Movie Review: No 50. ‘Vertigo’

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Movie Review: No 50. ‘Vertigo’

Last night Andy and I sat down to watch the first movie in the long line-up required to satisfy list item number 23.

Having already watched 41 of the top 100 movies of all time (according to imdb), I was left with 59 to choose from. I wanted the first movie to kick off the task with style, so I opted for Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’. It seemed the logical choice given that (as previously mentioned) Alfred Hitchcock is my favourite director and Jimmy Stewart my favourite actor.

The movie didn’t disappoint, although I was unsurprised when I later discovered that it receieved a poor reception when originally released. The mystery element was first class Hitchcock, however the underlying love story was appallingly off-target; One of those “Love at First Sight with no justifiable cause” situations.

Hitchcock is said to have blamed Stewart’s age for the poor reception. Indeed at 50 he was an unlikely love interest for 25-year-old bombshell Kim Novak. If you ask me though, it wasn’t the 25 year age difference that did them in but Stewart’s on-screen kissing technique. It’s always the same with him and it’s always offputting. It’s as if he were blind and starving and fumbling madly to eat a watermelon that someone else was constantly jerking out of reach. Watch one of his romances and tell me you don’t see it!

I could probably forgive even the awful kissing scenes if it weren’t for the slightly befuddling ending, which I had to rewind and watch again to “get”. There’s nothing more frustrating than an awful movie ending – which is why I’m further befuddled (what? I like the word “befuddled”) to discover that ‘Shutter Island’ made the Top 250. Andy reminds me I dubbed it ‘Shitter Island’ after suffering through one of the worst movie endings of all time. Don’t even get me started on the rest of the ‘Top 100’ list, which is a lesson in befuddlement itself. Hello! ‘Titanic’? ‘The Sound of Music’? Even ‘Home Alone’ should make the list above the utter tripe of ‘Amadeus’ (which I’m claiming I’ve already seen despite only managing about half of it before wanting to poke my eyes out with blunt sticks and seal my ears shut for evermore – not for the music, mind, but for the incessant grating giggle of Mozart… *shudder*).

With countless redeeming features, ‘Vertigo’ seems a far more appropriate addition to the list. If not for the kaleidoscopic special effects then certainly for the movie poster artwork, which is about as classic as they get. I’m considering buying one and hanging it in our flat. What do you think?

All in all, I give it 8 pumpkins.

Editor’s note: After seeing ‘North by Northwest’, I am revising Vertigos’ score down to 7 pumpkins.

Check out my Movie List for my rankings of the Top 100 list so far.

Have you seen ‘Vertigo’? Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments below.

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20 responses »

  1. I don’t think I’ve seen Vertigo but I totally get the Stewart kissing. Check him out in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. Is he going to swallow that gal whole or what? The topp 100 list is interesting. There are some real clangers there but also some real treats. Buckle up.

  2. Oh you’re such peer-pressurers! Fine. I’ve revised ‘Star Wars’ and ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’. To be fair, I think I mistakenly rated Star Wars so low because I thought it was one of the newer ones. It’s definitely a Top 100-er, even if you’re not into it. As for Cuckoo’s Nest – I barely remember it. I just remember it being boring… But I bumped it up a point anyway!

    • Goodness I hope all your pumpkin goals aren’t so controversial as this one. Tough audience you have. Can’t find poll on sidebar but I’m on iPhone.

  3. iMDB allows you to easily rate any movie you have seen & keeps a record of them. No 1/2 points allowed though. It also allows you to compare your vote against a weighted average of all subscribers (which is where the Top 100 comes from). I have been doing it for years. All you need is a logon.

  4. I am staggered @ your rating of “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)”. Number nine movie all-time given 4.5? I watched it with you (in Ottawa) & I am sure that you enjoyed it.

    • I most certainly did not! Two Towers was the only one I remotely enjoyed. I get that it’s an all time number 10 for a lot of people (and I respect that) but “Fantasy” just ain’t my cup of tea…

  5. Fairly decent ratings for most of those Mandy, but I can’t believe only a 7 for The Dark Knight!? Umm, Batman!!!

    • 7 isn’t a bad score! Most of the Top 100 made it in with not much more than that. It was a good movie, but I’m appalled that The Dark Knight makes the list and Batman Returns doesn’t. What a gyp!

  6. Summary of the Top 100: I have seen 46 of them, 31 of which are ones that we have both seen. So there are 11 you have seen that I haven’t & 15 vice versa. Out of the 31 mutual, your rating was higher than mine for 19 of them, mine was higher for 10 + 2 were equal. I am a tough judge, I only had 10/10 twice (compared to your six). But then again, I only had one of these 5 or less (Citizen Kane), compared to your five. I agree that 7 is a good score. I’ll send you the spreadsheet… U.G.

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