Customer Reviews


258 Reviews
5 star:
 (208)
4 star:
 (28)
3 star:
 (15)
2 star:
 (5)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When does love turn into obsession ???
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...
Published on Jan. 10 2007 by M. B. Alcat

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Classic? Not quite ...
Do you know how long I've wanted to see Vertigo? For years! Simply because of all the fuss over it. I recently got hold of the restored print DVD and looked forward to seeing the film that is known as Hitchcock's masterpiece.
Sitting through the first hour I was confused at what exactly all the fuss was about. The first hour dragged, and nothing significant seemed...
Published on June 23 2004 by William


‹ Previous | 1 226 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

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 "Curiosity killed the cat, but sa... (Hanoi, Vietnam) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Vertigo (Widescreen) (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
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A haunting and beautiful classic., Sept. 15 2000
By 
This review is from: Vertigo (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars The very first shot is the best., July 18 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Vertigo (Widescreen) (DVD)
I watched Vertigo for the first time when I was about 12 years old - I remember I couldn't sleep well afterwards. I guess I was a little too young at the time to fully appreciate its scope. Watched it now again in its restored form on DVD.
In my opinion the best moment in the movie is the very first shot of the woman's mouth and face and her eyes - the look in her eyes - all in black and white - and then the introduction of colour - the spirals etc., and the ingeneous score. The score is incredible. Very efficient. It really gives the whole thing a dreamlike quality.
Generally, I don't like dark haunting movies too much. And Vertigo is haunting.
Most of the other Hitchcock movies have a kind of upbeat humour - an optimistic atmosphere. Take Psycho, for example. Yes, people get killed - but in a strange, almost perverse way the movie is almost funny. And, of course, there is a satisfying conclusion, a happy end. Not so in Vertigo.
Note that Hitchcock returned in subsequent movies - North by Northwest, Frenzy, Family Plot ...to his characteristic dark humour. That's why I think that Vertigo - while it deals with themes also present in his other movies - is something of an exception : there is no happy end and there is no relief for the audience.
Most of Hitchcock's movies deal with horrible things - like murder, the innocent being wrongfully accused and hunted by society, malice and intrigue,.. - but he always balances this with this typical British dark humour which in a way protects the audience and helps it to digest the on-screen violence. So this dark humour, this distancing of the audience, fulfills a very important function. For instance, after the shower scene in Psycho, we witness Norman Bates clean up the bathroom.
The same kind of dark humour - not quite as dark - can be found in some of the James Bond movies. Its always about helping the audience to accept what has just happened.
In Vertigo, this dark humour is missing and this accounts for its dark haunting quality.
Again, I am not much of a fan of obssesive love and all that - and probably neither
are most other people - and certainly Vertigo is not as much fun to watch as, say North by Northwest, but the score and the use of colours in it alone are worthy of our attention.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Darkest Hitchcock, July 18 2004
By 
S. Harris (Spotsylvania, VA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vertigo (Widescreen) (DVD)
"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. Is it Hitchcock's best? That's a tough question. Personally, I think "Notorious" is a better film, because the story fits easier into expectations of what a story should be, while at the same time being very edgey in matters of men and women, sex and love, and intrigue that blurs the lines. Everything about "Notorious" is balanced. But "Vertigo" takes chances few directors are willing to attempt, and that has to be recognized - especially when it involves a director with the abilities and genius of a Hitchcock. With that in mind, "Vertigo" is the important film, necessary if you want to fully understand Hitchcock.
"Vertigo" is about obsession. Ex-detective John Ferguson (Jimmy Stewart) is following the wife of an old friend, who fears his wife is losing her mind. It's a deadly scam, but you know that. The real story is Ferguson's descent. Stewart is excellent and increasingly strange as the movie progresses. Novak also works, but in a way she strikes the viewer as a deliberately coarser version of the Hitchcock "blondes." I don't pretend to be a Hitchcock specialist, but I've been spending this summer going through the major Hitchcock films, and I've noticed a few things that have me wondering over Hitchcock's creative arc in general. Blondes, yep. But look at the role of mothers. "Strangers on a Train" has psycho killer Walker's mother as a babying influence, and "Vertigo" has former Stewart girlfriend, played by Barbara Bel Geddes, visiting Stewart/Ferguson, and telling him "mother" is there for him. And check out the Nazi mother to mama's boy Claude Rains in "Notorious." The capper is of course the "mother" of Norman Bates in that movie explosion called "Psycho." What was it with Hitchcock and mothers? Also note that the swirl imagery of "Vertigo" reappears in the swirling drain of "Psycho."
