Vertigo (film)

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Vertigo is a 1958 American psychological thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring James Stewart, Kim Novak, and Barbara Bel Geddes. The film was written by Alec Coppel and Samuel A. Taylor, based on a novel by Boileau-Narcejac. A retired police detective, who has acrophobia, is hired as a private investigator to follow the wife of an acquaintance to uncover the mystery of her peculiar behavior. The film received mixed reviews upon initial release, but has garnered much acclaim since then and is now frequently ranked among the greatest films ever made, and often cited as a classic Hitchcock film and one of the defining works of his career.[1]

Contents

Plot

During a police chase across the rooftops of San Francisco, Detective John "Scottie" Ferguson (James Stewart) nearly falls and discovers his latent acrophobia (the fear of heights). When his partner (Fred Graham) slips, Scottie tries to save him, but his partner falls to his death before Scottie’s eyes. After the incident, Scottie decides to retire from police work, but a college acquaintance named Gavin Elster (Tom Helmore) hires Scottie as a private investigator to decipher the peculiar behavior of his wife, Madeleine Elster (Kim Novak). Scottie follows Madeleine as she visits the grave, the former home and the museum portrait of a dead woman named Carlotta Valdes. Scottie learns that Carlotta Valdes had a tragic life that ended in suicide and that she was Madeleine's great-grandmother. After following Madeleine to Fort Point, Scottie sees Madeleine jump into San Francisco Bay next to the Golden Gate Bridge. Scottie rescues her and takes her to his home to recover. Madeleine eventually confesses that she feels like she may be going insane and has to repress suicidal impulses. Scottie comforts and reassures her and the intimacy between them grows.

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