Sergio Leone Web Board

Other/Miscellaneous => Off-Topic Discussion => Topic started by: dave jenkins on August 31, 2012, 09:39:17 AM

Title: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on August 31, 2012, 09:39:17 AM
DCP restoration playing the film forum for one week, 12 - 18 Sept. In the meantime, Alex Ross's impressive take on the score is worth re-reading.
http://www.therestisnoise.com/2006/07/vertigo.html
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on September 03, 2012, 09:01:56 PM
I definitely want to see this one. (And I spoke to a nice woman at Film Forum who told me that anytime the volume is too low, I can just tell an usher and they'll raise it  ;))
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 07, 2012, 12:46:24 PM
No original audio on the Blu, apparently, http://enthusiasm.org/post/31062742832
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 13, 2012, 12:22:19 PM
Hey, wordpress has a Vertigo-themed theme (called "Vertigo"): http://theme.wordpress.com/themes/vertigo/
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: noodles_leone on September 13, 2012, 01:26:29 PM
Cool! It's more Tumblr-like than Wordpress, but cool!
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on September 13, 2012, 07:27:55 PM
I just saw Vertigo yesterday at The Film Forum.

(I discuss the theater experience itself, eg. the sound and picture quality, in the "Film Forum's thread" (so to speak) here http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=11250.msg159429#msg159429

This is the first time I have seen the movie in full. I saw the first 45 minutes or so a while ago. And I knew the full plot. So it's definitely not as suspenseful as when you see a movie for the first time without any knowledge of the story, but still, it was a nice experience.

Let's get the "rankings" nonsense out of the way:IMO Vertigo is not the greatest movie of all-time, not even the top 10, and not even the best Hitchcock (among Hitch's movies that I've seen, Psycho was better) But fuck that, this was a lot of fun.


Okay, as for.....THE MOVIE Stewart, Novak, and Bel Geddes were all terrific. Bel Geddes's character is particularly refreshing, cuz it's rare to see a woman exist as a real CHARACTER, rather than just something to be had or desired by the male protagonist (Leone had a similar criticism of females in American Westerns -- how she doesn't exist on her own, but only to be had by the hero). Sure, Bel geddes and Stewart had something going once upon a time, but she really exists as an interesting character unto herself, regardless of any sex appeal issue, and that is very refreshing and unique.

I loved the cinematography.

Much of the discussion about Vertigo focuses on the themes of the movie, the story and the characters and their psychology and feelings and desires, and the score by Bernard Herrmann. Those may all be great, but for me, what stood out is how amazing this movie is visually:

There is an incredible use of LIGHT Eg. the hazy light peering through the trees as Stewart and Noval are visiting the redwoods. And I just LOVED the scene when the two of them visit the church for the first time (when she supposedly commits suicide) As they arrive, they are standing outside the church, under the collonade/arcade (I am not sure which term is correct, for the pillars outside the church), they outside the church but are under the roof of the collonade and therefore in the dark, and it is a brilliantly sunny day. It is a wonderful shot of the two of them in the dark under the collonade, with the brilliant light just past them. Recently,  we've been discussing the paintings of Giorgio de Chirico's Metaphysical Period (which were a major influence on Leone), and how they feature high-contrast light, collonades, arcades (and several other elements).

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=8921.msg159339#msg159339

Well that shot I mentioned of Stewart and Novak standing under the darkness of collonade, with the brilliants light just outside, looked to me like it could be straight out of a de Chirico painting!


This movie also has such an amazing use of COLOR: There is a wonderful nighttime shot of Stewart and Bel Geddes in her studio. There are some incredible scenes with a heavy use of red, which traditionally implies sexual desires. There is also that amazing shot in Ernie's Restaurant, the first time we are introduced to Novak, where she is wearing this incredible (sorry, I am running out of positive adjectives!) green gown -- of course, that's the only thing in the entire room that is green, making it stand out even more than it would otherwise. It reminded me of Michelle Pfeiffer's majestic entry into Scarface, in the glass elevator. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8widwQ1hD0
Here, a similar effect was achieved with Novak, but without her actually entering the scene: she is already there, sitting at the table! But the great use of color makes her "entrance" something to remember as well, despite the fact that the only real entrance is made by the  camera  -- which is basically using Stewart's POV. At that moment, Stewart's POV is our POV, and we are just as amazed by discovering Novak there as Al Pacino  was to discover Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface
(And I guess that you can argue that we always see Novak -- whether she is playing Madeliene, Carlotta, or Judy -- through Stewart's POV, even when this is not shown clearly with a conscious "POV camera."  
------

 One question I had: there is one scene in middle of the movie where Stewart enters Bel Geddes's studio, and she is wearing a red sweater. Now, the heavy use of red in the scenes with Novak certainly has a sexual connotation, but I was wondering if anyone thought there was a particular significance to Bel Geddes's red sweater, or if that just happened to be a nice color but there was no particular thematic significance to it?

Also, it was hard not to notice how, in the scene where Novak is "Judy," when Stewart is in her hotel room (I believe she is wearing a green sweater there) just before they are going to go to go out she seems to be, how shall I put it, flipping and flopping around, with no bra. Knowing nothing about women's wear, I asked the female friend I was with, who immediately laughed and confirmed my suspicions.... But later, when Novak is wearing an evening dress, she definitely had something "supporting" and thus accentuating her fantastic upper assets. Was hard not to notice the contrast, especially after Bel Geddes's earlier speech about "everything a brassiere is supposed to do"  ;D ).
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 14, 2012, 10:12:28 AM
Some good observations there, drink. Be careful about assigning exclusive meanings to colors; the same color can have more than one meaning, depending on context. You are right that red can signal sexual longing, but it is often associated with danger (because of the color of blood, Stop signs, Emergency lights, what have you). If I remember correctly, there's a flash of red when Judy remembers her first flashback, hinting that she is both a femme fatale and perhaps that she is courting danger herself. Green is the color most associated with Miss Novak, however. As you say, she is introduced to us in a green dress. Judy is later bathed in green from the outside neon sign that invades her apartment, making her appear ghostly. Green make-up is a once-used method to confer ghost-status upon characters in drama (see Blithe Spirit), so AH was perhaps using a bit of theatrical shorthand at that point. Paradoxically, green is also the color of life, so it fits with the theme of eternal return suggested by the Carlotta possession story. And don't forget that a lot of talk about immortality takes place during the Muir Woods scene among some very old trees. Should I point out that redwoods are considered evergreens?
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on September 14, 2012, 10:32:04 AM
Some good observations there, drink. Be careful about assigning exclusive meanings to colors; the same color can have more than one meaning, depending on context. You are right that red can signal sexual longing, but it is often associated with danger (because of the color of blood, Stop signs, Emergency lights, what have you). If I remember correctly, there's a flash of red when Judy remembers her first flashback, hinting that she is both a femme fatale and perhaps that she is courting danger herself. Green is the color most associated with Miss Novak, however. As you say, she is introduced to us in a green dress. Judy is later bathed in green from the outside neon sign that invades her apartment, making her appear ghostly. Green make-up is a once-used method to confer ghost-status upon characters in drama (see Blithe Spirit), so AH was perhaps using a bit of theatrical shorthand at that point. Paradoxically, green is also the color of life, so it fits with the theme of eternal return suggested by the Carlotta possession story. And don't forget that a lot of talk about immortality takes place during the Muir Woods scene among some very old trees. Should I point out that redwoods are considered evergreens?

And don't forget Madeliene's green car (maybe her "husband" gave her that specifically cuz it stands out and would be so easy to follow)
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on September 14, 2012, 10:34:05 AM
 If there is one thing that disappointed me here, it's the way that the secret was revealed to us, by Judy having a flashback. What did you think of that -- is that the best way to reveal to us the key to the movie?
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 14, 2012, 11:55:43 AM
Think about the alternative: the secret is revealed at the end of the movie.

If that had happened, you would have felt gyped (or you would have guessed the ending and felt bored). Revealing the secret is for me a stroke of genius. It gets rid of a potential problem, the fact that the murder scheme isn't very plausible (how could Gavin Elster have counted on everything going to plan? Any number of random occurances could have derailed things. And would you really build a plan around a man in an unstable mental condition? Also, after throwing the body down, Elster and Judy had to wait in the bell tower until the coast was clear--HUH????) So, with the solution of the mystery revealed, the audience can forget about it and begin focusing on something more interesting--Stewart's creepy behavior. Hitchcock actually creates more suspense by getting everyone to wonder, What's Stewart gonna do when he finds out the truth? Will he go 100% psychotic? What will become of Judy?

It's a move like this that takes Vertigo out of the realm of an Agatha Christie novel and places it in the pantheon next to, say, Othello.

Apparently, this plot point was devised by the third screenwriter, Sam Taylor. Taylor took earlier drafts that weren't successful and restructered them (and added the character Midge). The original novel had a very different ending (and it maintained the secret to almost the very end). My surmise that Taylor was responsible for the change is due in part to the fact that very late in the production process Hitchcock got cold feet and tried to go back to keeping the secret until a big reveal at the end. Apparently, at a studio screening, Joan Harrison (who was producing his TV show for him) argued that the secret should be kept until the end. Hitch was persuaded (or more likely, just overly cautious once he'd removed his director's beret and put on his producer's hat). He then tried getting the prints back (they were already in distribution) to re-cut the film. Nothing came of this, partly because the task wasn't feasible at the 11th hour, but also, no doubt, because of the extra cost Hitchcock would have personally incurred. So the film went out as it had been originally approved. Later, of course, as the film gained a critical rep, Hitch took credit for moving the reveal from the more traditional ending point to where it is now. But it had to be Taylor's idea, or Hitch would never have considered re-cutting the finished film. It was such a novel idea for the time. You just didn't give the secret away like that.

But the film is much better as a result. You need only look at Diabolique (a film based on the previous novel of the guys who wrote the novel on which Vertigo is based). That film has a big secret that is revealed at the end. It works the first time you see the film, but once you know the ending, there's never any reason to watch the movie again. Vertigo, on the other hand, repays many viewings. I don't think I've watched any other film as many times.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: stanton on September 14, 2012, 12:15:53 PM
But Hitchcock did reveal the "secrets" in his films nearly always after about two thirds of the screentime. So nothing new in Vertigo.

But Drink asked not about the moment the secret was revealed, but about the way it was revealed. By that flashback.

Les diaboliques is indeed a bit disappointing. I saw this ending coming from at least half of the movie (so it would have been a good idea to reveal is after two thirds). The scene in the bathtub looks quite effective, but the then following happy end with the out of nowhere appearing Charles Vanel is ridiculous. And of course the "twist" of the plot turns most of the suspense elements which were shown before into a joke.

Best part of the Diaboliques is the atmospheric portrait of the everyday life at the school.

Clouzot's even better known The Wages of fear is for me a similar overrated film. Not disappointing, but less good than it should be. Again the portrait of the town at the end of the world is more interesting than the thriller parts.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 14, 2012, 02:22:52 PM
But Hitchcock did reveal the "secrets" in his films nearly always after about two thirds of the screentime. So nothing new in Vertigo.
Actually, most of his films don't deal with "the big secret that explains things" kind of approach. But in films like The 39 Steps, Suspicion, The Lady Vanishes, Rebecca, Under Capricorn and Psycho, which do use that formula, they each have a big secret revealed in the last reel. But as I say, that wasn't the kind of film he most often made. Usually his films are simply about a man or woman who have a problem they need to solve, one that requires extra determination rather than knowledge. Vertigo is unusual in a lot of ways, and one way it is unlike other Hitchcock films is that it is more like a film noir than usual. He took a form that others were practicing and did his own unique take on it.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 14, 2012, 02:33:24 PM
Here's someone who doesn't like the colors on the DCP restoration: http://hollywood-elsewhere.com/2012/09/still_screwed_u_1.php

Difficult to know how to take this. As far as I can determine, these are pretty much the colors we've had on VHS/LD/DVD since the 1996 restoration. Maybe they're just more noticeable in 2K/4K.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on September 14, 2012, 03:01:44 PM
will the Vertigo blu ray be available alone, or only as part of the big box set?
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 14, 2012, 03:20:39 PM
At present, only as part of the set. And the release date for that has just been put back a month. Eventually, I'm sure they'll put out the titles in the set individually, but who knows when that will be.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on September 14, 2012, 03:33:22 PM
Here's someone who doesn't like the colors on the DCP restoration: http://hollywood-elsewhere.com/2012/09/still_screwed_u_1.php

Difficult to know how to take this. As far as I can determine, these are pretty much the colors we've had on VHS/LD/DVD since the 1996 restoration. Maybe they're just more noticeable in 2K/4K.

so according to this guy, the colors are fine on the dvd but no good on the blu ray?

Then I'll just get the dvd   ;)
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: stanton on September 15, 2012, 12:51:52 AM
Actually, most of his films don't deal with "the big secret that explains things" kind of approach.

Yes they don't, but often there is the question who is the murderer (also a secret), and this question is mostly answered early in the films. But there are also exceptions.

Vertigo belongs to his fathomless films, which are according to the S&S list are favoured now by the film people. But most of his films are more "entertainments", with North By Northwest being the masterpiece of this group.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: noodles_leone on September 15, 2012, 01:27:07 AM
It's interesting to note that Hithcock didn't really like Vertigo. It didn't perform that good with the audience at the time (that's the main reason) and he didn't like Nowak.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 15, 2012, 07:33:07 AM
It's interesting to note that Hithcock didn't really like Vertigo. It didn't perform that good with the audience at the time (that's the main reason) and he didn't like Nowak.
He said different things about it at different times. According to Stephen Rabello, when he told AH  that V was his favorite of AH's films, Hitch actually teared up!
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: noodles_leone on September 15, 2012, 08:08:51 AM
He said different things about it at different times. According to Stephen Rabello, when he told AH  that V was his favorite of AH's films, Hitch actually teared up!

