The Last Noir In Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo

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Many argue when the Golden age of Film Noir ended. One on the most common arguments is that Orsons Wells A Touch of Evil was the last of the great Noirs. However, the real last true noir may actually be Alfred Hitchcock 's Vertigo which came out later the same year is the true last noir. The first evidence Vertigo gives us is the main character John "Scottie" Ferguson. Scottie is a ex-detective with a past that haunts him. Even the description sounds like a cliche Noir Protagonist. Detectives are the bread and butter of Film Noir. Movies like The Maltese Falcon, The Big Heat, and Orson Welles’ A Touch of Evil are only some of the many Noirs that have a detective Protagonist. But Scottie is not only a detective he is one that falls in love with the female he is hired to investigate. Once again, classic noir, we see this in Laura by Otto Preminger where a detective hired to investigate a girl falls in love with her. Sound familiar? Another trope with the main character is they are often emasculated. In Scarlet Street by Fritz Lang we see that the feminized artist, Christopher Cross, is emasculated much like Scottie is in Vertigo when he is at a high place. Both characters regain their masculinity by conquering their …show more content…

You would be hard pressed to find a Noir without a femme fatale. There is usually some spider woman in the middle weaving the men of the plot to her plan. These women challenge male masculinity in Noir and are usually tamed by the protagonists or destroyed. In Vertigo we have Judy. She strings Scottie along acting like she is his friends wife and she is possessed. This causes the events in the story to unfold. Whether or not Judy is a true Femme Fatale can be argued as she is only going along with Gavin Elster’s, a man looking to kill his wife, plan. But nevertheless her actions influence the movie and she chooses to carry them out leading Scotties to

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