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Vertigo (Universal Legacy Series)

James Stewart , Kim Novak , Alfred Hitchcock    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (257 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 61.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Vertigo (Universal Legacy Series) + Rear Window + North By Northwest (Bilingual) [Import]
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Although it wasn't a box-office success when originally released in 1958, Vertigo has since taken its deserved place as Alfred Hitchcock's greatest, most spellbinding, most deeply personal achievement. In fact, it consistently ranks among the top 10 movies ever made in the once-a-decade Sight & Sound international critics poll, placing at number 4 in the most recent survey. (Universal Pictures' spectacularly gorgeous 1996 restoration and rerelease of this 1958 Paramount production was a tremendous success with the public, too.) James Stewart plays a retired police detective who is hired by an old friend to follow his wife (a superb Kim Novak, in what becomes a double role), whom he suspects of being possessed by the spirit of a dead madwoman. The detective and the disturbed woman fall ("fall" is indeed the operative word) in love and...well, to give away any more of the story would be criminal. Shot around San Francisco (the Golden Gate Bridge and the Palace of the Legion of Honor are significant locations) and elsewhere in Northern California (the redwoods, Mission San Juan Batista) in rapturous Technicolor, Vertigo is as lovely as it is haunting. --Jim Emerson

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When does love turn into obsession ??? Jan. 10 2007
By M. B. Alcat TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Scotty (James Stewart) is a retired policeman with a big handicap, vertigo. He simply cannot stand heights, something that he didn't know until the moment when he was unable to help a fellow officer in danger. His vertigo paralyzed him, and as a result the other policeman died. Traumatized, he retired and decided to take up a job as a detective.

His first task in his new job is following the rich wife of an old acquaintance, Madeline (Kim Novak). Madeline is a beautiful and very rich woman, who supposedly has suicidal tendencies that trouble his husband. The problem is that after some time Scottie starts to fall in love with the enigmatic Madeline. Strangely enough, the same thing seems to happen to her when they meet. But will both live long enough to enjoy their love, or is someone bent on a dark scheme that will inevitably end in death?. What does Scotty's vertigo has to do with those plans?. How far do lies go in this whole story ?. And when does love turn into obsession?.

The answer to all these questions, and many more, can be found in this 1958 Hitchcock's classic. Someone told me that some films are called classics for a good reason. I think "Vertigo" is one of them. If you haven't seen it, please do. I think you won't regret doing that, and that you will pleasantly surprised by all the twists in this strange plot. Strongly recommended!!!.

Belen Alcat
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A haunting and beautiful classic. Sept. 15 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Vertigo is a true classic from the Master, Alfred Hitchcock. Upon its release, Vertigo was not well received by the public or the critics. Since that time it has rightfully started to garner the attention and respect it deserves.
The story is good, incorporating drama, suspense, and romance. Vertigo has one of the finest, most gripping, finales I have come across in any motion picture. Even after repeated viewings, the ending still manages to send shivers up my spine.
The acting is good all the way around. Jimmy Stewart delivers an absolutely wonderful performance as the slightly disturbed John 'Scottie' Ferguson, a man with a strong fear of heights and an obsession with the mysterious Mrs. Madeleine Elster. Madeleine is played to a cool, smooth perfection by the talented Kim Novak.
Robert Burks brings a lot of atmosphere to Vertigo through his cinematography. The colors are vibrant and glowing, giving the film a haunting aura.
Bernard Herrmann is at his best, delivering an absolutely riveting and disorienting musical score. The effects for the opening title sequence combined with Herrmann's score really set the tone of the film.
Hitchcock's direction is fantastic as always. For this film, he created the infamous "dizzy effect" shot by simultaneously zooming forward and reverse tracking with the camera. This shot has been imitated by many but rarely has it been as effective as it is here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hitchcock at his best.. April 6 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A troubled James Stewart and a breath-takingly belle Kim Novak make for a great classic. Great plot & acting, well-designed by Hitchcock. Tragic non-feel-good-at-the-end plot (thank goodness). In a New York minute (ohh-oo-oo, everything can change...)..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old time family entertainment. Nov. 9 2013
By Laney
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Keeps you interested. Acting is good. No boring gunfire, explosions, car racing, or gross violence. Worth the price for an evening's entertainment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sur toute la ligne ! Feb. 6 2013
By MFJ
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Le produit m'a été livré dans le délai prévu. La qualité mentionnée était exacte. Je suis très satisfait et je recommande fortement ce vendeur. Excellent sur toute la ligne !
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By Steven Aldersley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
**MINOR SPOILERS WITHIN**