May be he felt something close to what Leone felt for DYS.
Anyway, my source is the (must-have must-read lust-everything) Hitchcock/Truffaut, which is, by the way (and by far) the greatest cinema book ever.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 15, 2012, 09:17:16 AM
It's an interesting read. V is given short shrift there, however, perhaps because it wasn't a favorite of Truffaut's. And then, of course, you also have to  take into account that AH could tell whoppers bigger than those told by SL.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: stanton on September 15, 2012, 10:53:29 AM
It's an interesting read. V is given short shrift there, however, perhaps because it wasn't a favorite of Truffaut's. And then, of course, you also have to  take into account that AH could tell whoppers bigger than those told by SL.

Ha ha, yes probably ...

But anyway, it is indeed one of the best film books ever. 
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on September 15, 2012, 06:57:47 PM
It's interesting to note that Hithcock didn't really like Vertigo. It didn't perform that good with the audience at the time (that's the main reason) and he didn't like Nowak.

Sorry Hitch, but Novak delivers a fabulous performance here.

I also read (two sourced citations on wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strangers_on_a_Train_%28film%29#Cast   ) that Hitch didn't like Ruth Roman, and only used her for Strangers on a Train cuz Jack Warner forced him to, since Ruth was under contract at Warner Bros. And I love Ruth and certainly don't think she was "lacking in sex appeal."


I just read Ebert's review of Vertigo, and he has this whole theory about how Hitch used and abused his women as a way of exorcising his fantasies, but Vertigo is the closest he came to sympathizing with the girls http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19961013/REVIEWS08/401010371/1023 I am not familiar enough with all his movies to comment on that. [But Ebert is correct that Hitch liked blondes, maybe that is why he hated on the lovely Ruth Roman]).
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 16, 2012, 02:37:08 PM
But Drink asked not about the moment the secret was revealed, but about the way it was revealed. By that flashback.
If that's the case, perhaps he'll be interested in this quote from the screenwriter. In the 80s, after Vertigo became available again (the estate had had it and 4 other titles on moritorium), Sam Taylor attended a screening at Pace University and offered some remarks afterwards. His words were published in the anthology Hitchcock's Re-released Films (1991) and I here excerpt the relative passages:

Quote
But the thing that struck me most about the picture, seeing it today after twenty-eight years, was the place where, I think, Hitchcock and I goofed. It is in the second part of the picture. You see, this picture falls into two acts very nicely, and both acts end with the same scene: a fall from the tower. At the end of the first fall from the tower, you could almost go blank on the screen in the plaza and then pan up to the coroner's inquest scene which is the start of the second act.

. . .

Anway, we're into the second act and you have the coroner's scene and you have what I call my Mozart scene: Midge talking about Mozart to Scottie at the sanitarium. At that point I should have said, and Hitchcock should have said: "What about the girl?" I think it's a flaw because even though the audience doesn't know who the girl is and what her function is, we, the authors, do, and it was our obligation to tell the audience what we knew so that the audience would also know. If we had done that we wouldn't have had scenes of a man pathetically wondering around San Francisco looking for a ghost.

Actually, ethos is better than pathos, always. You can call that Taylor's rule. We should have at that point said, "What about the girl?" Because we knew what we had to say to the audience. There was no point in saving the surprise for the end of the film. Surprise is a highly overrated commodity in literature and in birthdays. We did it in a very inept way. That letter scene startled me. How bad it is!

. . .

Anyway, here is what we should have done. After the Mozart scene, we should have said, "What about the girl? This is the time to tell the audience what is happening." And we should have gone back to Gavin Elster. . . . We should have had a scene between him and the girl which could have been a very strong scene. I realized it watching the picture today. It suddenly occurred to me what fools we were not to play that scene because you would know from the scene she realized she was being ditched and left behind. In other words, the "argument scene" was gone. We played that offstage. But you would get a much stronger feeling about the girl if she had to face Gavin Elster and say, "You're going away, and without me."
pp. 289-291
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 16, 2012, 02:40:45 PM
so according to this guy, the colors are fine on the dvd but no good on the blu ray?
That's not necessarily the case. He's saying the colors were fine on the '96 restoration 70mm prints. He makes no remark about the DVDs or the Blu-ray. He is comparing his memory of the prints with what he saw on DCP.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on September 16, 2012, 03:12:40 PM
Thanks for the interesting info, dj  O0

Yeah, I thought that revealing it with Judy's own flashback was bad. As alternatives, I was thinking of having a scene between Judy and Gavin, or some other way (glad the screenwriter agrees with me). Anyway, I guess you have to accept the whole Mona Lisa, as is, eh?   ;)
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 16, 2012, 03:15:54 PM
I just read Ebert's review of Vertigo, and he has this whole theory about how Hitch used and abused his women as a way of exorcising his fantasies, but Vertigo is the closest he came to sympathizing with the girls http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19961013/REVIEWS08/401010371/1023 I am not familiar enough with all his movies to comment on that. [But Ebert is correct that Hitch liked blondes, maybe that is why he hated on the lovely Ruth Roman]).
You have to remember that Ebert has no ideas of his own. He steals them all, every one. In this case he is channeling Donald Spoto, whose biography of AH (now widely discredited) was called The Dark Side of Genius.

Spoto's problems are two-fold. First, he assumes he knows what Hitchcock's fantasies were, and he makes that assumption based on the films H made. But did H make the films for himself, or for what he thought his audience wanted? Is there any evidence that H had any interest in the subjects he filmed apart from work? What did he do when he went home? (In fact we know, he liked to read biographies of statesmen and military heroes). What did his family have to say about him? Did his daughter and his grandchildren tell stories about his ghoulish private life? (In fact, they all said how normal he was, how unlike his public persona). Spoto's basic premise was so much B.S.

Then there are the films: yeah, H had films where women characters were victims or potential victims (Rebecca, Suspicion, Under Capricorn, Notorious, Dial M), but that was par for the course in the 40s and 50s when women were the bulk of the cinema-going audience (and H was hardly unique with this kind of approach). But H also made films where the women take charge and either solve the problem themselves or are at least on equal footing with the male hero. Who does most of the chance-taking in Rear Window? Who joins the hero on his adventures in Young and Innocent?Who is ready to take up a life of crime with Cary Grant in To Catch a Thief? Who rushes to the Albert Hall to foil an assassination attempt in The Man Who Knew Too Much? (1956). And in the earlier version of that film, when the police sharpshooter has a failure of nerve and in unable to kill the goon on the rooftop menacing the little girl, who is it that raises a rifle and cooly dispatches the threat? Answer in all cases: Hitchcock's action women.

Hitchcock could torture his female characters (as he could torture his male characters), but he also put up plenty of examples of tough broads as well. He could swing either way. It all depended on the properties being developed. It all depended on the writing.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 16, 2012, 03:23:50 PM
And don't forget Madeliene's green car (maybe her "husband" gave her that specifically cuz it stands out and would be so easy to follow)
The game can go on and on. After fishing Madeleine out of the drink, Scotty takes the unconscious woman home. When she awakens, with nothing to wear (as her clothes are drying) the woman dons one of Scotty's robes. A very red one.

Judy is introduced as Madeleine was, in profile. And in a green dress.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: stanton on September 17, 2012, 01:28:53 AM
Quote
"Surprise is a highly overrated commodity in literature and in birthdays"


... and especially, and very, very especially in thrillers and detective films.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 22, 2012, 12:51:04 PM
The shooting script is here: http://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/vertigo.html

Earlier drafts (prior to Taylor's involvement) are extant, but academics are keeping them to themselves.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: Groggy on September 22, 2012, 02:16:07 PM
Nice find(s) Jenkins.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: noodles_leone on September 22, 2012, 03:02:06 PM
Thanks DJ!
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on September 22, 2012, 10:33:30 PM
May be he felt something close to what Leone felt for DYS.
Anyway, my source is the (must-have must-read lust-everything) Hitchcock/Truffaut, which is, by the way (and by far) the greatest cinema book ever.

I want to read that book one day, but I think I'll wait until I see more of Hitch's films, so that I'll understand and appreciate it more. (And it's not necessary to see Truffaut's films before reading it, cuz the book only discusses Hitch's films, right?)

Here are the Hitch films I've seen; are there any greats that I am missing?


Rebecca (1940)
Rope (1948)
Strangers on a Train (1951)
Dial M for Murder (1954)
Rear Window (1954)
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
The Wrong Man (1956)
Vertigo (1958)
North by Northwest (1958)
Psycho (1960)




Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: stanton on September 23, 2012, 02:31:56 AM
Yes, the book is only about Hitchcock's films in chronological order. The bulk of the interview was already done in 1962, with additions up to 1966 (it was first published in 1967).  The rest of Hitch's career and life is also covered in the newer editions.
But you can buy and read it every time. It is an exciting read also for the films you haven't seen, and as it is chronological anyway you can also read only the parts of the films you already know.

My personal favourite is Notorious (1946).
Which belongs for many to his best, and is also Truffaut's favourite.

Some other basic greats of his from the 70s back to the silents:

Frenzy
The Birds
Shadow of a Doubt
Saboteur
Suspicion
Foreign Correspondent
The Lady Vanishes
Young and Innocent
The 39 Steps
The Man Who Knew Too Much
Blackmail
The Lodger

Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on September 23, 2012, 02:44:06 AM

Some other basic greats of his from the 70s back to the silents:

Frenzy
The Birds
Shadow of a Doubt
Saboteur
Suspicion
Foreign Correspondent
The Lady Vanishes
Young and Innocent
The 39 Steps
The Man Who Knew Too Much
Blackmail
The Lodger



I assume you referring to the 1934 version of "The Man Who Knew Too Much"? I didn't think the 1956 version was all that great, and that's supposed to be the better one, no? (I rated the 1956 version a 7.5/10. It's beautiful visually [despite some processed shots], and Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day feature perhaps the greatest pair of performances ever by male-female leads in the same movie. But I just didn't find the story all that interesting. [And Que Sera Sera was annoying].
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: moviesceleton on September 23, 2012, 02:53:50 AM
I assume you referring to the 1934 version of "The Man Who Knew Too Much"? I didn't think the 1956 version was all that great, and that's supposed to be the better one, no? (I rated the 1956 version a 7.5/10. It's beautiful visually [despite some processed shots], and Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day feature perhaps the greatest pair of performances ever by male-female leads in the same movie. But I just didn't find the story all that interesting. [And Que Sera Sera was annoying].
All the 1956 version does better is the music hall scene. Otherwise the original is better - the story's more interesting (or told better).
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: stanton on September 23, 2012, 02:57:21 AM
Yes, the 1934 version, which I prefer. The 56 version has some mainstream Hollywood stuff in it, but contains also lots of great scenes. 8/10

The 34 version has the similar story but also differs in many parts considerably. And it is pretty short with 75 min. 9/10

The 56 version is pop, the 34 version is rock.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on September 23, 2012, 03:02:57 AM
Here's a snippet from the Hitchcock/Truffaut book http://books.google.com/books?id=NnE_sPb3XBQC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA94#v=onepage&q&f=false in which they discuss some of the differences between the two versions, and Hitch says "Let's say the first is the work of a talented amateur, and the second was made by a professional." (p. 94, the small paragraph in the right column).
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: cigar joe on September 23, 2012, 04:16:32 PM
watched it today again wasn't that impressed did't care for the cartoon dream sequence I like other Hitchcock's better
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on September 23, 2012, 05:19:35 PM
watched it today again wasn't that impressed did't care for the cartoon dream sequence I like other Hitchcock's better

you talking about Vertigo?
Roger Ebert says that when someone tells him he doesn't understand what's so great about Vertigo, his answer is "you're insufficiently evolved a a moviegoer  ;D http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2012/08/a_few_calm_words_about_the_lis.html
btw, at the very end of that article, he writes about how when Novak jumps into the river, she isn't really unconscious; I was wondering what y'all thought about that....


as for me, my recent viewing at the Film Forum was my first complete viewing of the movie; my initial reaction was that it's a very good movie, but not top ten all-time, and not even Hitch's best (I prefer Psycho). But after all this talk, I decided to see it again right away, so I rented the dvd from Netflix and just started watching it again. I'll talk more about the movie (and the dvd's bonus features) when I am done watching it.

However, for some reason, the movie plays windowboxed (using my Samsung blu ray player). The movie's Aspect Ratio of 1.85:1 is printed on the front of the disc; normally, that would mean that movie would just use the entire hdtv screen (perhaps with tiny black bars on top and bottom, to make up the difference between the 1.85:1 AR of the movie, and the 1.78:1 AR of the hdtv screen). But for some reason, the movie instead plays windowboxed
(I guess it only uses the middle 4:3 area of the screen, but then letterboxes that to 1.85:1; hence the windowboxing?) But it's really strange why that's happening, this is the first disc on which that's ever happened. Anyone have the same issue with the dvd?
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: Groggy on September 23, 2012, 06:14:50 PM
Ebert can jump up my butt.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: cigar joe on September 24, 2012, 02:27:48 AM
you talking about Vertigo?
Roger Ebert says that when someone tells him he doesn't understand what's so great about Vertigo, his answer is "you're insufficiently evolved a a moviegoer  ;D http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2012/08/a_few_calm_words_about_the_lis.html
btw, at the very end of that article, he writes about how when Novak jumps into the river, she isn't really unconscious; I was wondering what y'all thought about that....


as for me, my recent viewing at the Film Forum was my first complete viewing of the movie; my initial reaction was that it's a very good movie, but not top ten all-time, and not even Hitch's best (I prefer Psycho). But after all this talk, I decided to see it again right away, so I rented the dvd from Netflix and just started watching it again. I'll talk more about the movie (and the dvd's bonus features) when I am done watching it.

