Over the course of the last couple of years, I have grown to love the older classics that were made from 1930 to 1960. Vertigo has been high on my watchlist for quite awhile given its prestige and its the weight a movie made by Alfred Hitchcock carries with it. Finally, in the last week I was able to watch it for the first time, and wow, did it live up to all its glory. While entirely unnerving, it is most certainly one of the greatest movies of all time.
Throughout the entire film you are not entirely sure what is true or what may be a figment of John "Scottie Ferguson's (Jimmy Stewart) vertigo. The use of color is perhaps most prominent and extremely well crafted to be a symbolical marker of a number of different things that range from a symbolism for Scottie's vertigo (green) to the mark of passion and love (red). Hitchcock uses wonderful shots that accent the light to fit the scene as well as shot angles that create unnerving scenes (i.e. the shot from directly above the staircase of the bell tower).
Furthermore, the development of the main characters suits the narrative perfectly as they both proceed through a convoluted path that constantly bounces back and forth between their duties and their emotions. On one hand you have what they are being paid to do (either be a detective or deceiver) and on the other, you have the love they have inherently grown to show for each other. The chemistry between Scottie and Madeleine is amazing as both Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak are perfect at adapting their characters to the Hitchcock world.
Despite being a couple years under 60 years old, Vertigo still remains to be an amazing feat of cinematography and direction. The ending will leave you searching for answers, and can be deciphered for years with multiple meanings uncovered, yet will still leave you thoroughly satisfied due to the sheer grandeur of this wonderful film.
On a closing note, I;m not normally a fan of the binding 1-10 star scale for films , but much rather prefer the more encompassing, and differentiating, 1-100. Therefore, Vertigo can be seen, in my eyes, as a 98 (yes, it is that good, my fellow generation needs to open their eyes because "old movies" aren't boring and slow).