Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo Essay

Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo Essay

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The film, Vertigo (1958) directed by Alfred Hitchcock, is classified as a genre combination of mystery, romance, suspense and thriller about psychological obsession and murder. Filmed on location in San Francisco and on the Paramount lot in Hollywood, California in 1957, the cultural features of the late 1950’s America were depicted in the films mise en scène by costume and set designs current for that time period. The film was produced at the end of the golden age of Hollywood when the studio system was still in place. At the time Vertigo was produced, Hollywood studios were still very much in control of film production and of actor’s contracts. Hitchcock’s groundbreaking cinematic language and camera techniques has had great impact on film and American popular culture and created a cult following of his films to this day.

As stated in an article by Magellan (1994), the multiple genres of Vertigo can be defined as follows:
Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo is a film which functions on multiple levels simultaneously. On a literal level it is a mystery-suspense story of a man hoodwinked into acting as an accomplice in a murder, his discovery of the hoax, and the unraveling of the threads of the murder plot. On a psychological level the film traces the twisted, circuitous routes of a psyche burdened down with guilt, desperately searching for an object on which to concentrate its repressed energy. Finally, on an allegorical or figurative level, it is a retelling of the immemorial tale of a man who has lost his love to death and in hope of redeeming her descends into the underworld.

The narrative of Vertigo tells a plot twisted story of mystery and suspense as the main character “Scottie” (James Stuart), a retired detective suffer...

... middle of paper ...

...m, Hitchcock makes his cameo appearance wearing a grey suit and carrying a bugle case and strolls across the screen from left to right just before Scottie arrives at Elster’s shipyard. In conclusion, Vertigo, fifty six years later, is now considered an iconic classic and one of the best films ever made.

(2007-2014). Film reference. Retrieved from:

(2011). Alfred Hitchcock film techniques. Retrieved from:

Magellan. (1994, January 1). Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense. Retrieved from:

Miller, J. (2014). Behind the camera on Vertigo. Retrieved from:

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