However, for some reason, the movie plays windowboxed (using my Samsung blu ray player). The movie's Aspect Ratio of 1.85:1 is printed on the front of the disc; normally, that would mean that movie would just use the entire hdtv screen (perhaps with tiny black bars on top and bottom, to make up the difference between the 1.85:1 AR of the movie, and the 1.78:1 AR of the hdtv screen). But for some reason, the movie instead plays windowboxed
(I guess it only uses the middle 4:3 area of the screen, but then letterboxes that to 1.85:1; hence the windowboxing?) But it's really strange why that's happening, this is the first disc on which that's ever happened. Anyone have the same issue with the dvd?
do you have an overscan setting on the Tv?
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: stanton on September 24, 2012, 02:36:18 AM
Maybe it is simply an old letterboxed disc.

Not all DVDs are anamorphic. The most, but not all.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 24, 2012, 04:41:36 AM
The restored version of Vertigo on R1 DVD was first issued in a letterboxed transfer. Later they put out an anamorphic version, I believe. (I remember at the time I couldn't wait and got an anamorphic version from Hong Kong). At this point, it's best to wait for the Blu-ray which, although it was supposed to be out this week, has now been delayed.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 24, 2012, 05:01:40 AM
All the 1956 version does better is the music hall scene. Otherwise the original is better - the story's more interesting (or told better).
Both have their charms. The original has the visit to the evil dentist, the Sydney Street Siege, and the mom blowing away the bad-guy on the roof. The 56 has color, Vistavision, and (as noted) the very, very well done Albert Hall sequence, but it also has one of H's greatest intros to a film: the first 30 minutes is so incredibly well handled that I end up returning to it over and over again. The way the couple gets sucked into the plot, the moment that Jimmy Stewart realizes his kid has been taken, and the scene where he dopes Doris Day before giving her the news are proof of H running on all cylinders. Unhappily, soon after the film begins to meander, and it never really makes a course correction until the Albert Hall. But it's strong from there on out, and I really like the gag at the end.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on September 24, 2012, 11:20:29 PM
The restored version of Vertigo on R1 DVD was first issued in a letterboxed transfer. Later they put out an anamorphic version, I believe. (I remember at the time I couldn't wait and got an anamorphic version from Hong Kong). At this point, it's best to wait for the Blu-ray which, although it was supposed to be out this week, has now been delayed.

I rented this disc off Netflix; and when the blu ray is released, I'll rent that too  ;)
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on September 25, 2012, 12:00:04 AM
Okay, so I just watched the Vertigo dvd twice: once the regular movie, and once with the commentary  :) (I can't say for certain whether or not it's my favorite Hitch; anyway, I've only seen about 10 of Hitch's movies). But otherwise, my opinion is pretty much the same: it's not on my top 10 list, but it's great fun. And I do not think that Judy having the flashback was a good way for us to be informed what really happened.  But this post will be about the dvd:

Firstly, there were frequent times when the movie would skipped/jump/moved faster, I'm not sure exactly how to describe it, it's like someone if walking, and for a second it looks like he is walking much faster, and then it's normal again. Initially, I thought that the dvd was scratched, but then I noticed that (I think  :-\) most of these "jumps" happen at the beginning of scenes. Is this coincidence, or was there some problem with eg. a new reel at the beginning of a scene? Did anyone else have this problem while watching the dvd? Or is my disc just scratched (which happens WAY too often with netflix discs).

In addition to the commentary, there is a 29-minute bonus feature documentary about movie and the restoration with restorers Robert Harris & James Katz, as well as Hitch's daughter Patricia, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Associate Producer Herbert Coleman, and Art Director Henry Bumstead. Sadly, the latter 3 have since died  :'( :'( :'(

 Anyone who is a big fan of this movie should definitely see that bonus feature, and the dvd commentary as well. I'll just make a few comments on 'em.

Firstly, while the restoration by Harris and Katz was amazing, it's pretty clear that the movie we are seeing is NOT the same movie you would have seen when you went to the theater in 1958.  Colors had to be reconstructed as the print's yellow layer was gone, most of the sound effects (eg. car engines starting) were re-done in 1996,etc.  In fact, one of the restorers said: "Now, what we're doing is releasing an enhanced version of Vertigo, and maintaining, I think, the spirit of the picture. And audiences who have seen Vertigo before will be thrilled with, we think, and accept; and yet, we're putting up something that Alfred Hitchcock never saw, and never was able to see when he made the film in 1958."[/i] There was one amusing moment where a restorer said that the color in particular moment was screwed up badly, and while they could have restored it digitally, they decided not too; besides the incredible cost that would have entailed, it wouldn't be a bad thing for the viewer to realize what the movie would have looked like had this extensive restoration not been undertaken. I got a kick out of that  ;D

dj recently posted an article which complained about the color on the blu ray disc, and mentioned in particular the color of the suits in the inquest scene. Well, the restorers actually address this issue directly during that scene on the dvd commentary. (I wrote down some of what they said for purposes of this post, though I can't say I understand all this restoration jargon  ;)) They said that, as mentioned before, the film's yellow layer was gone, so for this scene, they used "adapted interpositives from the original camera negative"; and that the alternative was to go with "black and white separations" which "didn't fit together" here and were "dirty" and "grainy." Basically, the restorers had to make a separate decision for each scene , of whether to go for color or for sharpness; in this inquest scene, they felt it was appropriate to go for sharpness; hence there is a problem with the color of the suits. The suits were actually "navy blue, grey, or black"; but when watching the movie, they appear to be "various shades of blue." Some of them are "marine blue with clown blue highlights."


The associate producer Herbert Coleman seemed to absolutely love the restoration. So I just decided to take a very un-purist point of view and not worry about what the movie looked like in 1958, or what it would have/could have/should have looked like if Hitch hadn't moratorium-ed it. I don't worry about any of that, I just look at it and I enjoy it. And there is so much to enjoy! This movie has such a brilliant use of light and color

One particular shot I love: when Scottie and Madeliene first visit the Mission, and they are sitting inside the dark stable as, we then see a shot facing out of the stable: the street and fields outside in brilliant sunshine, contrasted against the darkness inside the stable  :)
---------------------------

RE: the commentary, I just want to say that they use a bunch of different clips similar to what paramount did with the OUATITW commentary, and it is disastrous. The main portion of the commentary  -- with Katz, Harris, and associate Producer Herbert Coleman -- is wonderful. Having the 3 of them together, the discussion obviously was a combination of some talk about the restoration, and some about the making of the movie. And the 3 of them did the commentary on about the first 2/3 or so of the movie. But for the final third, they used a bunch of different interview bits with various people -- some more interesting than others, but none of which belong here! (Eg. during the scene where Stewart makes Novak into Judy, and she emerges from the bathroom and Stewart approached her  -- a scene which some have called the greatest in Hitch's cinema, and one of the greatest in movie history -- the commentary is some interview bit where Pat Hitchcock is discussing her parents' creative relationship  ::) COME ON. And they waste several minutes with unrelated interviews with one of Hitch;'s collaborators discussing Rear Window. There's also one bit toward the beginning of the movie where  -- I hope you are ready for this  -- the friend of one of the co-authors of the French novel that Vertigo was based on, speaks for two minutes and basically announces who he is, and says that his friend wrote X number of novels and that several of them were made into movies. And that's it. It was as comical as John Milius's two minute bit of commentary on the OUATITW dvd, where he says one "story": that Leone wanted him to write the screenplay for OUATIA, but.... he didn't have the time to do so. Thanks a lot for that!)Thankfully, they have Harris/Katz/Coleman return for the last scene, when Stewart takes Novak back to the Mission.
They should have just used Harris/Katz/Coleman for the entire commentary; and put all those interview bits in the bonus features, rather than playing them during the movie and calling them "commentary."  
Still, as annoying as the ensemble crap is, I still recommend that big fans of the movie listen to the commentary, cuz there's some good fun in the approx. 2/3 of it that is done by Harris/Katz/Coleman
ENSEMBLE COMMENTARIES ARE RIDICULOUS  ::)

-------------------------

Finally, RE: the issue of what Hitch felt about Vertigo: for whatever it's worth, here is a statement by Kim Novak, from that documentary:
"I think Alfred Hitchcock adored this movie; I think he was obsessed with this movie. I don't know, perhaps he was with many of his others as well because that's the kind of director he was. But Hitch loved this movie more than any; I do believe so."
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 25, 2012, 07:54:39 AM
Quote
dj recently posted an article which complained about the color on the blu ray disc
No, he was complaining about the colors on the DCP release; he hadn't seen the blu-ray yet. However, it's very likely that the blu-ray will greatly resemble what the DCP looks like.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 25, 2012, 01:07:04 PM
Quote
most of the sound effects (eg. car engines starting) were re-done in 1996
The original audio track still exists, though, and fans have been calling for Universal to include it on future home video releases. There's a rumor that it will be available as an option on the blu-ray, and I hope it's true. Viewers should be given a choice between the "new and improved" audio and the audio track Hitchcock signed off on.

One of the things that annoyed everyone in 96 (and 97 when the LD came out) was that modern Foley had been applied to the film, noticiably so, and the anachronistic sounds were, to say the least, distracting. An egregious example was the gunshots used in the rooftop sequence that opens the film, which were amped up and sounded nothing like they ever had before. The Foley guys couldn't leave well enough alone, either, adding sounds where none had been previously (for example, they added bird noises to the Muir Woods sequence, even though it's supposed to be a dead forest). Of course, Bernard Herrmann's score came off sounding great, so all the news wasn't bad. Anyway, an early report has it that the Foley has now been "corrected" so that the "new and improved" audio option will now be the "newer and even more improved" one. We shall see.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on September 25, 2012, 02:27:08 PM
The original audio track still exists, though, and fans have been calling for Universal to include it on future home video releases. There's a rumor that it will be available as an option on the blu-ray, and I hope it's true. Viewers should be given a choice between the "new and improved" audio and the audio track Hitchcock signed off on.

One of the things that annoyed everyone in 96 (and 97 when the LD came out) was that modern Foley had been applied to the film, noticiably so, and the anachronistic sounds were, to say the least, distracting. An egregious example was the gunshots used in the rooftop sequence that opens the film, which were amped up and sounded nothing like they ever had before. The Foley guys couldn't leave well enough alone, either, adding sounds where none had been previously (for example, they added bird noises to the Muir Woods sequence, even though it's supposed to be a dead forest). Of course, Bernard Herrmann's score came off sounding great, so all the news wasn't bad. Anyway, an early report has it that the Foley has now been "corrected" so that the "new and improved" audio option will now be the "newer and even more improved" one. We shall see.

Yeah, the restorers discussed a lot of this in the documentary and the commentary.

Apparently (I hope I'm repeating this accurately, cuz I can't say I understand much of it  ;)) they found a copy of the original recording of the score in great condition, and decided they just HAD to use that great version of the score, rather than using the one on the original audio track. Then they were able to separate the dialogue on the original audio track, but with all tinkering, it would impossible to get the sound effects off that original track. The restorers addressed this issue on the commentary, saying that while purists complain, they say the only alternative is to basically have no sound effects. (Please correct what I'm saying if it's not accurate). With that said, if they really added in new effects that never existed before (eg. birds chirping in what should have been a quiet forest), that is as inexcusable as John Jerk including the Tuco in the Cave scene in GBU even though Leone removed it.

I see it says on wikipedia that "the 2005 Hitchcock masterpiece Collection DVD contains the original mono track as an option." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertigo_%28film%29#Restoration

Do you know if Harris/Katz are overseeing the blu ray?
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 26, 2012, 10:28:21 AM


Do you know if Harris/Katz are overseeing the blu ray?

They are not. There is a thread over at Home Theater Forum where Harris chimes in from time to time. He has no involvement with the present proceedings.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on September 26, 2012, 05:25:24 PM
They are not. There is a thread over at Home Theater Forum where Harris chimes in from time to time. He has no involvement with the present proceedings.

isn't it strange that they are not using him and Katz? has he had anything to say about it?
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 02, 2012, 11:11:40 PM
Just looking again at Edward Hopper's most famous painting Nighthawks (1942) http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/artwork/111628
 and I noticed how the exterior of the diner is bathed in green light, which I guess is coming from some sign not visible in the picture (one of the important elements that can be found throughout Hopper's paintings is sources of light -- which nearly always reside outside the frame; we only see the light itself). Wondering if Hitch got his idea for the lighting (coming from  the sign outside Judy's hotel room) in the most important scene Vertigo from Nighthawks?

