcock, is classified as a genre combination of mystery, romance, suspense and thriller about psychological obsession and murder. Filmed on location in San Francisco and on the Paramount lot in Hollywood, California in 1957, the cultural features of the late 1950’s America were depicted in the films mise en scène by costume and set designs current for that time period. The film was produced at