Alfred Hitchcock and Kim Novak on-set of “Vertigo”.
Sight & Sound has released their 2012 list of the greatest films. Do you agree with the lists?
The Critics’ Top Ten Greatest Films of All Time:
Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)
Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)
Tokyo Story (Ozu, 1953)
La Règle du jeu (Renoir, 1939)
Sunrise: a Song for Two Humans (Murnau, 1927)
2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968)
The Searchers (Ford, 1956)
Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)
The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, 1927)
10. 8 ½ (Fellini, 1963)
The Directors’ Top Ten Greatest Films of All Time:
1. Tokyo Story (Ozu, 1953)
2. (tie) 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968)
2. (tie) Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)
4. 8 ½ (Fellini, 1963)
5. Taxi Driver (Scorsese, 1976)
6. Apocalypse Now (Coppola, 1979)
7. (tie) The Godfather (Coppola, 1972)
7. (tie) Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)
9. Mirror (Tarkovsky, 1974)
10 Bicycle Thieves (De Sica, 1948)
Read more about the list here.
Happy Anniversary Vertigo!
On this day in 1958, Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo premiered at the Stage Door Theater in San Francisco. Starring Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak, Vertigo is regarded as one of Hitchcock’s finest, and is one of our favorites, so we decided to make it our film of the month.
All day we will be posting facts, thoughts, and articles about Vertigo. Join the fun by commenting with any Vertigo-related photos or fun facts!
Anthony Hopkins brings Hitchcock back to the screen in Sacha Gervasi’s coming film.
“The Fox Searchlight production, which could be ready by year’s end, stars Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock and Helen Mirren as his wife and creative collaborator, Alma Reville. The cast includes Jessica Biel as Vera Miles, Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh and James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins.” Read More
One of the things that the film “Vertigo” has gone down in history for is the creation of the “Hitchcock Zoom”. Now also known as the “dolly zoom”, “vertigo effect”, “contra-zoom”, and “trombone shot” among many others, the technique is used worldwide to convey a feeling of uneasiness, or naussea.
The technique was actually created by an uncredited Second-unit cameraman named Irmin Roberts on the “Vertigo” production.
The famous “Vertigo” Dolly shot view down the mission stairwell cost $19,000 to shoot and ended up having just a couple of seconds of screen time.
Hitchcock had wanted to use a technique like this while shooting his film Rebecca. However, the technology was not yet available so he was forced to wait. According to Hitchcock, the idea for this shot came to him during an incident at a party where he ended up fainting.
Whether you’re a fan of film noir, or simply watch comedies or blockbusters, we’ve all come across the “Hitchcock zoom”. Just another reason why “Vertigo” deserves to be our celebrated film of the month.
One day about eight years ago, I walked out of a Target store and the earth started moving. The ground became a giant balance board, sliding back and forth on top of a ball. I had never had vertigo before and have only had one attack since. I had gone shopping by myself so the only account I have of what happened is my own, which could be inaccurate. I couldn’t move for what seemed like a minute or two, but was probably a few seconds. I thought I was screaming for help but no one stopped, either because I wasn’t screaming or I seemed insane.
I finally made it to the side of the building and leaned on it for a few minutes before stumbling into the help desk to ask for water. I think I may have sat down on the floor, maybe I was standing. I was definitely crying and desperate.
I recovered eventually and drove home safely, but that moment of vertigo is burned in my memory as one of the scariest, loneliest, and most out of control moments of my life.
I had seen Vertigo before this happened and had loved it, but after experiencing vertigo myself, I had a whole new appreciation for the film. The dolly zoom that Hitchcock made famous in Vertigo is a remarkable depiction of what vertigo does. Vertigo continually shifts your visual perspective, making it impossible to see things accurately. This film, for me, explores loss of control and loss of perspective better than any film that came before or after.
Watching Scottie fall into his obsession with Madeleine, and subsequently turn Judy into her, is creepy. I feel sorry for Judy when I watch the film, but there is also a part of me that wants Scottie to succeed in completely transforming her. I shouldn’t want to see this. I should want Judy to run away and be safe. But I still want Scottie to win, I still sympathize with him even in his most horrible moments and I think that was Hitchcock’s plan all along. I want to see Scotty succeed because then order succeeds, control over chaos succeeds, and the ground might possibly stop moving.
The Role of Madeleine/Judy was played by Kim Novak (above: on set with Hitchcock), but Hitchcock always felt she was miscast and totally wrong for the part.
He originally had Vera Miles (Psycho) picked out for the part, but she became pregnant and was not available.
In an interview later, Kim Novak said:
“Hitchcock didn’t like having me in his picture and he felt I was ruining it. It was only after the film was finished that I heard how much he thought I’d wrecked his picture. I felt I did a lot of good work in that movie, and I got some of the best notices of my career. But Hitchcock couldn’t blame himself, so he blamed me.”
Kim Novak Vera Miles
What do you think? Would Vera have made a better Madeleine?
Hitchcock on why he likes to scare people and one of the scariest experiences in his life.
Hitchcock reportedly spent a week filming the museum scene just to get the lighting right.
The title became a issue of hot debate between Hitchcock and the studio. See Paramount’s list of suggested replacement titles.
We personally are very happy Hitchcock won.
What the press had to say on this edgy new Hitchcock:
“[The] secret [of the film] is so clever, even though it is devilishly far-fetched.”
–New York Times
“Hitchcock has never made a thriller more stately and deliberate in technique”
-Sight and Sound
“Vertigo is prime though uneven Hitchcock… Stewart, on camera almost constantly throughout the film’s 126 minutes, comes through with a startlingly fine performance as the lawyer-cop who suffers from acrophobia—that is, vertigo or dizziness in high places.”
Happy Vertigo day everyone!