 Hitch designed the Bates home in Psycho based on another of Hopper's most famous paintings, House by the Railroad (1925) http://www.moma.org/collection/object.php?object_id=78330   Knowing that Hopper was an influence on Hitch makes me wonder if there is a real possibility that my hunch is correct (Of course, green is the color most associated with Madeliene/Judy throughout the movie, but I still wonder if there's some inspiration for that scene....)
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on October 19, 2012, 10:32:34 AM
http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/dvdcompare/vertigo.htm
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 20, 2012, 05:18:06 PM

wow, I think it's ridiculous that they dropped the Harris/Katz commentary (which btw also included Associate Producer Herbert Coleman). Much of the second half of that commentary is just a compilation of bits of interviews with various Hitch collaborators, and that is ridiculously annoying, as I discussed a few posts back, (similar to the "compilation" commentary of OUATITW). But  still, the first half or 2/3 of the movie is mostly the Harris/Katz/Coleman commentary, which features interesting bits of info RE: the making of the movie by Coleman, and RE: the restoration by Harris/Katz. It definitely should have been included on the new blu ray (better yet, they should have had Harris/Katz or someone else interesting do a proper commentary for the latter part of the film replacing those random interview tidbits from the Hitch collaborators). There is enough very interesting info in the Harris/Katz/Coleman discussions, it's really a crime that they removed it.


As for the color, IMO, the most interesting element of the movie is COLOR and LIGHT, I've pretty much given up hope of ever having a perfect-looking Vertigo, so I'll accept a decent-enough one; then again, I have no idea what the original movie looked like so I have nothing to compare it with. I'll just say I liked the movie on dvd, so I'll accept that as the version of Vertigo that I know and love, and not worry myself to death over what the movie looked like in 1958. That's all.



I am interested to know about the sound though. I wonder: Did they include the original audio track which Harris/Katz say was basically unusable for the final dvd once they used the original tapes of Herrmann's score? Did they keep the Foley sound effects as is? What about the claim that they raised the volume on the score and overshadowed the other sound? Will the audio be pretty much the same as the dvd?

Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on October 25, 2012, 12:08:24 PM
Robert Harris: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/t/324701/a-few-words-about-vertigo-in-blu-ray
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 25, 2012, 02:47:23 PM
Robert Harris: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/t/324701/a-few-words-about-vertigo-in-blu-ray

Thanks for sharing; that is a very interesting post.

1)  it was interesting to see Harris say, RE: discussion of the sound restoration (and in any instances, re-creation), that studio politics interfered and that "we were not  happy with the final results." ("We" presumably refers to him and Katz).

2) I was surprised at his discussion of the financial limitations. Of course, everything has some sort of budget limitation. But when you consider how many film restoration institutions are out there (eg. The Film Foundation) and how much interest there is in restoring Vertigo, which supposedly is the greatest movie of all-time, you would think that if ever there was a movie that would have a blank check written for its restoration, Vertigo would be the one.

3) Harris actually says that with the advancement of technology, "anything can be done, with the requisite elements, to bring a film back to the way it appeared on day one." is he really saying that if they had enough money, it is actually theoretically possible to make Vertigo look just like it did if you were watching it in theaters in 1958? if so, it is a motherfucking crime that it hasn't been done. Again, for the greatest movie of all-time, you'd think that institutions and individuals dedicated to film restoration would be emptying their bank accounts, going into debt, and friggin' hocking their wives wedding rings, to do so.

4)  Harris's basic point is that while the blu ray is not perfect, they still did a very good job. Overall, he seems to feel that while no perfect restoration has yet been undertaken, due at least in part to lack of funds, the fact is that with the resources available, the blu ray was done very well. That's all well and good, but what I, (and I presume all other serious fans) I really want to know is, "is the blu ray a significant upgrade over the dvd?" After all, that's the question for every blu ray release, not just Vertigo: is it is a (significant) upgrade over the dvd? He hasn't answered that question, and I wish he would.

dj, if you are a user on that forum, perhaps you want to ask that question and see if he responds?

5) Finally, I hope the blu ray is not windowboxed as the movie is. At a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, the movie should basicaly take up the entire hd screen (possibly with tiny black bars on top and bottom). But the dvd has black lines all around, it only uses the center of the screen. (The only other dvd I can recall seeing that on is Madigan, which is also a Universal release). I hope the blu ray doesn't have that problem
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 25, 2012, 03:12:06 PM
firstly, I should mention that I don't accept Beaver's screencaps like they are the Bible. I presume that not all were taken at the same time on the same device (and some are much larger than others), and I am sure that color can be affected by the system that a disc is viewed on.

With that said, I looked through the screencap comparisons for Vertigo http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/dvdcompare/vertigo.htm  and I'll discuss them here:

For each shot, there are 4 sets of screencaps (for 3 dvd versions plus the blu ray), it's not easy to compare the first cap in each set to the latter 3, as the first one is much smaller than the latter 3. But from what I can tell, overall, based on these screencaps, it doesn't look like the blu ray image is significantly different than the dvd's.


In 2 instances, the blu ray looks brighter than some of the dvd's  (the shot of Stewart in Bel Geddes's apartment, balancing his cane, and the shot of Novak in the flower shop).

In 3 instances, the blu ray looks less bright than some of the dvd's (the shot of Bel Geddes; the shot of Stewart in the green sweater; the shot of Stewart in the blue suit).

In the shot of Novak in the white coat, it looks like the dvd shots are a bit lighter than the blu ray shot: in the dvd's, the wall and Novak's coat are pure WHITE; in the blu ray, they both have a darker tinge of white. The black of Novak's gloves and scarf contrasts more sharply with her white coat in those dvd shots than it does in the blu ray shot. And the curtain on the left of the picture is much more faded green in the dvd shots; in the blu ray shot, the curtain is a darker green, and Novak's skin tone is very slightly less pale than it is in the dvd.

The most glaring difference is in the final shot, of Novak's face at the salon; while the flesh tone in the dvd shots vary, they are all MUCH closer to realistic than the flesh tone in the blu ray shot, which is waaaay to red. (then again, color was so important for this movie, I am sure Hitch fucked around with different shades of coloring, so just because Novak's face is an unrealistic shade of red does NOT necessarily mean that the blu ray is showing the incorrect color on that shot; it's certainly possible that Hitch intended it to be red (Novak is most associated with green, but of course she is "secondarily" associated with red). So I can't know which one of these tones are most accurate, all I can say is that this is the one shot where the blu ray color is glaringly different than the dvd colors.

based on these captures, for whatever they are worth, it doesn't appear to me that the blu ray image is a significant upgrade over all the dvd's.

I do wish that Beaver would have provided more screencaps, particularly less closeups and more wide shots, and some exteriors,  where color is so important. And also in the most important scene, in Novak's hotel room awashed in green light.


Finally, I have a peripheral question: of the 3 dvd's does anyone have a clear preference for which image is best? i am asking if you know based on either your own knowledge or if there is a clear winner among people you've spoken to and read about, but not based on Beaver's screencap comparisons; I can form my own opinion from that. I may wanna buy one of the dvd's sometime, so if anyone here can recommend which is best from a source other than Beaver's screencaps, I'd be mighty appreciative.
Also, I only watched one dvd, and it was windowboxed; are all the dvd's windowboxed?

Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: cigar joe on October 25, 2012, 06:39:29 PM
 ::)
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on October 26, 2012, 05:07:07 AM
Also, I only watched one dvd, and it was windowboxed; are all the dvd's windowboxed?
No, at least one is anamorphic. I don't know which one though (in the US market, that is. I bought the anamorphic one from Hong Kong).
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 26, 2012, 12:17:17 PM
::)

 :P
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on December 23, 2012, 06:13:49 PM
You have to remember that Ebert has no ideas of his own. He steals them all, every one. In this case he is channeling Donald Spoto, whose biography of AH (now widely discredited) was called The Dark Side of Genius.

Spoto's problems are two-fold. First, he assumes he knows what Hitchcock's fantasies were, and he makes that assumption based on the films H made. But did H make the films for himself, or for what he thought his audience wanted? Is there any evidence that H had any interest in the subjects he filmed apart from work? What did he do when he went home? (In fact we know, he liked to read biographies of statesmen and military heroes). What did his family have to say about him? Did his daughter and his grandchildren tell stories about his ghoulish private life? (In fact, they all said how normal he was, how unlike his public persona). Spoto's basic premise was so much B.S.

Then there are the films: yeah, H had films where women characters were victims or potential victims (Rebecca, Suspicion, Under Capricorn, Notorious, Dial M), but that was par for the course in the 40s and 50s when women were the bulk of the cinema-going audience (and H was hardly unique with this kind of approach). But H also made films where the women take charge and either solve the problem themselves or are at least on equal footing with the male hero. Who does most of the chance-taking in Rear Window? Who joins the hero on his adventures in Young and Innocent?Who is ready to take up a life of crime with Cary Grant in To Catch a Thief? Who rushes to the Albert Hall to foil an assassination attempt in The Man Who Knew Too Much? (1956). And in the earlier version of that film, when the police sharpshooter has a failure of nerve and in unable to kill the goon on the rooftop menacing the little girl, who is it that raises a rifle and cooly dispatches the threat? Answer in all cases: Hitchcock's action women.

Hitchcock could torture his female characters (as he could torture his male characters), but he also put up plenty of examples of tough broads as well. He could swing either way. It all depended on the properties being developed. It all depended on the writing.

after having seen the recent movie Hitchcock, it seems to me that that movie, which I know you hated, heavily uses some of these ideas about Hitch and his women. Any thoughts about that? Think they borrowed from this book you mention?
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on December 23, 2012, 06:45:42 PM
They sure didn't get it from Rebello's Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, the putative source for the film.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: Senza on March 01, 2013, 07:34:27 AM
I have to admit I really enjoyed the first half of the film with all the mystery surrounding Novak's character but felt the movie started to lose its momentum in the second half only to bounce back at the end. I like Jimmy Stewart's ability to create likeable characters [Rear Window, It's A Wonderful Life - I watch this every year around christmas, Anatomy Of A Murder and Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, which are the only films I've seen of his]. 3.5/5 stars.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 01, 2013, 01:15:59 PM
Well, in Vertigo he ends up being not-so-likeable. I think "demented" is the word I'd use.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 01, 2013, 02:35:52 PM
yes he is definitely demented by the end of the film
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: Senza on March 01, 2013, 10:41:41 PM
I think that's why I started to lose interest in the second half, mainly because he became a really obsessive person.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: moviesceleton on March 02, 2013, 02:02:52 AM
I think that's why I started to lose interest in the second half, mainly because he became a really obsessive person.
Isn't that where it really gets interesting?
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: Senza on March 02, 2013, 02:16:52 AM
I guess, but it wasn't as interesting as the first half.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: Groggy on March 02, 2013, 05:01:12 AM
I think that's why I started to lose interest in the second half, mainly because he became a really obsessive person.

Funny, I have the exact opposite reaction.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: Senza on March 02, 2013, 05:39:13 AM
I'll give it another go maybe these next few days, it's rare that my opinions on a movie change on a second viewing.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 02, 2013, 08:24:48 AM
I think one's reaction to Stewart in the second half of Vertigo depends on a lot of things: how you view Stewart's usual film persona and how willing you are to see that played with; your film-viewing history; your life experiences. What you don't go for at one point in your life you may better appreciate later.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 25, 2013, 12:32:02 PM
I wouldn't buy everything this guy is selling (and the stuff about the McKittrick Hotel I would heavily discount) but he's put a lot of thought into the film and has some good observations to make: http://www.reddit.com/r/TrueFilm/comments/1e21bf/vertigo_1958/
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 25, 2013, 07:29:39 PM
I wouldn't buy everything this guy is selling (and the stuff about the McKittrick Hotel I would heavily discount) but he's put a lot of thought into the film and has some good observations to make: http://www.reddit.com/r/TrueFilm/comments/1e21bf/vertigo_1958/

Thanks dj, that was an interesting read.

I've never delved that deeply into the depths of Vertigo, but this will give me something to think about next time I watch it. And after reading this, the next time I watch it will be soon  ;)
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: noodles_leone on May 27, 2013, 06:35:01 AM
Kim Novak was on stage yesterday in Cannes to give one of the awards. They showed a clip from Vertigo. That was cool. But Kim is now 80 and looks like this:

(http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.190595!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/alg-kim-novak2-102010-jpg.jpg)

That was less cool.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 27, 2013, 07:29:00 AM
I remember reading about this last year, when Novak returned to Hollywood to leave her handprints and footprints at Grauman's Chinese; the Daily Mail said she looked almost unrecognisable from plastic surgery http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2131046/Vertigo-actress-Kim-Novak-looks-unrecognisable-hand-footprint-ceremony.html

some people just can't age with dignity
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 27, 2013, 11:47:53 AM
Think I'll take a run at this guy's McKittrick Hotel explanation:
Quote
There are a number of clues that are dropped during this scene.
1.The room is rented by a "Carlotta Valdes"
2.She's had the room for 2 weeks, comes 2-3 times a week, and doesn't stay overnight.
3.The clerk hasn't seen "Carlotta Valdes" come in.
4."Carlotta Valdes" room key is on the rack.

These clues are given by the clerk, so let's assume she's an innocent bystander.

We see Madeleine in the room, so she must have access; this implies that a copy of the room key exists. The clerk hasn't seen "Carlotta Valdes", this means that Judy has never before donned the Madeleine disguise when visiting. Judy only visits during daytime, and never stays long. The disappearance of Madeleine and her Jaguar suggests that there must be another entrance/exit in the hotel. What does it all mean?

I believe that the McKittrick Hotel is the meeting place for Gavin Elster and Judy's secret daytime affairs. Seen in this light, the clues seem to fall into place. Elster knows about the hotel, and needs an inconspicuous entry and a copy of the room key to avoid the clerk's suspicion. Judy registers under a false name, given to her by Elster, and only visits when their schedules allow. She probably has a job of her own and this is why she can never stay overnight. She brings Scottie to the McKittrick Hotel, after taking him to Carlotta's grave and portrait, because she knows, or has been advised, that it is the one place where she can shake off Scottie's tail.

