Watch Vertigo

"Alfred Hitchcock engulfs you in a whirlpool of terror and tension!"
  • R
  • 1958
  • 2 hr 8 min
  • 8.3  (424,475)
  • 100

The movie Vertigo from 1958 is a psychological thriller directed by the legendary Alfred Hitchcock. The film stars James Stewart as John "Scottie" Ferguson, a former police officer who develops a fear of heights after a traumatic incident. Scottie is hired by his old friend Gavin Elster to follow his wife Madeleine, played by Kim Novak, who he believes is possessed by the spirit of a dead woman. As Scottie begins his investigation, he becomes obsessed with Madeleine and falls in love with her, but things take a dark turn when tragedy strikes.

The film opens with a thrilling chase scene where Scottie pursues a criminal across the rooftops of San Francisco. During the chase, Scottie's fear of heights causes him to slip and almost fall to his death. This traumatic experience leads to his early retirement as a detective and his subsequent struggle with acrophobia.

Enter Gavin Elster, a wealthy shipping magnate who hires Scottie to follow his wife Madeleine, a beautiful but troubled woman who he believes is being possessed by the ghost of her ancestor Carlotta Valdes. Scottie reluctantly takes on the job and starts following Madeleine around the city, hoping to uncover the truth behind her behavior.

As Scottie spends more time with Madeleine, he begins to fall for her and becomes increasingly involved in her life. Madeleine reveals that she has been having disturbing dreams about Carlotta Valdes and believes that she is becoming possessed by her spirit. She takes Scottie to various landmarks around San Francisco, including the Spanish mission from her dreams and the Golden Gate Bridge, where she attempts to jump to her death.

Scottie saves Madeleine and takes her to his apartment to recover. As she sleeps, he becomes obsessed with her and begins to examine Carlotta's history in search of clues to Madeleine's behavior. He discovers that Carlotta was a woman who lived in San Francisco in the 19th century and had an affair with a wealthy man who abandoned her when she became pregnant. Carlotta eventually died in an insane asylum, and Madeleine believes that she is her reincarnation.

The plot thickens when Madeleine disappears, and Scottie is left to unravel the mystery of her disappearance. He enlists the help of his former girlfriend Midge, played by Barbara Bel Geddes, who works as an artist and has a deep affection for Scottie. Together, they attempt to piece together Madeleine's movements and discover what happened to her.

The film takes a dark turn when a second woman appears, who bears a striking resemblance to Madeleine. Scottie becomes convinced that she is the reincarnation of Madeleine and becomes obsessed with her, leading to a dramatic climax that will leave viewers on the edge of their seats.

Vertigo is a visually stunning film that showcases Hitchcock's mastery of the genre. The movie is set against the backdrop of San Francisco and features iconic landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge and the Coit Tower. The cinematography by Robert Burks is breathtaking, with the use of color and light to create a haunting atmosphere that will stay with viewers long after the film is over.

The performances by the cast are equally impressive, with James Stewart delivering a nuanced portrayal of a man struggling with his own demons. Kim Novak is mesmerizing as Madeleine, a woman haunted by her past and unsure of her own identity. Barbara Bel Geddes provides an excellent counterpoint as Midge, a down-to-earth woman who serves as Scottie's anchor to reality.

In conclusion, Vertigo is a masterpiece of psychological suspense that has stood the test of time. The film is a thrilling exploration of identity, obsession, and the dark corners of the human psyche. With its stunning visuals, haunting score, and unforgettable performances, Vertigo is a must-see for any fan of the thriller genre.

Vertigo is a 1958 mystery with a runtime of 2 hours and 8 minutes. It has received outstanding reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.3 and a MetaScore of 100.

Where to Watch Vertigo
Vertigo is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Peacock Premium, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Vertigo for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 8 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    8.3  (424,475)
  • Metascore