Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Vertigo, once again ....

It was on television again, and once again I got mesmerised watching it, particularly as on the BBC it had no commercial breaks, which always ruin the mood of a Hitchcock movie. We had that 'Hitchcock summer' in 2012, as I wrote then - Hitch label - when the BFI ran all the movies, and the BBC helped out too ... Hitch just never goes out of style, no matter how many times one has seen PSYCHO or THE BIRDS or NORTH BY NORTHWEST .... 
VERTIGO, now of course "Sight & Sound"'s new Number One Best Film Of all Time, having dislodged CITIZEN KANE, is the most dreamlike movie that turns cinema on its head. San Francisco in 1958 looks marvellous as Scottie (Stewart) drives around following Madeline.

And how do we feel about VERTIGO now? Some do not even regard it as the best Hitchcock. VERTIGO went missing for a long time in the '70s when it and a handful of other Hitch's were out of circulation (in that pre-video age) until he cannily re-released them to cinemas. People didn't see VERTIGO, they remembered it, as Robin Wood said. I love some elements of it - the dreamlike mesmerising early sections as Scottie follows Madeline around that ideal San Francisco, and that stunning transformation scene when Madeline comes back to Scottie, and that spellbinding music score,  its pure cinema obviously but for me NOTORIOUS, REAR WINDOW, PSYCHO, THE BIRDS and NORTH BY NORTHWEST are equally as good, and of course STRANGERS ON A TRAIN.  
One moment in VERTIGO jars for me though - Scottie follows Judy in the street and knocks at her hotel room door, she shows no reaction at all to see the man she had loved and duped suddenly at her door ....  Also, as so often with Hitchcock, the second lead female is often as fascinating as the heroine, think Barbara Bel Geddes's Midge, here, plus Suzanne Pleshette, Diane Baker, Vera Miles ....

I never bothered with THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY much, and in fact not seen it since I was a kid, but its on again this Saturday, so we may appreciate it more, after a programme on the various interviews Hitch did for the BBC over the years, at least Hitchcock always gave good interview. 

No comments:

Post a Comment