The McKittrick Hotel is part of Elster's plan to sell the idea that his wife is possessed by the spirit of Carlotta Valdes. The hotel was once Carlotta's house, and Elster knows Scottie will find that out through research (in fact, he gets the info from Pop at the Argosy Bookstore). It is essential that Madeleine lead Scottie there--it's on the tour along with Mission Delores and the art museum. She doesn't want the give Scottie the slip necessarily: by doing so she adds to her mysterious allure, but the main thing is to get him to the hotel so he can interview the clerk. The clerk's info is also intended to sell Scottie on Elster's scheme, and anyone else who might check subsequent to the death of Elster's wife. It is important that the clerk know all the particulars of Madeleine's strange behavior, so it doesn't make sense that Judy would ever go there as herself. She would always go as Madeleine to further establish her false identity. It certainly would not make any sense for Judy and Elster to go there for their trysts; they would want to keep that part of their relationship separate. Anyway, once he'd installed her at the Brocklebank as Mrs. Elster, Elster wouldn't have to meet Judy anywhere, they were by that point effectively living together (the real Mrs. Elster, we are later told, rarely came to town).

Also, even if the clerk had never seen Judy in her Madeleine disguise, she wouldn't just let some strange woman come into her hotel and go upstairs. The only way someone would get past the clerk unchallenged is if they were able to sneak in, which, apparently is exactly what Judy was able to do. Apparently, she also had a second key to her room. She also knew the back way out so she could go out and reclaim her car while Scottie was in the building. The scene is stage-managed (by Hitchcock through Elster) to appear mysterious, but it really isn't. Nothing more is required by way of explanation.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 10, 2013, 08:24:06 AM
In writing about the film, AstonMartin_007 (linked above, http://www.reddit.com/r/TrueFilm/comments/1e21bf/vertigo_1958/) makes a valuable point about Judy's use of Carlotta's necklace: "Judy never wore the necklace as Madeleine, [Scottie] never saw it in real life." Although she was being careless, Judy couldn't really have imagined that Scottie would recognize it from the portrait, so she wasn't being that careless. It's an understandable slip.

More can be said about the necklace; more has been. Here are some further thoughts regarding its use in Vertigo. I lean heavily on Hitchcock's Motifs by Michael Walker. He draws some interesting parallel's among the ways necklaces are used in this and other Hitchcock films.

Quote
In Notorious and Under Capricorn there are parallel scenes which begin with two men waiting for Ingrid Bergman as heroine to appear, dressed to go to an important social function: dinner at Sebastian’s and a ball respectively. One of the men has an expensive necklace in his hands, which he wants her to wear to the function. In Notorious, the CIA official Prescott simply tells Alicia that he wants her to wear the (specially hired) diamond necklace, and she asks him to fasten it for her. Devlin stands impotently by during this; it is Prescott who is in control and who is orchestrating Alicia’s performance for her evening of espionage on Sebastian and his associates. In Under Capricorn, Sam has secretly bought a ruby necklace to give to Hattie to wear to the ball, but when he tentatively suggests this as Hattie descends the stairs, Charles is scathing: ‘Do you want your wife to look like a Christmas tree?’ Here, the issue is one of taste, and Sam’s lower-class sensibilities are mocked by the aristocratic Charles—Sam hides the necklace. It is Charles who is in charge of Hattie’s evening, taking her to the ball, and here it is Sam who stands by impotently. The status of the dominant male in each case is symbolized by his control over the heroine’s jewelry. When Prescott fastens the necklace, he not only shows his power over Alicia, but also over Devlin, whom she has conspicuously not asked to do this for her. Similarly, when Charles obliges Sam to conceal the fact that he has bought the rubies, he reduces him to the role of onlooker [italics mine]—he barely gives Hattie time to say goodbye to him.
264-265 Hitchcock’s Motifs (Michael Walker)

We come then to the matter at hand, the necklace scene in Vertigo.  Scottie, having transformed Judy--albeit unknowingly, for the second time--into Madeleine, is at last able to have sex with her. Afterwards, dressing to go out, Judy asks Scottie to fasten her necklace. As he does so, he recognizes it from the portrait of Carlotta. Walker (267): “The necklace was originally given to Carlotta by the rich man who drove her to suicide; it then passed down through Carlotta’s descendants to the real Madeleine Elster, which enabled Elster to give it to Judy after he had murdered his wife. The necklace is thus, once more, associated with male power”—and impotence (recall that it is yet another ruby necklace). The necklace does more than identify Judy and reveal the murder plot: it shows Scottie just how he’s been manipulated by Elster. Scottie also realizes that his makeover of Judy has been a repetition of the one originally performed on Judy by Elster (the new “Madeleine” is Elster’s sloppy seconds). Scottie, when performing the necklace-fastening ritual, was still not fully in control of Judy--in fact, a good deal of irony attaches to that moment in retrospect. Perhaps Elster had even similarly fastened the necklace for Judy once—she seems to have worn it before. Elster, though absent, maintains a controlling presence in the scene (the mirror, with its associations of doubling, also suggests this). Scottie cannot seem to help following Elster's lead in everything. And when not being led by the nose, Scottie has been, and remains, an onlooker—we see him look at the necklace in the mirror, then at the one in the portrait in his mind’s eye. Eyesight gives way to insight. Recognizing his position, Scottie resolves to finally take control--with tragic results (more irony).

A final thought: although little attention is paid to the necklace until the recognition scene, the film does prepare for it in a rather bizarre way. It is highlighted in the much earlier Nightmare Scene, wherein the portrait of Carlotta appears. In fact, the camera pushes in to draw particular attention to the necklace. The nightmare is of course from Scottie's P.o.v., but at this point in the story he cannot have any reason to be particularly interested in the necklace. Why, then, is his subconscious mind drawing his attention to it? Is Scottie psychic? Or is there something supernatural involved, with the ghost of the real Carlotta attempting to warn him?
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on July 13, 2013, 11:52:38 AM
Fun nonsense: http://www.openculture.com/2012/09/philosopher_slavoj_zizek_interprets_hitchcocks_ivertigoi_in_ithe_perverts_guide_to_cinemai_2006.html
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 21, 2013, 06:14:12 PM
Samuel Taylor: "That letter scene startled me. How bad it is!"

Today, watching the film for the first time on the big screen, it occurred to me how this scene could be saved. The only real problem with the scene is the voice-over--mawkish, overwritten--so . . . why not just drop the v-o out? The scene would work perfectly well in silence (not excluding music, of course). The way it is now, we begin with a CU on Judy, and then go to the flashback--which is shown with music and effects only, no dialog. From the flashback we get the fact that Judy was complicit in Gavin Elster's plot to murder his wife. Then we come back to Judy: she goes to her closet--we see the incriminating gray suit which she hides in the back--and she starts putting other clothes into a suitcase--aha, she's about to make a break for it! Then she pauses, goes over to the desk. She sits down and starts writing a letter--oh, right, she's going to leave Scotty a note, explaining things. After a while she thinks better of it, tears the note up. OK, she's changed her mind. She goes back to the suitcase, now with new purpose. CUT TO: Ernie's Interior: Scotty and Judy are enjoying their dinner; Judy is wearing the dress she has chosen for the evening, one that couldn't possibly remind Scotty of Madeleine. We realize that Judy has decided to go on with the charade, to stay with Scotty, but not to tell him who she is. We wonder why, but as events unfold subsequently we start to understand, and that understanding deepens our appreciation for the character--Judy really loves Scotty. The fact that we discover this for ourselves works so much better than our having to be told it in voice-over. The letter writing scene doesn't require the info the voice-over provides--a lot of it is made redundant by Judy's actions, and the few points that aren't get covered by Scotty at the end of the picture anyway.

Anyway, when I come into my imperium, I'll release the Emperor Jenkins cut of the film that will feature a voice-over-free letter writing scene.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on September 21, 2013, 06:56:20 PM
I just saw this movie again, played on TCM a few days ago.

what if the entire letter scene/flashback had been deleted; but they had kept in the part where Judy is going to closet and hides the grey suit? That's all the clue we need to tell us that indeed, Judy is Madeleine; and then, we'd find out all the details when Scotty finally confronts her going up the steps of the Mission. (Perhaps, they could have shown the brief flashback at that point, as Scotty is forcing Judy up the stairs). But the point is that as long as they showed the grey suit in Judy's closet, we immediately know that Judy is Madeleine; so, besides being a bad scene, perhaps the letter-writing scene is also unnecessary.


As for your question about why would Scotty focus on the necklace in his dream, if he didn't yet know it was important..... that's obviously Hitch cluing us in on something that will play an important role later on. I wouldn't think too deeply into that, wondering is Scotty is a prophet or something, It's just Hitch giving us a clue about what will later be an important object in the movie.
As to the question of whether or not she ever wore the necklace as Madeleine, we don't really know. When she is sitting on the bench in the art gallery, her back is to Scotty; we never see if he is wearing it or not. Personally, I'd assume she IS wearing it; because it's another addition to the Madeleine-as-Carlotta charade; why wouldn't she wear it? There's no reason why she wouldn't wear it. (How should she know that Scotty wouldn't see her from the front [at least what as we, the viewers, see it]. So, I don't see any reason to assume that Madeleine was not wearing the necklace when she was sitting in front of the Carlotta portrait.

Finally, I know Novak's performance is subject of much debate. IMO, she delivers a terrific performance (especially as Madeleine, when she has "the manner"). The one thing I don't like about her is that when she has to act flustered or scared nervous, she tends to overact, it's not very believable. Like the way she talks when Scotty first tells her to get out of the car and walk up the stairs of the Mission. I also recently saw a movie Novak did with Fredric March called Middle of the Night; in an early scene, Novak is playing a character that is very nervous and stressed, and the way she talks, real quickly, is just not very believable, it's more annoying than anything. But other than the moments when she has to act flustered or nervous, I think generally, I enjoy watching Novak as an actress very much.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 18, 2014, 05:18:29 AM
on top of this page we've discussed how awful Kim Novak looks with that vomit-inducing plastic surgery. Well now she is whining that peopel are making unfair remarks https://movies.yahoo.com/news/kim-novak-speaks-against-oscar-night-bullies-000542620.html

I had to laugh when I read that she says people have a right to look as good as they can, she feels better when she looks better, etc. DOES SHE REALLY THINK SHE LOOKS BETTER NOW THAN SHE WOULD LOOK NATURALLY? Anytime you see a natural-looking 80-year old woman, even with wrinkles and however 80-year-old look, do you think, "My, how ugly she looks"? I sure don't. But with this phony plastic surgery shit, they look like clowns. Uglier than they would ever look naturally. If someone chooses to walk down the street with clown shows and a red nose, there's nothing wrong with people commenting on it. And if Kim Novak chooses to look like a friggin' idiot with plastic surgery, then yeah, she deserves to be ridiculed. Go crawl back from that hole which you came from; you never had much talent anyway. A few good performances, a few bad ones, Hollywood woulda been just the same without you.

(In Vertigo, I liked her as Madeleine, she annoyed me as Judy; I'm sure Vera Miles or a dozen other actresses would have done at least as good a job.)
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 18, 2014, 06:29:00 AM
(In Vertigo, I liked her as Madeleine, she annoyed me as Judy; I'm sure Vera Miles or a dozen other actresses would have done at least as good a job.)
She's supposed to annoy you as Judy, the better to provide contrast with Madeleine and thereby cause you (with Scotty) to miss the ghost-woman. It's a terrific performance. The Madeleine routine is close to the standard persona Novak constructed for herself (she used it again in Bell, Book, and Candle, The Legend of Lylah Clare, etc. ), the Judy one she seems to have worked up especially for the occasion (closer to her real self, perhaps?). She doesn't seem to have played such a vulgar character ever again. The fact that she was able to give two such widely diverging performances in Vertigo attests to her abilities of an actress. Would that all actresses could annoy D&D so.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 18, 2014, 07:49:47 AM
Judy can be trashy without annoying the viewer.
Novak definitely had some other good performances - I would never say she is a BAD actress - but she had some where she was annoying, too. A few hits, a few misses (and I never liked the way she spoke, her dialogue/diction/cadence always annoyed me - and her Judy in VERTIGO is close to how she normally spoke.)

Anyway, I know that her performance in VERTIGO is the subject of wide debate, but overall as an actress, IMO she had some good some bad. I never saw BELL BOOK CANDLE but I did see quite a few others.

I am sorry to hear about her bipolar disorder and her personal struggles, but when an 80-year-old woman shows up to a film festival or the Oscars with a face full of plastic looking like a grotesque female Mickey Rourke and then thinks it's unfair for people to make jokes like Donald Trump saying she should sue her plastic surgeon, I have no sympathy for her. (She could have had an easy comeback telling Trump to sue his hairdresser....)
BTW, Trump's comment about Novak's plastic surgery is just about the only thing he ever said that I agreed with! (I thought Trump might say she  looks like such an alien, she should be forced to produce her birth certificate ;) )
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 18, 2014, 03:13:36 PM
Judy can be trashy without annoying the viewer.
Again, it's not merely a question of being trashy. The film is designed to make us empathize--for much if not all of its runtime--with Scotty. We are manipulated into wanting him to transform Judy into Madeleine. Part of that manipulation entails presenting Judy as unappealing. Trashy is not necessarily unappealing. Plenty of men will pay extra for trashy (like the nice Jewish boy who goes for the shiksa with hair on her face).
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 21, 2015, 04:26:57 PM
Ho. Lee. Sheet: http://www.bam.org/film/2015/vertigo

I just may have to go to that 7pm showing with the IB print.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 21, 2015, 09:49:16 PM
Ho. Lee. Sheet: http://www.bam.org/film/2015/vertigo

I just may have to go to that 7pm showing with the IB print.