"Vertigo" is a much more free-floating effort, and deserves all the praise. Narrative structure is allowed to slacken, and interior pathologies allowed to take priority, all amazing terrain for a director to explore - and to be allowed to explore by the dollar driven studios. The logic of the "story" is in fact is so suspended, that the fact that there is a murder and a murderer become secondary - they are merely triggers. Oh, Stewart/Ferguson eventually remembers he's a cop, but the difference in "Vertigo," which sets it apart from even "Psycho," is that it doesn't matter and darkness falls. And with it a final madness?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Hitchcock's Best, July 6 2004
By 
Kerry S. Hale "Kerry S. Hale" (Hughes, AR United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vertigo (Widescreen) (DVD)
Vertigo is one of the most visually arresting pieces of cinema ever made. Hitchcock's use of color and perspective was groundbreaking at the time, and, strangely enough, hasn't been copied all that much, except for the foreshortening trick when Scottie (James Stewart) has his 'episodes'. While there are too many excellent parts of this film to mention, there are two that really stand out in my mind. The scenes between Scottie and Midge in her apartment are visual smorgasbords. The detail and variety of the scenes is stunning, and so real that you can imagine just moving in and living there. Another standout sequence is Scottie's tracking of Madeleine. The music is haunting, and the inclusion of such a long sequence with no dialogue is daring. No director today would have the intelligence or sensibility to do something like this. They would have Scottie talking on a cellphone or muttering curse words under his breath.
I could go on ad nauseum about this film, but it wouldn't do it justice. "Vertigo" is like stepping into another world, albeit one with landmarks we recognize, that doesn't exist anymore. The story, color, music (especially the music), and the acting all combine to make one of the most entertaining and suspenseful movies ever made. It needs 6 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Classic? Not quite ..., June 23 2004
By 
This review is from: Vertigo (Widescreen) (DVD)
Do you know how long I've wanted to see Vertigo? For years! Simply because of all the fuss over it. I recently got hold of the restored print DVD and looked forward to seeing the film that is known as Hitchcock's masterpiece.
Sitting through the first hour I was confused at what exactly all the fuss was about. The first hour dragged, and nothing significant seemed to happen (other reviewers have also mentioned the slowness of the film). Ten minutes into the second hour, the movie started to pick up. However, I kept waiting for the fantastic storyline to unfold that I had been promised, but it didn't really eventuate. It's not the complex film I was expecting.
The problem with Vertigo, as I see it, is that the storyline is quite basic and not overly interesting. The film didn't do well at the box office on its initial release either which is a significant point - moviegoers hated it back then for its slowness. For it to become the classic it has become can only be for the following reasons: Hitchcock loved it over all his other films, Hitchcock is no longer with us, and Kim Novak was in it. it was her only major film. I've never seen the appeal with Jimmy Stewart, and wonder why Hitchcock used him so often.
All these things said, Vertigo is one of those films that you will want to see at least once ... to see what all the fuss is about. Sadly, you will still be left wondering "what is all the fuss about?"
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Great, Great Art, June 16 2004
By 
R. A Rubin (Eastern, PA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vertigo (Widescreen) (DVD)
This one is my Number One movie of all time. Many film-ranking services also have moved Vertigo to #1 last year. I've seen it on the big screen where it's unbelievable, Freudian theme, magnificent color, and the filmed record of San Francisco of 1959 are as eerie as the script of murder and obsessive love. I'm very fond of Kim Novak and I realize big 1950's blondes aren't everyone's turn on, but in this film, with all her wide skirts and painted eyebrows, she does it for me. Hitchcock did scores of interesting shots that added mood to this film. Stewart and Novak realize they are in love and kiss passionately at a rocky California beach. The ocean crashes on a big boulder and sprays behind their heads. Perfect timing or fifty takes, I don't know. After careful thought, the script seems implausible. A man in love knows what the woman of his dreams looks like and certainly would know that the shop girl, though in different hair color and clothes is his love. The story line portrays a straight murder mystery, but after a number of viewing I realize how complicated and layered the individual motivations and neurosis that Stewart and Novak suggest with brilliant subtle underscore. The murder itself makes no sense either. How did the husband and Novak hide and get away from the horrified onlookers and police? The truth is, the fantasy is so compelling, nobody cares. Great art is a suspension of disbelief. Vertigo is great, great art.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars THE Great Hitchcock Masterpiece!, June 12 2004
By 
D. J. Zabriskie "zabdart" (Park Ridge, NJ USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vertigo (Widescreen) (DVD)
With "Vertigo," Alfred Hitchcock reached a zenith of his art he achieved only with "The 39 Steps," "Notorious," and "Rear Window," and this film is a lot more thoughtful, more complex and DARKER than any of those. Unlike the other three, "Vertigo"
has no happy ending, only a sense of loss and the bitterness of the cold, hard truth.
What sets the film apart is not so much Hitchcock's astonishing
visuals, his dream-like pacing, or his sure-handed, elliptical
story-telling, but his themes. If "Rear Window" is really about voyeurism, than "Vertigo" is really about obsession and possession. In this context, the artist in Hitch clearly concludes: "That which we love, we destroy."
James Stewart, in one of his best, most complex performances,
plays Scotty Fergusson, a police detective forced into reassignment by the vertigo caused by a fear of heights and guilt feelings following the death of a fellow cop who tried to save him during a rooftop chase. Our plot gets going when a former
college classmate of Scotty's, Gavin Elster hires him to follow
his wife Madolyn, whom he suspects is possessed by the ghost of her great-grandmother. While following Madolyn, Scotty saves her life when she attempts suicide by falling into San Francisco
Bay. Naturally, Scotty and Madolyn (Kim Novak) fall in love.
