Vertigo Essay

Vertigo Essay

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Vertigo

The Alfred Hitchcock film; Vertigo is a narrative film that is a perfect example of a Hollywood Classical Film. I will be examining the following characteristics of the film Vertigo: 1)individual characters who act as casual agents, the main characters in Vertigo, 2)desire to reach to goals, 3)conflicts, 4)appointments, 5)deadlines, 6)James Stewart’s focus shifts and 7)Kim Novak’s characters drives the action in the film. Most of the film is viewed in the 3rd person, except for the reaction shots (point of view shot) which are seen through the eyes of the main character.(1st person) The film has a strong closure and uses continuity editing(180 degree rule). The stylistic (technical) film form of Vertigo makes the film much more enjoyable. The stylistic film form includes camera movements, editing, sound, mise-en-scene and props.

Vertigo is an Alfred Hitchcock film that was made in 1958. It stars James Stewart as Detective John Ferguson and Kim Novak as Madeleine Ellester and Judy Barden. In Vertigo, John Ferguson has a fear of heights that results in the death of his partner. Due to this situation, he leaves the police force and became a Private Investigator. Ferguson is contact by Gavin Ellester an old college buddy. Gavin asks Ferguson to follow his wife who he believes has gone mad. Gavin believes his wife Madeleine is being possessed by her great grandmother Corlata Valdez. He explains why he has come to this conclusion and fills John Ferguson in on all the details of the case. Mr. Ferguson questions the integrity of the story, but still accepts the case. When he starts to spy on Madeleine, he begins to notice changes in her personality and similarities to Corlata Valdez's past.

One day when John Ferguson was following Madeleine, he saw her jump into San Francisco Bay. After he rescued her, he brought her back to his house and cared for her. Afterwards he and Madeleine started to spend time together. They began to fall in love and Madeleine became more insane. She started to see images from Corlata's past. Madeleine started to live the life of Corlata Valdez and had visions from her life. One day John and Madeleine went to an old Spanish missionary outside San Francisco, which Madeleine had seen in one of her images. When they arrived at their destination Madeleine began to remember things from Corlata's early life and became hyster...


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... the mise-en-scene are the from the beginning of the film. Throughout the film I was aware of the locations. The San Francisco setting was presented to the viewer in the beginning and that made the audience more aware of the film's environment. The monastery and other locations of Corlata's past gave me a better understanding of Madeleine’s problem. The make-up and costume play an important part in the recreation scenes, while the props assisted the audience and John Ferguson in piecing the puzzle together and figuring out Gain’s plan. The lighting enhanced many scenes in the film. The parts that impressed me were the following: the recreation of Madeleine scene, John's dream sequence, the monastery scenes, Judy's guilt trip and the scenes involving John's fear of heights.

In conclusion, all these factors made Vertigo a great film and made it much more enjoyable for the audience. All the Hollywood Classical Film characteristics that are used in the film enhance the power of Vertigo. Everyone should see Vertigo, since it is a perfect example of a Hollywood Classical Film. In my opinion Alfred Hitchcock was a genius and Vertigo is one of the greatest Hollywood films ever created.

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