REAR WINDOW will be shown in theaters March 22 and March 25
http://www.fathomevents.com/event/rear-window
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: noodles_leone on March 22, 2015, 03:18:42 AM
Again, it's not merely a question of being trashy. The film is designed to make us empathize--for much if not all of its runtime--with Scotty. We are manipulated into wanting him to transform Judy into Madeleine. Part of that manipulation entails presenting Judy as unappealing. Trashy is not necessarily unappealing. Plenty of men will pay extra for trashy (like the nice Jewish boy who goes for the shiksa with hair on her face).

I think she was supposed to be as different as possible from the Hitchcockly perfect Madeleine. Making her annoyingly trashy was a great, great way to do so. It was actually either that or go FULL trashy, which would have destroyed the whole movie but what can I say, some people prefer poor porn over genius sexual ambiguity.
 
Also, D&D is wrong by nature so there is that.

See my signature for an in-depth development.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 22, 2015, 08:03:46 PM
I am greatly relieved to learn that I am wrong by nature. The fact that the way I see the world is wrong means there is some hope, that the world at large really ain't too bad ;)

In other news, I was at the Met Museum today. (In addition to seeing their magnificent collection of American paintings), they were showing a shitload of French Impressionist stuff. A ton of Degas, some of his most famous ballerina pics, plus his nudes getting outta the bath which don't interest me; a shitload of Manets and Monets (including some Water Lilies, and his sunflowers), and all the other usual suspects - Van Gogh, Cezanne, Renoir, Serrat (I am sure I am mispelling his name), et al.
I am not sure how much (if at all?) is borrowed from other museums and how much is from the Met's personal collection.... I generally don't care much for Impressionism (except Degas) but I had fun with my beloved American paintings ... Anyway, if you can't get over to the Met, you'll have the next best thing - I'll try to post some pics I took in the art thread once my friend DropBoxes me the file of pics I took and I take the incredible amont of time to post it them one at a time through ImageShack or PhotoBucket ....
Btw, I saw the Hopper oils TABLES FOR LADIES and THE LIGHTHOUSE AT TWO LIGHTS (1929) and de Chirico's THE JEWISH ANGEL and ARIADNE (the latter being from his Italian town square series; you may remember that I mentioned previously how Frayling had said that Leone once owned that painting, and that I showed that the Met's own provenance page on its website never mentions Leone's name as having been an owner of that painting.)

Anyway, you'll see 'em once I get a chance to post 'em. Don't hold your breath ;)




Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: noodles_leone on March 23, 2015, 01:08:13 AM
I am greatly relieved to learn that I am wrong by nature. The fact that the way I see the world is wrong means there is some hope, that the world at large really ain't too bad ;)

The World is going better than ever. Don't listen to Fox News, just check out the figures. The  most telling one (actually, the only one that matters): Human Development Index.
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variations_de_l%27IDH_depuis_1975

What does it mean?
That people are less poor, die less and are getting more educated. What else could we possibly be asking for? Apart from less Marvel movies, not much.

Another figure? Extreme poverty has been reduced by half almost two years (2013) ahead of the objectives.
Another figure? People suffering from hunger have been decreasing in proportion for decades. They were growing in absolutes numbers but that was actually a good thing (it meant that they stopped DYING from hunger. The demographic transition is a problem caused by people getting BETTER so whatever side effect comes with it won't make me cry, it's a great sign). They're now even decreasing in absolute.
Another figure? While ISIS and terrorism are everywhere on the news, the number of violent deaths in the world (and I'm talking in absolute figures, not proportion so that's not even taking into consideration the increase of the global population) is decreasing dramatically. The 1990's were the less deadly decade since 1900. So were the 2000's.

Apart from (LITERALLY) a couple countries, everyone on Earth is doing much, much better everyday. Even Somalia and Columbia. Nobody will tell you that because that's not how you sell stuff or get elected. Still, the World is constantly improving. And that's a scientific fact, not an obscure feeling caused by not being able to afford the $18,000 iWatch (that I'm checking out on my iPhone, my iPad and my McBook, damn, how come I cannot reach the same standard of life my parents could? Oh let's plan my next trip to the other side of the world for $500.) while my neighbor already has 2 of those.

The only figures that keep getting worst are:

1) pollution: I'm not too worried about that, it's a crisis that is being fought more and more efficiently. So efficiently, actually, that DJ had stand up and go give poor pollution a helpful hand.
2) inequalities: for once, there is a debate about what "inequalities" really means and how you calculate this thing. More importantly, that's really something I don't give a damn about: who cares if Bill Gates has 1 or 10 private planes as long as poor people are less poor and just stop dying? Because that's what is happening.

I know I know nobody asked for a serious answer but I had to. You just witnessed the D&D in me.
:-X

In other news, I was at the Met Museum today. (In addition to seeing their magnificent collection of American paintings), they were showing a shitload of French Impressionist stuff. A ton of Degas, some of his most famous ballerina pics, plus his nudes getting outta the bath which don't interest me; a shitload of Manets and Monets (including some Water Lilies, and his sunflowers), and all the other usual suspects - Van Gogh, Cezanne, Renoir, Serrat (I am sure I am mispelling his name), et al.
I am not sure how much (if at all?) is borrowed from other museums and how much is from the Met's personal collection.... I generally don't care much for Impressionism (except Degas) but I had fun with my beloved American paintings ... Anyway, if you can't get over to the Met, you'll have the next best thing - I'll try to post some pics I took in the art thread once my friend DropBoxes me the file of pics I took and I take the incredible amont of time to post it them one at a time through ImageShack or PhotoBucket ....
Btw, I saw the Hopper oils TABLES FOR LADIES and THE LIGHTHOUSE AT TWO LIGHTS (1927) and de Chirico's THE JEWISH ANGEL and ARIADNE (the latter being from his Italian town square series; you may remember that I mentioned previously how Frayling had said that Leone once owned that painting, and that I showed that the Met's own provenance page on its website never mentions Leone's name as having been an owner of that painting.)

Anyway, you'll see 'em once I get a chance to post 'em. Don't hold your breath ;)

Nothing is more breathtaking (to me) in painting than good impressionism. It can be almost as cinematographic as Dutch painting or even Caravaggio. Of course Renoir is usually the most cinematographic. Don't waste too much time on minor ones such as Pissaro though but keep an eye on early works by Monet: the power that comes from some of his simplest compositions is incredible but you may be more interested in the way he painted light (that's kind of the go to guy when it comes to representing light). The main value of his late works (such as his Water Lilies) comes from what they started (abstract painting) rather than their own qualities (he was almost blind at the time anyway).
Van Gogh and Cezanne are borderline impressionists. VG, though one of the greatest thing that happened to art, had more to do with the Fauvist movement if you ak me. They're also the closest Europeans you'll find from the greatest american paintings.

About museums: who's ever been to "Legion of Honor", the fine arts museum where Madeleine goes to see Carlotta's painting? I've seen it everytime I went to Frisco but never saw what was inside.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: stanton on March 23, 2015, 02:01:48 AM
I am greatly relieved to learn that I am wrong by nature. The fact that the way I see the world is wrong means there is some hope, that the world at large really ain't too bad ;)

I'm afraid it means instead that the world is complex and not one-dimensional.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: noodles_leone on March 23, 2015, 02:10:21 AM
I'm afraid it means instead that the world is complex and not one-dimensional.

 ;D
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 23, 2015, 06:36:34 AM
I'm afraid it means instead that the world is complex and not one-dimensional.

some things are and some things aren't. I'd never say everything is black and white, but I'd also disagree vehemently with people who say that nothing is black and white. Plenty of things are. I can list them all but we don't have enough space here.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: noodles_leone on March 23, 2015, 06:44:14 AM
some things are and some things aren't. I'd never say everything is black and white, but I'd also disagree vehemently with people who say that nothing is black and white. Plenty of things are. I can list them all but we don't have enough space here.

Wait a minute, are you implying that some members of the board could be black?
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 23, 2015, 06:48:50 AM
The World is going better than ever. Don't listen to Fox News, just check out the figures. The  most telling one (actually, the only one that matters): Human Development Index.
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variations_de_l%27IDH_depuis_1975

What does it mean?
That people are less poor, die less and are getting more educated. What else could we possibly be asking for? Apart from less Marvel movies, not much.

Another figure? Extreme poverty has been reduced by half almost two years (2013) ahead of the objectives.
Another figure? People suffering from hunger have been decreasing in proportion for decades. They were growing in absolutes numbers but that was actually a good thing (it meant that they stopped DYING from hunger. The demographic transition is a problem caused by people getting BETTER so whatever side effect comes with it won't make me cry, it's a great sign). They're now even decreasing in absolute.
Another figure? While ISIS and terrorism are everywhere on the news, the number of violent deaths in the world (and I'm talking in absolute figures, not proportion so that's not even taking into consideration the increase of the global population) is decreasing dramatically. The 1990's were the less deadly decade since 1900. So were the 2000's.

Apart from (LITERALLY) a couple countries, everyone on Earth is doing much, much better everyday. Even Somalia and Columbia. Nobody will tell you that because that's not how you sell stuff or get elected. Still, the World is constantly improving. And that's a scientific fact, not an obscure feeling caused by not being able to afford the $18,000 iWatch (that I'm checking out on my iPhone, my iPad and my McBook, damn, how come I cannot reach the same standard of life my parents could? Oh let's plan my next trip to the other side of the world for $500.) while my neighbor already has 2 of those.

The only figures that keep getting worst are:

1) pollution: I'm not too worried about that, it's a crisis that is being fought more and more efficiently. So efficiently, actually, that DJ had stand up and go give poor pollution a helpful hand.
2) inequalities: for once, there is a debate about what "inequalities" really means and how you calculate this thing. More importantly, that's really something I don't give a damn about: who cares if Bill Gates has 1 or 10 private planes as long as poor people are less poor and just stop dying? Because that's what is happening.

I know I know nobody asked for a serious answer but I had to. You just witnessed the D&D in me.
:-X



for the most part this is a great post. Indeed, the world is getting better and better, people are generally getting wealthier – specifically in countries with free markets. Don't ever forget THAT. People in North Korea and Cuba are still living miserable lives. It's people in countries with freer markets that are doing better and better. And indeed, today is the best time to have lived – don't believe in crap about the "good old days" – the only time better than today will be tomorrow. As long as people and markets remain free, we will see more innovation and entrepreneurship and people will get richer and richer.

You are absolutely correct about the bullshit of "inequality" - who cares if the "wealthiest 1%" are getting richer? If the poor are also getting richer, that is great. If I increase my income by 50% but Bill Gates increases his income by 100%, who cares?

What you are wrong about: A) I haven't watched Fox News (or any other news program) in a very long time
B) Don't confuse greenhouse gases with pollution. We can debate greenhouse gases and whether they cause global warming, but to take a word POLLUTION that means spewing crap into the air that screws up people's lungs, and use it to apply to something that may or may not cause the earth's temperature to change but certainly doesn't affect people's heath directly, is a bullshit political use of the term that global warming I mean climate change activists are using now.

and btw, you are complaining about the very thing (fossil fuels) that is causing much of the world's prosperity that you are so happy about. How do you think all this advancement and improvement in people's lives has come from? Fossil fuels, buddy. If you don't like it, go invent some new type of energy. Many people have tried and for the most part failed. For the foreseeable future, fossil fuels will continue to be the way people's lives run and the way people continue to get richer and eliminate poverty more and more. The boon in energy right now, the lower gas prices, lower prices for poor people to heat their homes, this has been a huge help to the poor. And gov't programs which try to tax fossil fuels only hurt the poor. You can't rejoice at the world getting wealthier and continue to whine about fossil fuels at the same time  :P
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: noodles_leone on March 23, 2015, 06:56:23 AM
for the most part this is a great post. Indeed, the world is getting better and better, people are generally getting wealthier – specifically in countries with free markets. Don't ever forget THAT. People in North Korea and Cuba are still living miserable lives. It's people in countries with freer markets that are doing better and better. And indeed, today is the best time to have lived – don't believe in crap about the "good old days" – the only time better than today will be tomorrow. As long as people and markets remain free, we will see more innovation and entrepreneurship and people will get richer and richer.

You are absolutely correct about the bullshit of "inequality" - who cares if the "wealthiest 1%" are getting richer? If the poor are also getting richer, that is great. If I increase my income by 50% but Bill Gates increases his income by 100%, who cares?