Ultimately, Madolyn does fall to her death from the bell tower of a mission church, when Scotty is unable to save her because of his vertigo. Scotty then falls into a catatonic depression.
At this point things start to get interesting.
Scotty spends his days haunting the places he associates with Madolyn and finds only frustration and heartbreak, but one day
he meets Judy (also played by Kim Novak), who bears a striking resemblence to Madolyn. They date, and Scotty begins to make Judy over in the image of Madolyn. In pursuing his obsession, he
discovers something about his love interest which no man should have to confront.
At this point the plot repeats itself, but with darker, more macabre twists. Guilty secrets are confessed, but it is too late. Scotty pursues the truth until it destroys all his dreams and hopes, and the same tragedy recurs. In the end, he is left with the truth, but not the kind of truth which liberates or consoles, and he may not have even discovered the truth about himself and his psychological complexes.
This is a brilliant film! There is a depth and foreboding to everything that is unmatched anywhere else in the master's work.
Both Stewart and Novak give the performances of their careers.
Then there is that glorious, beautiful score by Bernard Herrmann!
It grabs you from the opening titles and never lets go. The music in this picture doesn't accompany what's going on onscreen
so much as it intensifes it and deepens every emotion.
If you don't own a copy of "Vertigo," you don't really love movies!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Jimmy Stewart and Alfred Hitchcock created a Masterpiece..., June 3 2004
By 
Mark J. Fowler "Let's Play Two!" (Blytheville, Arkansas (The "the" is silent)) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Vertigo (Widescreen) (DVD)
Although Alfred Hitchcock is universally acclaimed as a film director and something like 70 or 80 movies were made under his gifted hand, only a few have risen to be considered "cream of the crop", and "Vertigo" stands alongside "Rear Window", "North by Northwest", and "Psycho" as among the Master's greatest.
Vertigo is a very "adult" story, and although there's nothing in the movie that would be inappropriate for children to watch, this movie only "means" something to people who understand things like lust and love and betrayal. Jimmy Stewart did some of his greatest work for Mr. Hitchcock - particularly in Vertigo and Rear Window, and Kim Novak gives one of the greatest femme fatale performances in cinematic history, even though Vera Miles was Hitch's first choice for the role.
To preserve the value of his estate for his heirs Hitchcock removed 5 of his movies from circulation and the first time I saw "Vertigo" was in an art-house cinema at it's reissue in the mid-80's. At the end of that viewing I sat motionless in the theater for several minutes with my heart pounding from the emotional response produced by this film. I can't think of any other film that stunned me as much as this one.
Like many film lovers I have compiled a list of my very favorite movies and my "top five" list is:
1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
2. Casablanca
3. To Kill A Mockingbird
4. The Godfather
5. Vertigo
If you fancy the first four and haven't seen #5 on my list - I recommend it.
One word of caution: The film requires close observation from start to finish. There are extended sequences that contain no dialogue whatsoever and "following" the story requires that you watch what the characters are doing.
The score by Mr. Herrmann is one of his best and fits perfectly. The costumes, set design, cinematography are all perfect fits for the story. In addition to being just a doggone fine movie, there were also many innovations that have been copied over and over since. For example, the famous "vertigo" shot (produced by zooming the lens forward while simultaneously physically moving the camera backwards) was invented for this film. And think about how many times you have seen THIS shot: the characters are motionless in the center of the frame while the camera circles 360 degrees around them and the surroundings swoosh by - as far as I can tell this technique was first used in this film as well.
Another technical note: The movie was perfectly restored more than 2 decades after it's initial release, and the transfer seen on this DVD looks fantastic.
I can't recommend this more highly.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing masterpiece, April 8 2004
By 
L.M.W. (Alabama, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Vertigo (Widescreen) (DVD)
I consider Vertigo to be Hitchcock's finest film. From the opening credits with closeups of a woman's face and Bernard Hermann's powerful score, the viewer is hooked into a web of obsession and suspense. The mental turmoil of Scottie Ferguson, portrayed by James Stewart in one of his best roles, begins at the beginning of the film when he falls victim to vertigo. Only that is the beginning of his victimization. Scottie is the victim in this film, but in the film's second half, he makes Judy (Kim Novak) his own victim as well by molding her into his obsession, the deceased Madeline.
The mood of this film is brooding, mesmerizing, and obsessive, parallel to Scottie's personality and mental anguish. Just listening to Bernard Hermann's masterful music conveys this mood brilliantly, but also notice the powerful use of colors, especially red, green, and blue. In addition to the music, the dominant color of key scenes symbolizes Scottie's mental state. Hitchcock was truly an artist.
The restoration on this film is impeccable. Technical details aside, it's beautiful and does not look a day of its 46 years of age. If you are a fan of suspense films, or just movies in general, do not pass this one up. It will mesmerize you too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 226 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Vertigo (Universal Legacy Series)
Vertigo (Universal Legacy Series) by Alfred Hitchcock (DVD - 2008)
CDN$ 47.99
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews