Vertigo – (Cert PG)- Special Event – A BFI Classic

Sunday 28th April from 2.30pm – afternoon tea will be available!

Dir: Alfred Hitchcock, 1958, USA , 128mins, Cert PG

Syd Bayley, Moving Image Working Party member, will be leading a discussion on ‘Vertigo”. She says:

“Every ten years, the British Film Institute’s magazine, Sight and Sound, holds a poll of critics to find the Top 50 Greatest Films of all time.
 In 2012, Citizen Kane was ousted, after 50 years at the top, by Vertigo, made by Alfred Hitchcock in 1950.  It was a film that was not well received when it was released but seems to have risen gradually in the estimation of many critics to now being regarded as a masterpiece.
 It is recognised as technically brilliant but also for its psychological complexity, which reflects some of the darkness underneath Hitchcock’s humorous persona.
We will be viewing the film to see whether we can understand why it is so highly rated and why David Thomson, regarded as one of the greatest living film critics, describes it as ‘a masterpiece and an endless mystery – a love story, yet a hate story, too; an enchantment, yet an analysis of how stupid belief is’.  You may have seen it before but come and watch it again and with new eyes.”

About the Film

 A former detective with a fear of heights is hired to follow a woman apparently possessed by the past, in Alfred Hitchcock’s timeless thriller about obsession.

This classic from the master of suspense was so poorly received upon release that Alfred Hitchcock later withdrew it from distribution for several years. Its reputation has since grown and it is now widely regarded as Hitchcock’s finest film, a haunting examination of male desire memorably filmed in real San Francisco locations.

The story of acrophobic Scottie Ferguson (brilliantly played by James Stewart), who compulsively remodels Judy Barton (Kim Novak) in the image of his dead love Madeleine Elster (also Novak), is unflinchingly dark and tragic. Though Hitchcock was originally deemed to have erred in giving away the film’s plot twist halfway through, Vertigo succeeds as a hallucinatory fable about the traps of desire. A thriller of dreamlike allure, it’s whipped to dizzying heights by Bernard Herrmann’s Wagner-influenced score.

British Film Institute synopsis

Check out some splendid vintage film posters for ‘Vertigo’.