This week, Zach goes to dizzying heights to examine Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo.


One of Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest cinematic achievements, Vertigo, celebrates its 50th anniversary with an all-new 2-disc Special Edition DVD! Set in San Francisco, Vertigo creates a dizzying web of mistaken identity, passion and murder after an acrophobic detective (James Stewart) rescues a mysterious blonde (Kim Novak) from the bay. Recognized for excellence in AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies, this dreamlike thriller from the Master of Suspense is as entertaining today as it was 50 years ago. Featuring revealing bonus features and a digitally remastered picture, Vertigo is a “great motion picture that demands multiple viewings” (Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide).

[podcast]http://traffic.libsyn.com/majorspoilers/zachonfilmvertigo.mp3[/podcast]

During the episode Stephen makes reference to Saul Bass intros. Anatomy of Murder (1959)

And here is a fan inspired Saul Bass intro for Star Wars.

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The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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7 Comments

  1. June 21, 2013 at 2:15 pm — Reply

    Ex-el-ent.
    I heard this back to back 3 times.
    ZoF is now on my top 2 podcasts.

  2. June 21, 2013 at 2:38 pm — Reply

    Thanks! We’re glad you enjoy it so much! (tell your friends…)

  3. Aston
    June 22, 2013 at 12:23 am — Reply

    You guys shouldn’t restrict yourselves to Wikipedia for research, the history behind the flashback is much more complex. The version without the flashback was previewed to East Coast critics; They hated it.

    “Hitchcock’s statement that “Everyone around [him] was against [the flashback]” is a bald-faced lie, almost the complete opposite of reality. It’s now known to a fair degree of certainty that writer Sam Taylor came up with the flashback and Vertigo as we know it was given a limited preview in San Francisco for, among others, Paramount Head Barney Balaban. Balaban himself loved Vertigo and immediately returned to New York to begin promotion. Meanwhile someone, likely Joan Harrison (Hitchcock’s TV producer), began arguing against the flashback, and Hitchcock arranged a viewing without it. Hitchcock then ordered the film released without the flashback, against the wishes of Jimmy Stewart, Bernard Herrmann, and producer Herbert Coleman, the latter infuriated to the point of nearly resigning. This decision may even have contributed to Vertigo’s critical failure: Unbeknownst to Balaban, the private showing he arranged for East coast critics did not have the flashback, and the feedback was disastrous. It is thanks to Balaban’s fury, and perhaps Alma Reville, that the flashback was reinstated. If there’s one thing to takeaway from Hitchcock’s lie, it’s that he also came to realize his rash mistake.”

    http://www.reddit.com/r/TrueFilm/comments/1e21bf/vertigo_1958/

    Quite frankly, despite noticing some of the technical details, it’s very apparent that you guys didn’t get the point of the film. You guys are saying the same stuff critics in 1958 did. It’s fine if you don’t love the film, but saying it’s an hour too long and entire scenes should be deleted is totally ridiculous.

    Leonard Maltin wasn’t kidding when he said it “demands multiple viewings”, no one gets Vertigo after one viewing.

    • June 22, 2013 at 3:38 pm — Reply

      You guys shouldn’t restrict yourselves to Wikipedia for research…

      We don’t, but thanks for the feedback.

  4. June 22, 2013 at 9:12 am — Reply

    So wait… you’re telling us we can’t have personal opinions about how we view the film? Wow… considering you are pointing to an article you wrote (conflict of interest), I would say, your opinion that our opinion is wrong is suspect at best.

    That being said, you have some interesting things in your really long post that we touched out during our discussion.

  5. Aston
    June 22, 2013 at 2:55 pm — Reply

    Again, in your rush to state your opinions, you completely miss the point. I never said your opinions were wrong. There’s very little ‘right or wrong’ in film interpretation. I even said it’s fine if you didn’t love Vertigo, it’s a very personal film that some people may not be attuned to. However, you are underinformed regarding the history and the themes in the film. The history of the flashback in my article is directly taken from Herbert Coleman’s autobiography. I don’t see any conflict of interest in simply stating the facts behind the film production.

    In trying to alter Vertigo’s structure, it’s apparent that you want the film to cater more to your expectations rather than actually appreciating it on its terms.

    Simply put, if I played Beethoven’s #9th for somebody and they said, “Yeah that’s not bad, but you could probably cut 10mins and make it tighter”, would I say they were absolutely wrong? No. Would I respect that as an informed opinion? No.

    • June 22, 2013 at 3:20 pm — Reply

      “In trying to alter Vertigo’s structure, it’s apparent that you want the film to cater more to your expectations rather than actually appreciating it on its terms.”

      Perhaps, perhaps not…

      Either way, it’s simply another interpretation, and citing one open-source forum as superior to another is just another matter of opinion. When we review comics, I often have additional information about the production of them that affects the other panelists’ opinions, but even if it changes their perspective, it doesn’t make their initial expectations or opinions wrong. Mileage, as always, may vary.

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