Common Themes In Alfred Hitchcock's Film Vertigo

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Alfred Hitchcock’s film Vertigo (1958) was voted the “best film ever made” by the 2012 British Film Institute, and for good reason. The plot is elaborate and intriguing and the cinematography is legendary. On top of this, the characters, like good characters should, all have their own needs and wants that are evident in the film. The needs of these characters affect each other and they affect the story and they all follow one common theme: control. Our protagonist, John “Scottie” Ferguson’s wants and needs differ greatly throughout the film, but his only constant is his yearning to get over his acrophobia, or fear of heights. Ever since the beginning of the film when his fear is revealed, he is seen to be stepping on ladders, trying to gain some control over his fears. Later in the film, his need for control is so great that he aggressively …show more content…

Scottie wants so badly for her to be Madeline that he dresses Judy up as her and takes her to places where he and Madeline had been even though Judy herself is an absolute antithesis of everything Madeline was. Despite her discomfort with these actions, she eventually gives in. Although, Scottie’s obsession with Madeline scares her, Judy’s need to be loved by him allows her to submit herself to his mania and give him control over her. Her eventual death is caused her own submission to Scottie. In conclusion, though the characters of Vertigo all experience different wants and needs, they all have the theme of control in common. Scottie wants control over his crippling fear of heights and his vertigo, Elster wants control over his wife’s money, Midge wants control over Scottie’s heart, and Judy is willing to give up control in order to be loved by Scottie. As proven throughout the film, they will go to whatever means to achieve their desires, showing that in their need to gain control, they had eventually lost

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