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.