Stereoactive Movie Club Ep 15 // Vertigo

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, 1958's 'Vertigo' is the psychological portrait of a man obsessed with a woman and his own failures.

Stereoactive Movie Club Ep 15 // Vertigo
Stereoactive Movie Club Round Three (Lora's Pick)
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It’s Lora’s 3rd pick: ‘Vertigo,’ the 1958 film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Adapted from a 1954 French novel whose title translates to ‘From Among The Dead,’ ‘Vertigo’ was developed by Hitchock along with a few different screenwriters before he ended up with a script that suited what he wanted. One of the major storytelling changes from the book to the film is that, in the book, the revelation of Judy’s connection with Madeleine wasn’t revealed until the end.

The film premiered in May of 1958. Reviews at the time were mixed, as was audience reception, with the film not performing quite as well as previous Hitchcock film – though the film certainly had its champions even when it was first released. Over time, appreciation for ‘Vertigo’ has grown and grown, with some pinpointing Robin Wood’s book, ‘Hitchcock’s Films Revisited' as the beginning of a major boom. Wood wrote in the mid sixties that it was “Hitchcock's masterpiece to date and one of the four or five most profound and beautiful films the cinema has yet given us." It was restored and re-released for the first time in more than decade in the early 1980s after Universal Pictures acquired the rights to some of Hitchcock’s films from his estate. And there was a major restoration and re-release again in 1996 that included use of more modern techniques to remaster some of the more degraded elements, or even re-record some sound effects.

As for our purposes, ‘Vertigo’ first appeared on Sight and Sound magazine’s critics poll of the greatest films of all time in 1972, tied as a runner up at number 12; it’s appeared on the list every time since, moving up to number 7, then number 4, then number 2, before in 2012 being named the greatest film of all time, overtaking ‘Citizen Kane’ from the spot it had held for 60 years. Meanwhile it had also been named the 6th greatest film on the directors poll in both 1992 and 2002, then came in at number 7 in 2012.

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