A Psychological Analysis Of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo

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Meticulously directed by Alfred Hitchcock, Vertigo a film-noir psychological thriller has become the greatest movie of all times in America. A police detective John Scottie Ferguson (James Stewart) gets crushed with vertigo and acrophobia after chasing a criminal on the rooftops of San Francisco, and watching his colleague fall to death. Criminal Gavin Elster (Tom Helmore) places reliance on Scottie’s mental illness in order for the murder of his wife Madeleine ( Kim Novak) to appear as a suicide. Manipulation, obsession and guilt accompany Scottie during the pursuit of Madeleine.
Throughout the film, Alfred Hitchcock brilliantly emphasizes the spinning effects of Scottie’s vertigo obviously with strong visual images, and figuratively through
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She represents the ordinary real world that Scottie refuses to belong to.
On the other hand, at Midge’s apartment, Scottie is continuously surrounded with red, but while at Ernie’s spying on Madeleine the red and green tie on his neck reveals a controversial message of reality and captivation; Scottie is originally a police detective but is also a victim of the deception camouflaged within the charm, beauty and attractiveness of Madeleine.
Megan Friddle in her writing about Hitchcok’s women, describes Madeleine as “ impeccably dressed, with white-blond hair, red lips, an aura of mystery”(113). Truly, at first glance Madeleine at Ernie’s, is dressed with an attractive, glimmering emerald gown. She surely creates a high contrast with the red walls of the restaurant, especially when a zoomed shot of her profile is taken while Scottie is furtively looking at her. Later on, the exchange in colors between Scottie and Madeleine in his apartment displays a message of intimacy between both characters. This contrast between red and green perfectly replenishes the script of Vertigo. Both colors are on opposing sides on the color wheel; while red is the color of love and fantasy, green is the color of eternity. Unexpectedly,
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Similarly to Madeleine, Judy is wearing green and lives in the same hotel room but this time under her real name Judy Barton, like she explicitly explains on her identity card. This parallelism in repeating the same events with both Judy and Madeleine is a simple and smart way to create tension in order to reach the climax when the whole reality is revealed. Friddle narrates that “when the truth finally comes out, that Judy was simply performing Madeleine, Scotty is driven to destroy the woman of his desire and the destroyer of his fantasy.”(113). As a result, Scottie and Judy both reclimb the tower of death. He is now left alone dealing with a second trauma.
Apparently, Vertigo is a complicated movie. Characters, plot and visual effects make from this film the example of perfectionism of Alfred Hitchcock filmmaking. In an article of the New York Times magazine, Janet Maslin states that “Vertigo’s brilliance remains unmistakable.
And Hitchcock, for all his remarkable powers of reason, never shaped a film as fervently or perversely as he did this one.”
It is important to live day by day, and try to be optimistic but also it is extremely wrong to daydream and live in illusions. Illusions won’t last for long, and will be destroyed

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