Homage to Hitchcock - Vertigo (1958)
For the most part I will attempt to contain my absolute lust for Kim Novak during this Homage to Hitchcock. Sir Alfred only has three installments left in this consequential blog posting, and apologizing for Vertigo seems foolish, since most critics include the movie in their top ten for Hitch.
After swearing off blondes in 1975, a fascination with redheads came to the fore, eventually culminating with my wife of 32 years. However, when Vertigo was re-released in the early 80′s, I had to go see it and, oddly enough, my date that evening was a blonde with an uncanny resemblance to Candace Bergen.
Vertigo is yet another Hitchcock movie whereby I probably killed my chance to get laid by falling in love with the leading lady and letting it be known to pretty much the entire theater, an art house in Philadelphia’s Society Hill neighborhood. I think my opening statement, “Oh my God, is that woman stacked or is it Mamie Van Doren?” sealed my fate.
Ah yes, the film.
Vertigo, if not for the corporeal charms of Ms. Novak, would not make my list because it is too dark even for me. Jimmy Stewart is back. This time as Scottie Ferguson, a police detective who watched a fellow officer fall to his death from a rooftop during the opening chase sequence. Ferguson returns to the trade to help a friend by tailing (ahem) the man’s wife, but his vertigo remains with him.
The wife is the scrumptious Ms. Novak, painted into her Edith Head wardrobe and falling for the 50 year old Ferguson, despite being only 25 herself at the time. Hitchcock later regretted the casting, and admitted that a younger leading man might have saved the film.
I disagree. A happy ending would have saved the film.
That and a few shots of Ms. Novak in her underwear.
Ferguson (ahem) tails the wife who ends up falling from a great height and dying, but PRESTO, she, or her double in brown hair turns up later and invades Scottie’s life. It’s all a bit confusing, but the set-up, and it is a set-up, works up until the bitter end.
And I will play spoiler here because it’s not a movie to watch without popping about 10mg of Valium.
Kim Novak dies twice!
But until then she is just beautiful.
Coming your way, one of Hitch’s true signature films. Psycho (1960)