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Vertigo Details


Dismissed when first released, later heralded as one of director Alfred Hitchcock's finest films (and, according to Hitchcock, his most personal one), this adaptation of the French novel D'entre les morts weaves an intricate web of obsession and deceit. It opens as Scottie Ferguson (James Stewart) realizes he has vertigo, a condition resulting in a fear of heights, when a police officer is killed trying to rescue him from falling off a building. Scottie then retires from his position as a private investigator, only to be lured into another case by his old college friend, Gavin Elster (Tom Helmore). Elster's wife, Madeleine (Kim Novak), has been possessed by a spirit, and Elster wants Scottie to follow her. He hesitantly agrees, and thus begins the film's wordless montage as Scottie follows the beautiful yet enigmatic Madeleine through 1950s San Francisco (accompanied by Bernard Herrmann's hypnotic score). After saving her from suicide, Scottie begins to fall in love with her, and she appears to feel the same way. Here tragedy strikes, and each twist in the movie's second half changes our preconceptions about the characters and events. In 1996 a new print of Vertigo was released, restoring the original grandeur of the colors and the San Francisco backdrop, as well as digitally enhancing the soundtrack. ~ Dylan Wilcox, Rovi

  • Release date:May 9, 1958


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Sam Comer Best Art Direction 1958 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Henry Bumstead Best Art Direction 1958 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Hal Pereira Best Art Direction 1958 Nominee
Directors Guild of America Alfred Hitchcock Best Director 1958 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences George Dutton Best Sound 1958 Nominee


James Stewart
as John "Scottie" Ferguson
Kim Novak
as Madeleine Elster/Judy Barton
Barbara Bel Geddes
as Marjorie "Midge" Wood
Tom Helmore
as Gavin Elster
Henry Jones
as Coroner
Raymond Bailey
as Doctor
Ellen Corby
as Manager
Konstantin Shayne
as Pop Leibel
Lee Patrick
as Older Mistaken Identity
Ed Stevlingson
as Attorney
Dori Simmons
as Middle-Aged Mistaken Identity
Nina Shipman
as Young Mistaken Identity
William Remick
as Jury Foreman
Jack Richardson
as Escort (uncredited)
Sara Taft
as Nun
Paul Bryar
as Capt. Hansen
Roxann Delman
as Model
Margaret Brayton
as Ransohoff's Saleslady (uncredited)
June Jocelyn
as Miss Woods
Fred Graham
as Death Fall Officer (uncredited)
Mollie Dodd
as Beauty Operator
Roland Got
as Maitre d'
Don Giovanni
as Salesman


Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
Pierre Boileau
Book Author
Thomas Narcejac
Book Author
Alec Coppel
Robert Burks
Bernard Herrmann
Composer (Music Score)
George Tomasini
Hal Pereira
Art Director
Henry Bumstead
Art Director
Herbert Coleman
Associate Producer
Sam Comer
Set Designer
Edith Head
Costume Designer
Harold Lewis
Sound/Sound Designer
George Dutton
Sound/Sound Designer
Farciot Edouart
Special Effects
John P. Fulton
Special Effects
Wally Westmore