What you are wrong about: A) I haven't watched Fox News (or any other news program) in a very long time
B) Don't confuse greenhouse gases with pollution. We can debate greenhouse gases and whether they cause global warming, but to take a word POLLUTION that means spewing crap into the air that screws up people's lungs, and use it to apply to something that may or may not cause the earth's temperature to change but certainly doesn't affect people's heath directly, is a bullshit political use of the term that global warming I mean climate change activists are using now.

and btw, you are complaining about the very thing (fossil fuels) that is causing much of the world's prosperity that you are so happy about. How do you think all this advancement and improvement in people's lives has come from? Fossil fuels, buddy. If you don't like it, go invent some new type of energy. Many people have tried and for the most part failed. For the foreseeable future, fossil fuels will continue to be the way people's lives run and the way people continue to get richer and eliminate poverty more and more. The boon in energy right now, the lower gas prices, lower prices for poor people to heat their homes, this has been a huge help to the poor. And gov't programs which try to tax fossil fuels only hurt the poor. You can't rejoice at the world getting wealthier and continue to whine about fossil fuels at the same time  :P

Haha I'm not complaining about any kind of technology. Never have, never will. Even the filthiest ones (such as what is in our smartphones) are mainly used to improve our life/world. But that doesn't mean that what was good or acceptable in 1950 is still now. We have moved forward, we have new standards. Oil's days are counted now. Some people are trying their best to make it last another few decades but in the long run their battle is already lost. The way things move on the energy market is quite representative of the best of free-market: when oil's price goes up, R&D in new energies goes way, way up. What I'm far more complaining about is coal. This is one dirty, pointless energy that should have been left behind us 50 years ago.
Fun thing: as you know I was in Texas a few months ago and I saw WAY more wind turbines (and many of them being transported on the roads) than derricks. In fucking Texas.
The real question is: what would Carlotta Valdes think?
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 23, 2015, 07:46:02 AM
Haha I'm not complaining about any kind of technology. Never have, never will. Even the filthiest ones (such as what is in our smartphones) are mainly used to improve our life/world. But that doesn't mean that what was good or acceptable in 1950 is still now. We have moved forward, we have new standards. Oil's days are counted now. Some people are trying their best to make it last another few decades but in the long run their battle is already lost. The way things move on the energy market is quite representative of the best of free-market: when oil's price goes up, R&D in new energies goes way, way up. What I'm far more complaining about is coal. This is one dirty, pointless energy that should have been left behind us 50 years ago.
Fun thing: as you know I was in Texas a few months ago and I saw WAY more wind turbines (and many of them being transported on the roads) than derricks. In fucking Texas.
The real question is: what would Carlotta Valdes think?

Few things in the world have done as much for the poor as coal.

I'll make you a bet: If it pleases God and you and I are both alive in 2050, I bet you now that "renewable" energy will still account for less than one-fifth of the world's energy sources, in every country in the world.
The tiny inroads that certain renewable energy sources are making now are ONLY due to massive government subsidies and other incentives.
Oil's days are far from numbered. Oil and coal will be the dominant source of energy for not only our lifetime but our children's lifetime, as well. Name a price, I'll bet it. The only way this isn't true is if the nutjobs in the Sierra Club grab hold of our governments and succeed in literally taxing and regulating it out of existence, which will mean they will legislate away all the wonderful advances we have made in promoting wealth.

p.s. you know how many people have died in accidents cuz of new cars having to be much lighter to comply with energy-efficiency laws? Yup. The global warming lobby has succeeded in killing people that otherwise would have survived crashes if their vehicles were as heavy as they used to be. Look it up.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 23, 2015, 07:53:14 AM
by the way, have I mentioned today that I always figured you for a fag?
Now I have.
 :-*
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: stanton on March 23, 2015, 12:44:55 PM
Few things in the world have done as much for the poor as coal.

I'll make you a bet: If it pleases God and you and I are both alive in 2050, I bet you now that "renewable" energy will still account for less than one-fifth of the world's energy sources, in every country in the world.


It is already now more than that in Germany. More than 25 % at least of the electric energy.

I make money with renewable energies, so I hope you are not right.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 23, 2015, 01:46:56 PM
It is already now more than that in Germany. More than 25 % at least of the electric energy.

I make money with renewable energies, so I hope you are not right.

I am talking about all the energy a country uses. For everything, including the powering of automobiles and airplanes, the heating of homes, electricity use – everything.

And please tell me one renewable-energy venture that could survive five minutes without massive gov't subsidies, mandates, tax breaks, and other gifts forcibly taken from the pockets of the taxpayer.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: moviesceleton on March 23, 2015, 02:42:43 PM
p.s. you know how many people have died in accidents cuz of new cars having to be much lighter to comply with energy-efficiency laws? Yup. The global warming lobby has succeeded in killing people that otherwise would have survived crashes if their vehicles were as heavy as they used to be. Look it up.
You is a sitcom character.

BTW, an honest question: what the f*ck has any of this to do with Vertigo? 
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 23, 2015, 03:19:57 PM
You is a sitcom character.

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2001/07/cafe-standards-should-be-repealed

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2011/08/16/new-auto-fuel-economy-standards-will-regulate-us-to-death/

"A 1999 study conducted by USA Today applying federal government Fatality Analysis Reporting System Data attributed deaths of 7,700 people for each additional mpg mandated to meet CAFÉ regulations."
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 23, 2015, 03:21:54 PM
BTW, an honest question: what the f*ck has any of this to do with Vertigo? 

That is indeed a very good question that I'd love n_l to answer  ;D
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: noodles_leone on March 23, 2015, 11:43:51 PM
I answered this in my second post, sitcom character!
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: stanton on March 24, 2015, 02:02:31 AM
I am talking about all the energy a country uses. For everything, including the powering of automobiles and airplanes, the heating of homes, electricity use – everything.

And please tell me one renewable-energy venture that could survive five minutes without massive gov't subsidies, mandates, tax breaks, and other gifts forcibly taken from the pockets of the taxpayer.

Actually I don't want to discuss this here. But this is again a pretty one sided view.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 24, 2015, 05:00:07 AM
And please tell me one renewable-energy venture that could survive five minutes without massive gov't subsidies, mandates, tax breaks, and other gifts forcibly taken from the pockets of the taxpayer.
Forestry.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 24, 2015, 05:35:13 AM

The only figures that keep getting worst are:

1) pollution: I'm not too worried about that, it's a crisis that is being fought more and more efficiently. So efficiently, actually, that DJ had stand up and go give poor pollution a helpful hand.
I'm not sure how I figure in N_L's comment, but there is pollution and then there's pollution. CO2, for example, is not pollution when you are trying for maximize plant growth. Dr. Patrick Moore has the story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtcNjoDe5Pg

I agree that things are getting better and better for societies around the world. (Anecdotal f'rinstance ahead) I'm constantly astonished at how well I can live on my meager salary. Everything is so cheap. They're practically giving away those blu-rays--and we used to pay hundreds of (90's) dollars for the much, much inferior technology known as Laser Disc.

Of course, this is all going to change once Iran gets nukes . . .

Which is why Portrait of Carlotta remains one of the most fascinating paintings never to have hung in an actual museum. Also, Benny Herrmann's score is off-the-charts impressive.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 24, 2015, 06:02:02 AM
Forestry.

Touche!
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: noodles_leone on March 24, 2015, 06:16:35 AM
About Carlotta's portrait, with some insights about who did it, who modeled for it and the way it helped bringing drinkable water in Africa:

http://theartofilm.blogspot.fr/2012/11/the-carlotta-portrait.html
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 24, 2015, 10:29:34 AM
About Carlotta's portrait, with some insights about who did it, who modeled for it and the way it helped bringing drinkable water in Africa:

http://theartofilm.blogspot.fr/2012/11/the-carlotta-portrait.html
Thanks, I didn't find that link all that useful; however, the guy's post about the Portrait of Midge (parodying the Carlotta one) has a lot of good info: http://theartofilm.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-midge-portrait-in-parody-of-carlotta.html

I always liked that scene: true comedy relief in a film that needs all it can get. Also, it works very well as an index of Scottie's inner state ("Dude, if you can't laugh at this gag you are so up your own ass you need an intervention"). I guess it's also a meta-cinematic comment on the layers upon layers on which the film is built. That is, AH is winking at the audience (before putting them back under his spell).

I like the fact that, like a magician, AH could show how a trick was performed, and then proceed to use the very same type of illusion to wow his audience once again. For example, AH uses the fireworks scene to great comic effect in To Catch a Thief (the fireworks of course being an objective correlative of the characters emotions, but also a visual play on the expression "to see fireworks" ). Most everyone chuckles their way through that scene. But then, 2 years later, AH uses the surf-crashing scene at Cypress Point in Vertigo non-ironically--and gets away with it.

AH had the freedom and the power (and the know-how) to put such things over.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 19, 2015, 02:46:43 AM
How did the colors compare with the colors in the Harris/Katz restoration? Do you know if Harris/Katz in fact used this print as a reference in making their restoration? And what about the sound – how does that compare to the Harris/Katz restored version?

Considering that you've seen the movie 50-60 times, I'd assume you'd remember the colors from every frame, as well as every sound  ;)
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 19, 2015, 01:42:05 PM
I actually don't notice sound as such, unless there's something egregious (like modern Foley added to the soundtrack). I notice the score, which I'm almost to the point of being able to anticipate from scene to scene. I notice colors, clarity, skin tones. One thing you can say about Harris/Katz (and the subsequent digital versions that follow from their work) is how well they did on the colors. The current home video versions of the film are much sharper than the print I saw, leading me to conclude (not for the first time) that what we are seeing now is not what 1958 audiences saw in theaters. In this case, though, I think I prefer the enhanced sharpening, even if it isn't "authentic." A bigger problem has to do with skin tones: I just checked the Blu-ray again and everybody's flesh registers too hot. This is distracting at best,  but also interferes with our understanding of certain visual cues. For example, whenever Madeleine is dressed up in her suit she wears a lot of powder on her face. This gives her complexion a very pale look, almost as if it had a porcelain-doll quality. This suggests a certain artificiality, perhaps even provides a foreshadowing of her early demise. Anyway, under current home video conditions, the pale complexion aspect is completely obliterated--she just looks like she has normal skin color (in contrast to all the others who look flushed). Needless to say, this affects the way we perceive the character, and may actually be contrary to what AH intended.

I'll say one thing about the purple suit controversy (in the inquest scene): Stewart's suit is clearly blue (but not navy) and at no time verges on turning purple. When I look at the scene in 1080p it doesn't look to me like his suit is purple there either, but occasionally it gets close to that color. To the extent that people read that color as purple, the transfer is doing a disservice to Hitchcock's original scheme.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 19, 2015, 02:31:41 PM
Quote
I don't mean to suggest that Scotty has a drinking problem; I think Hitchcock was just demonstrating how prevalent alcohol was in 1957. Still, cigarette use was as prevalent at the time, but you don't get a lot of smoking in AH's films--I can't think of any that occurs in Vertigo at all. Even if there is some, it's so trivial as to be easily forgotten. This is true of many a Hitchcock movie--Tippi Hedren does a little smoking in The Birds, so little it's almost unnoticeable. Probably there's some smoking in the 40s pictures, but again, nothing noteworthy.
In further support of this I just re-watched parts of Strangers on a Train. It may be remembered that a certain lighter plays a prominent role in the proceedings. But for that lighter to be put in play, it has to pass from the hero to the villain, and so both men have to be smokers. But Farley Granger never smokes throughout the whole movie. In the opening scene where he accidentally leaves the lighter behind he remarks that he "isn't much of a smoker" which I guess accounts for the fact that he doesn't miss the lighter until Robert Walker reminds him of it in a later scene. Still, why was he given the lighter as a gift if he never smokes? Obviously, the plot required the condition to effect the transfer of the lighter, but, that having been accomplished, AH lost all interest in Granger being a smoker (he is a drinker, though). Robert Walker smokes a bit, but it's pretty trivial. And there are all those so-called films noirs where smoking is often so prominent . . . .

Btw, I went back and looked at the source novel for Vertigo (in ancient English translation), and the character that is the basis for the one played by Stewart is pretty much a lush throughout. So, all the alcohol use in Vertigo may be a hangover (heh!) from the novel--but Scottie's use looks pretty tame given the way the culture around him is constantly boozing it up. Have things changed?
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: cigar joe on April 20, 2015, 02:29:27 AM
In further support of this I just re-watched parts of Strangers on a Train. It may be remembered that a certain lighter plays a prominent role in the proceedings. But for that lighter to be put in play, it has to pass from the hero to the villain, and so both men have to be smokers. But Farley Granger never smokes throughout the whole movie. In the opening scene where he accidentally leaves the lighter behind he remarks that he "isn't much of a smoker" which I guess accounts for the fact that he doesn't miss the lighter until Robert Walker reminds him of it in a later scene. Still, why was he given the lighter as a gift if he never smokes? Obviously, the plot required the condition to effect the transfer of the lighter, but, that having been accomplished, AH lost all interest in Granger being a smoker (he is a drinker, though). Robert Walker smokes a bit, but it's pretty trivial. And there are all those so-called films noirs where smoking is often so prominent . . . .

Btw, I went back and looked at the source novel for Vertigo (in ancient English translation), and the character that is the basis for the one played by Stewart is pretty much a lush throughout. So, all the alcohol use in Vertigo may be a hangover (heh!) from the novel--but Scottie's use looks pretty tame given the way the culture around him is constantly boozing it up. Have things changed?

As a pro tennis player it makes sense that he isn't much of a smoker, no?
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 20, 2015, 05:22:59 AM
He's actually not a pro; there's a discussion about him turning pro and he says he's not going to do that, he's going into politics instead. Still, you're right, he's an athlete; but I'm not sure how well people understood the health problems associated with smoking in 1951. You often see doctors in films of the period smoking.

Today it would be ridiculous to show an athlete smoking. There's a funny bit in Body Heat where William Hurt finishes jogging and immediately lights up: it always gets a laugh.

Still, getting back to Strangers, why would Farley Granger's girlfriend give him a lighter as a gift if he wasn't a smoker? Just to light other people's cigarettes?

