Jonathan Crocker

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DVD review: Vertigo

Posted by Jonathan On August - 12 - 2010

Or: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Hitchcock, But Were Afraid To Ask. And you should be afraid. Hitchcock’s greatest film, his most autobiographical film, is his blackest. Talk about falling in love: retired copper Jimmy Stewart can’t let go of the woman (Kim Novak) he’s been hired to tail and ends up taking a slo-mo tumble through the cracks in his own mind – taking her with him. A mesmerising view of human obsession, desire, guilt and exploitation – in which, most terrifyingly, love is the true MacGuffin. Wordless for most of its length, it gets deeper and darker with every viewing.

The DVD? Despite being bogged down in techie talk from Vertigo’s restoration geeks (rightly pleased with the two years spent creating the clean transfer), the cut’n’shut commentary’s splices from Kim Novak and first-hand memories from many of Vertigo’s other surviving crewmembers make this a real collector’s item. Martin Scorsese joins them in 29-minute featurette Obsessed With Vertigo, which reveals storyboards, behind-the-scenes footage and production info. Oh, and don’t miss the ruinous alternative ending, which Hitch was forced to shoot for foreign distribs. Storyboards, photos, posters, trailers and production notes pad the package.

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One Response to “DVD review: Vertigo”

  1. […] closer… Vertigo’s sick little brother sees snoop reporter Jimmy Stewart stuck in a wheelchair with nothing to do […]

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Jonathan is a London-based journalist, critic and editor. He currently works for data visualisation agency Beyond Words.

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