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The Film List Project #16: Vertigo

It's been a few weeks since I wrote about James Stewart or Alfred Hitchcock, so I thought I'd write about both today.

My post-wisdom teeth doppelgänger and my new favorite actor have made a masterpiece in Vertigo. It plays with your mind in your emotions in the best way possible, keeping you gripped through all 128 minutes. It kills me that it was a box office failure in its day.

Despite being a commercial failure, this film is considered one of the greatest Hitchcock films of all time. I think it may be my new favorite.

A lot of people who watch it now might comment on the fake backdrops used for the scenes where we look down from high places, but I love looking at these old painted backdrops. Even without today's special effects, the audience can still feel the fear that Scottie (James Stewart) feels when he looks down at the view.

My favorite thing about a Hitchcock film is the environment he creates. You're immersed in the story, and every little decision he's made as a director goes toward immersing the audience. I was afraid, excited, creeped out, and enraged at all the right moments while watching Vertigo. A Hitchcock film is an experience.

For me (get ready for a pun), the most instrumental part of creating the feeling of this film is the music. Bernard Herrmann wrote the score for this film and so many of my other favorites, and this one takes the cake. You can listen to the score of this film and feel every emotion you felt while watching it.

Food for thought: North by Northwest, which I wrote about a few weeks ago, starred Cary Grant because Vertigo was a box office failure. James Stewart wanted to play the lead in Hitchcock's next film, but Hitchcock blamed the failure on Stewart looking too old. Because of that, Hitchcock cast Grant in his next feature. Oddly enough, Grant is four years older than Stewart.

Because I feel so badly for Stewart (and this is my new favorite photo), I'll end the post with this:
Stars! They're just like us!

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