If you ask movie fans to name their favorite Hitchcock titles, you'll get a lot of different answers. Some would mention Psycho or Rear Window, while others might mention Dial M for Murder, The Birds, Notorious or The 39 Steps. There are probably at least 20 strong candidates. My own favorite is Vertigo because the mystery element appeals to me and James Stewart is involved.

Mulholland Dr. is my favorite film and David Lynch has mentioned how much he likes Vertigo and Rear Window because of the mood each creates. I can see why. Vertigo's mood never reaches the darker depths that Lynch's work inhabits, but there are similarities.

Vertigo begins with a rooftop chase in which Scottie Ferguson is left clinging to the guttering. When a cop tries to save him, Ferguson sees him slip and fall to his death. The traumatic experience leaves Ferguson mentally scarred and he quits his job as a detective. He's hired as a private detective by Gavin Elster (Tom Helmore), who claims that his wife, Madeleine (Novak), wanders off at random and doesn't remember where she's been. He thinks she might be possessed.

While that sounds unlikely, Hitchcock gives us reason to think that Madeleine really might be possessed as her husband suggests. Ferguson follows her all day. She takes flowers to a gravestone and stares at it as if she is somewhere else. The name on the grave is Carlotta Valdes. Madeleine also spends time in an art gallery staring at a picture, Portrait of Carlotta. The woman in the painting wears the same necklace and has the same hairstyle as Madeleine.

The following day, Ferguson follows Madeleine again. This time she drives to the Golden Gate Bridge and jumps into the bay.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars A Dud
Vertigo is the first Amazon DVD that did not function properly. Only good to part of the chase up the church stairs. Regret I won't know what happened after that.
Published on May 25 2011 by pekoepan
5.0 out of 5 stars A Surreal Film of Genius
Arguably Alfred Hitchcock's greatest film, though my personal favourite is still North by Northwest, Vertigo is a surreal film of genius that was way ahead of its time. Read more
Published on Jan. 6 2011 by Moodywoody
5.0 out of 5 stars love the camera angles
My son is starting a Hitchcock collection-got this for Christmas present. He loves the old movies (he's 15) and especially enjoys the cameos by Hitchcock and the camera angles.
Published on Dec 26 2009 by Bonnie Botham
4.0 out of 5 stars Universal Legacy: Not quite the definitive edition
The merits of the movie itself are debated enough in other posts. I will limit myself to pointing out that as attractive as the October 2008 reissue is, there is one singular flaw,... Read more
Published on Oct. 18 2008 by Blake&Mortimer
4.0 out of 5 stars The very first shot is the best.
I watched Vertigo for the first time when I was about 12 years old - I remember I couldn't sleep well afterwards. Read more
Published on July 18 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkest Hitchcock
"Vertigo" is a disturbing tour de force. You would probably have to roll forward to David Lynch's "Blue Velvet" and "Mulholland Drive" is find comparable weirdness. Read more
Published on July 18 2004 by S. Harris
3.0 out of 5 stars NOT his best! Why is everyone raving about this movie??
It's good, not great. The storyline is just too basic. Nothing really grabbed my attention. As far as the directing aspect of it, it may be one of his best. Read more
Published on July 16 2004 by M. S. Ferrell
3.0 out of 5 stars Wait for the Anamorphic Widescreen (5-star Movie 1-star DVD)
A new "Vertigo" DVD should be released on September 7,2004. This one should have the anamorphic widescreen version of the film, not the inferior letterbox version of the... Read more
Published on July 8 2004 by Ardeal
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