Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes
Vertigo is a classic, easily one of Hitchcock’s top… I dunno, ten movies. It’s not really great, but it is extremely solid as a mystery movie. If you were some shitty hack writer and you had to pound out a mystery script in a couple days, you could do worse than turning Vertigo into a mad lib, giving the main character something other than a fear of heights to be his main problem to overcome. It’s just one of those movies that could easily launch a thousand ripoffs.
Jimmy Stewart is an ex-detective who was forced to retire from the force because of his crippling fear of heights which caused the death of his partner. He’s hired as a private dick to follow some rich guy’s wife around, and then things get completely ridiculous and confusing, and if I even mentioned any of what happens in the last 75% of the movie, it’d basically ruin it.
Don’t get me wrong, I liked Vertigo. Like I said, it’s a perfectly constructed mystery. There is quite a lot of belief you have to suspend, however, and even when everything’s revealed at the end you still have a bit of, “huh. Reeeally? That’s the reason? Okay…” Basically what I’m saying is that if you want to watch a really great Hitchcock mystery with Jimmy Stewart, you should be watching Rear Window.