And my larger point remains: even when circumstances permitted, Hitchcock never did much with smoking (as we see in, say, films noirs). It just didn't interest him. By contrast, he often included scenes of eating and drinking, and used those scenes to further his plots and/or develop thematic motifs.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 20, 2015, 09:18:58 AM
Maybe back then, all men had lighters - at least the same types of men who wore nice watches, etc. A lighter was perhaps considered a nice piece of jewelry or accessory, since so many people smoked; therefore, I can see it being given as a gift even to a non-smoker.
Plenty of athletes smoked in the 50's. Behind the dugout at Yankee Stadium was a little runway area where players used to "cop a smoke," in the words of one 50's player I read recently. I am in middle of reading Don Larsen's book about his perfect game in the 1956 World Series - he mentions having a cigarette between innings.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: cigar joe on April 20, 2015, 09:58:31 AM
He's actually not a pro; there's a discussion about him turning pro and he says he's not going to do that, he's going into politics instead. Still, you're right, he's an athlete; but I'm not sure how well people understood the health problems associated with smoking in 1951. You often see doctors in films of the period smoking.

Today it would be ridiculous to show an athlete smoking. There's a funny bit in Body Heat where William Hurt finishes jogging and immediately lights up: it always gets a laugh.

Still, getting back to Strangers, why would Farley Granger's girlfriend give him a lighter as a gift if he wasn't a smoker? Just to light other people's cigarettes?

And my larger point remains: even when circumstances permitted, Hitchcock never did much with smoking (as we see in, say, films noirs). It just didn't interest him. By contrast, he often included scenes of eating and drinking, and used those scenes to further his plots and/or develop thematic motifs.


I'd go with the "Just to light other people's cigarettes" answer, it was an ice breaker, also a lot of folks used to have table lighters in their living rooms for company and ashtrays even though they didn't smoke themselves.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: Moorman on November 18, 2017, 12:40:33 PM
I watched this early this year on TCM.  Its a very good movie. In fact, one of my favorite movies of Hitchcock.  I loved everything about this movie. Kim Novack blew me away in this one. The plot was VERY GOOD and unpredictable.  James Stewart reminded me why he is my favorite Hitchcock actor.  The cinematography and plot are what really stood out in this for me. I rate this one a 8 out of 10...
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on November 18, 2017, 04:06:44 PM
I watched this early this year on TCM.  Its a very good movie. In fact, one of my favorite movies of Hitchcock.  I loved everything about this movie. Kim Novack blew me away in this one. The plot was VERY GOOD and unpredictable.  James Stewart reminded me why he is my favorite Hitchcock actor.  The cinematography and plot are what really stood out in this for me. I rate this one a 8 out of 10...

It just played on TCM this week. It’s James Stewart Month on TCM.

I’m just curious: what does it take for you to rate a movie higher than 8/10?   ;)
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: Moorman on November 18, 2017, 04:16:17 PM
It just played on TCM this week. It’s James Stewart Month on TCM.

I’m just curious: what does it take for you to rate a movie higher than 8/10?   ;)

To me, a rating of 8 IS a great rating. Its been a while since i've seen Vertigo.  There is nothing wrong with this film. I'm going off memory. I could see it as a 9 right now.  I think  The Night of the Hunter is the only film i've given a perfect 10.  Once Upon a Time in the West and High Noon are near perfect to me. I forgot what i gave them as scores.  I just posted earlier how My Darling Clemintine just went from a initial rating of 5 with me all the way up to i believe a rating of 8.  As i look at a movie, if it gets better, i rate it higher.  
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on November 18, 2017, 05:52:06 PM
NIGHT OF THE HUNTER is your all-time greatest?  :o ;)
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: Moorman on November 18, 2017, 05:54:30 PM
NIGHT OF THE HUNTER is your all-time greatest?  :o ;)

Yes, and i'm proud to say it, lol.  Its a great movie.  Is it the greatest movie ever made?  I don't know, i DO know its MY alltime favorite movie...
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: Spikeopath on November 19, 2017, 12:03:03 AM
One of the maestro's masterpieces.

You're not lost. Mother's here.

John "Scottie" Ferguson is a San Francisco cop who decides to quit the service after his acrophobia results in him being unable to save the life of a colleague. Whilst taking it easy he gets a call from an old school friend, Gavin Elster, asking him if he wouldn't mind doing a little bit of detective work for him. The job is simply to tail his wife because she's obsessed with an ancestress who committed suicide, and the wife, Madeline, is showing signs of herself being suicidal. Ferguson tails her diligently and as the tail progresses, Ferguson himself starts to become ever obsessed about the demur blonde Madeline. As the story twists and turns, Ferguson's obsession will have far reaching consequences for both parties...

Vertigo is Alfred Hitchcock's most discussed, dissected and critically reappraised film, based on a novel by Pierre Boileau called D'Entre Les Morts, (also writer of Diabolique), Vertigo was not well liked on its release and unable to be viewed for some time due to copyright, the film was restored from a destroyed negative into a glorious 70mm print, and now in all its glory it can be seen as one of the greatest films to have ever been made. What is most striking about Vertigo, outside of Hitchcock baring his innermost that is, is that its plot on the surface is simplicity personified, but delving deeper, and repeat viewings are a necessity, its apparent that Vertigo is a chilling force of cinema, taking great delight in gnawing away at your perceptions, perhaps even your own capabilities as a human being.

Very much a film of two great halves, Vertigo first seems intent on being an almost ghost story like mystery. Once the prologue has introduced us to Ferguson's fear of heights, we then enter an almost dream like sequence of events as Ferguson tails the troubled Madeline, the suggestion of reincarnation bleakly leading to death hangs heavy as Hitchcock pulls his atmospheric strings. Then the film shifts into dark territory as obsessions and nods to Dante's Inferno and feverish dreams take control, Hitchcock, as we have come to learn over the years, lays out his soul for us the audience to partake in, the uneasy traits sitting side by side with fascination of the story. All of which is leading us to a spine tingling finale that is as hauntingly memorable as it is shocking, the end to our own dizzying journey that Alfred and his team have taken us on.

Technically the film is magnificent, the opening credits from Saul Bass brilliantly prep us for what is about to unfold, while Bernard Herrmann's score is as good as anything he ever did, unnerving one minute, swirlingly romantic the next, a truly incredible score. Hitchcock himself is firing from the top draw, introducing us to the brilliant zoom-forward-track-back camera technique to induce the feeling of Vertigo itself, with that merely a component of two hours of gorgeous texture lined with disturbing little peccadilloes. The two leads are arguably doing their respective career best work, James Stewart as Scottie Ferguson goes real deep to play it out with an edgy believability that decries his aw-shucks trademark of years since past. Kim Novak as Madeline is perhaps the quintessential Hitchcock blonde, perfect with the duality aspects of the role and playing off Stewart's ever creepy descent with seamlessly adroit skill. It however should be noted that Hitchcock and his loyal subjects had to work hard to get Novak right for the role, but the result proves that Novak had ability that sadly wasn't harnessed on too many other occasions.

Vertigo is a film that I myself wasn't too taken with on my first viewing, it's only during revisits that the piece has come to grab me by the soul and refuse to let go, it not only holds up on revisits, it also gets better with each subsequent viewing, it is simply a film that demands to be seen as many times as possible. Not only one of the greatest American films ever made, one of the greatest films ever made...period, so invest your soul in it, just the way that Hitchcock himself so clearly did. 10/10
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: Moorman on November 19, 2017, 04:29:20 AM
One of the maestro's masterpieces.

You're not lost. Mother's here.

John "Scottie" Ferguson is a San Francisco cop who decides to quit the service after his acrophobia results in him being unable to save the life of a colleague. Whilst taking it easy he gets a call from an old school friend, Gavin Elster, asking him if he wouldn't mind doing a little bit of detective work for him. The job is simply to tail his wife because she's obsessed with an ancestress who committed suicide, and the wife, Madeline, is showing signs of herself being suicidal. Ferguson tails her diligently and as the tail progresses, Ferguson himself starts to become ever obsessed about the demur blonde Madeline. As the story twists and turns, Ferguson's obsession will have far reaching consequences for both parties...

Vertigo is Alfred Hitchcock's most discussed, dissected and critically reappraised film, based on a novel by Pierre Boileau called D'Entre Les Morts, (also writer of Diabolique), Vertigo was not well liked on its release and unable to be viewed for some time due to copyright, the film was restored from a destroyed negative into a glorious 70mm print, and now in all its glory it can be seen as one of the greatest films to have ever been made. What is most striking about Vertigo, outside of Hitchcock baring his innermost that is, is that its plot on the surface is simplicity personified, but delving deeper, and repeat viewings are a necessity, its apparent that Vertigo is a chilling force of cinema, taking great delight in gnawing away at your perceptions, perhaps even your own capabilities as a human being.

Very much a film of two great halves, Vertigo first seems intent on being an almost ghost story like mystery. Once the prologue has introduced us to Ferguson's fear of heights, we then enter an almost dream like sequence of events as Ferguson tails the troubled Madeline, the suggestion of reincarnation bleakly leading to death hangs heavy as Hitchcock pulls his atmospheric strings. Then the film shifts into dark territory as obsessions and nods to Dante's Inferno and feverish dreams take control, Hitchcock, as we have come to learn over the years, lays out his soul for us the audience to partake in, the uneasy traits sitting side by side with fascination of the story. All of which is leading us to a spine tingling finale that is as hauntingly memorable as it is shocking, the end to our own dizzying journey that Alfred and his team have taken us on.

Technically the film is magnificent, the opening credits from Saul Bass brilliantly prep us for what is about to unfold, while Bernard Herrmann's score is as good as anything he ever did, unnerving one minute, swirlingly romantic the next, a truly incredible score. Hitchcock himself is firing from the top draw, introducing us to the brilliant zoom-forward-track-back camera technique to induce the feeling of Vertigo itself, with that merely a component of two hours of gorgeous texture lined with disturbing little peccadilloes. The two leads are arguably doing their respective career best work, James Stewart as Scottie Ferguson goes real deep to play it out with an edgy believability that decries his aw-shucks trademark of years since past. Kim Novak as Madeline is perhaps the quintessential Hitchcock blonde, perfect with the duality aspects of the role and playing off Stewart's ever creepy descent with seamlessly adroit skill. It however should be noted that Hitchcock and his loyal subjects had to work hard to get Novak right for the role, but the result proves that Novak had ability that sadly wasn't harnessed on too many other occasions.

Vertigo is a film that I myself wasn't too taken with on my first viewing, it's only during revisits that the piece has come to grab me by the soul and refuse to let go, it not only holds up on revisits, it also gets better with each subsequent viewing, it is simply a film that demands to be seen as many times as possible. Not only one of the greatest American films ever made, one of the greatest films ever made...period, so invest your soul in it, just the way that Hitchcock himself so clearly did. 10/10

This is a excellent write up. I remember saying after I watched it that I felt it was the greatest movie I had ever seen up to that point. I rated it a 8 out of 10 only to seperate it from a few other movies I have seen since then. I might have to reaccess that later on. Again, a excellent write up.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: Moorman on January 17, 2018, 06:58:02 PM
It just played on TCM this week. It’s James Stewart Month on TCM.

I’m just curious: what does it take for you to rate a movie higher than 8/10?   ;)

A second viewing.  This is a masterpiece.  A perfect 10.  I don't give those out often. Only two other pre 1970 movies i have seen get that from me, lol. Wow, this is a great film.  It will take multiple viewings to take everything in that Hitchcock was doing with this one...
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: greenbudgie on October 01, 2018, 03:43:38 AM
I've just watched a film which might be of interest to 'Vertigo' fans. 'The Green Fog' (2017). It's an unusual movie constructed from old film and TV clips. You might wonder what it's supposed to represent at first. I'm glad I gave it a try. The footages are of old San Francisco. Edited together they form a mystery that will be familiar to followers of 'Vertigo.'
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: cigar joe on October 01, 2018, 03:56:20 AM
I've just watched a film which might be of interest to 'Vertigo' fans. 'The Green Fog' (2017). It's an unusual movie constructed from old film and TV clips. You might wonder what it's supposed to represent at first. I'm glad I gave it a try. The footages are of old San Francisco. Edited together they form a mystery that will be familiar to followers of 'Vertigo.'

thanks sounds interesting.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on October 01, 2018, 04:37:15 AM
I've just watched a film which might be of interest to 'Vertigo' fans. 'The Green Fog' (2017). It's an unusual movie constructed from old film and TV clips. You might wonder what it's supposed to represent at first. I'm glad I gave it a try. The footages are of old San Francisco. Edited together they form a mystery that will be familiar to followers of 'Vertigo.'
How did you see this?
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: greenbudgie on October 02, 2018, 02:20:32 AM
How did you see this?

I saw 'The Green Fog' on a mate's computer. I think it was from an Australian site.
Title: Re: Vertigo (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 07, 2021, 03:19:11 PM
UHD steelbook in da house!

I'm not set up for UHD disc playback, but no matter. This comes with a code that allows you (via Movies Anywhere, a free platform) to instantly stream the film on your PC, which is what I did. Wow, does Vertigo look good now! Perfect blacks, perfect colors. No problems now with the various colored suits during the inquest scene. Everything else looks great too: the flower shop scene, the view of the Golden Gate Bridge from Ft. Point, the Muir Woods under a fog filter, take your pick. And did I mention that this comes in a steelbook? (but you can go plastic if your prefer).