Perhaps Alfred Hitchcock’s supreme achievement, Vertigo is one of cinema’s most haunting explorations of romantic obsession. It stars James Stewart as Scottie Ferguson, a retired San Francisco cop who suffers from a fear of heights. He is hired by an old friend to watch the man’s unstable wife, Madeline (Kim Novak). Scottie falls madly in love with this vision of femininity and gets sucked into a demented dream world involving false suicides, doubles and intimations of necrophilia. Yet the film itself is anything but obvious as it leads the audience into a dizzying vortex of infinite complexity. Vertigo has been restored in the 70mm format by Robert A. Harris and James C. Katz, the team responsible for salvaging other large-format films such as Lawrence of Arabia and My Fair Lady.
U.S.A., 1958.Restored version, 1996.Colour.DTS digital sound.70mm print.128 mins.