Bad boy Jimmy Stewart

Rating: NNNNNVERTIGO(Alfred Hitchcock, 1958) grows on people with repeated viewings, and especially with age. It's the quintessential old man's movie..


Rating: NNNNN


VERTIGO(Alfred Hitchcock, 1958) grows on people with repeated viewings, and especially with age. It’s the quintessential old man’s movie. Jimmy Stewart’s turn as a retired detective who pursues the beautiful, mysterious Kim Novak to her death and beyond nearly cancels out a lifetime’s career as a good guy. In Vertigo, Stewart is peevish, obsessive, practically maniacal. He throws over a woman who loves him (Barbara Bel Geddes, playing one of Hitchcock’s most sympathetic women) for a blond phantom. All this contributes to making Vertigo Hitchcock’s most enduring work, and one of the best films of all time. The story pushes the madness of romance to its logical conclusion. The performances are both full-blooded and archetypal. And in this film, Hitchcock came closest to his ideal of pure cinema. Vertigo tells its story visually. Long stretches elapse without dialogue. Which makes Bernard Hermann’s lush, haunting score penetrate even more deeply. If there’s a better film about a man in love, I haven’t seen it. NNNNN (June 14-15, Royal)

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