Hitchcock’s most Ambitious


Niko Pavletic, Movie Critic


Hi!  I’m Niko Pavletic, and I have been a fan of films for as long as I can remember, but it was only as of this year that I have really been watching films from a critical point of view.  I naturally adapted my love of cinema, especially pre 1980’s cinema from my dad who might be even more of a cinephile than me.  I have made it my goal to be able to fairly critique movies without spoiling, or going too in detail about anything. 


I rate movies on a scale of one to ten, with seven to ten being a film I would recommend.  Six and five are average movies that I don’t recommend, but also don’t recommend not watching them.  And four and below are bad, and a waste of time.  And remember my final rating of the movie is entirely my opinion.  I go over things like characters, plot, cinematography, and acting, without spoiling any major plot elements.  Enjoy my review!



Vertigo (1958)

Runtime:2 Hours 8 Minutes



Main Cast:

James Stewart-John Ferguson

Kim Novak-Madeline Elster

Barbara Bel Geddes-Midge Wood

Director:Alfred Hitchcock


Vertigo is a Hitchcock movie released in 1958 in theaters around the country.  And a quick disclaimer this review is going to be shorter than my previous one and others in the future because Vertigo is a movie that is so hard to review without actually spoiling it.  But since I said I will make my reviews spoiler-free the two people reading this don’t have to worry.


John Ferguson played by James Stewart is hired to follow a woman who is deeply disturbed and is a danger to herself.  After saving this woman’s life he feels he is responsible for her and falls in love with said woman.  


Vertigo might just be my favorite Hitchcock movie which is something that is hard for me to say just because of how much I love the man’s cinematography.  He has made plenty of incredibly well-directed movies, but I’ve always liked this one the most, and that is probably why I choose this for my second review.  I choose Rebel Without a Cause because I didn’t know what to choose, and I was planning on watching it anyway, but Vertigo is actually a film I’m excited to be writing about just because of how much it changed my view on film.


First off I must say the casting in this movie is great.  James Stewart who started in Rear Window (which was another Hitchcock movie) plays John Ferguson a retired police officer with a severe phobia of heights.  This might be Stewart’s best role since It’s a Wonderful Life.  I think his acting has gotten better as he’s aged.  He has a very passive tone whenever he talks and manages to change tones very casually throughout the film.  What I mean by this is the character has a change halfway through the film in which his personality drastically changes, and Stewart manages to make it seem natural.


Kim Novak is really good in this movie, and she manages to play two roles (I can’t talk about this without spoiling anything), and manages to make both roles feel very different.  She is also very good at visually acting.  There are a few scenes where she doesn’t say anything, but you can still tell what she’s thinking just of her facial expressions.


This is definitely Hitchcock’s most ambitious film, and definitely the most complex.  Despite it being complex the story does flow in a natural way due to the movie’s slower pace.


However, despite me praising the movie nonstop I can’t act like the movie is perfect I’m not that great of an actor.  There are some flaws with the movie that stuck out to me even the first time I saw it.  The biggest one being the character of Midge Wood whose purpose in the story I don’t understand.  She is in the movie quite frequently but never really serves a purpose besides being one of John’s friends.  Another thing about this movie I don’t like is the name.  Now the initial name itself is fine, but my real problem comes in when you actually watch the movie and realize it has nothing to do with vertigo.  Vertigo is something that comes into play once in the movie, and overall never was a huge part of the movie.  


Now the cinematography is great just like any Hitchcock movie.  It’s harder for him to make a bad shot rather than a good one, and this film has some of his best-directed scenes in his career, and in cinema as a whole.  The music is pretty good.  It’s a fairly memorable soundtrack, but I really hate how loud it can get.  This is more of an issue I PERSONALLY have with the film rather than objective criticism, but the music can get so damn loud, and lead to me frantically spamming the volume down button on my remote.  


Vertigo overall is a damn near-perfect film.  I had a really hard time finding flaws when I was rewatching this movie, and there really aren’t many bad things I can say about this film.  So overall I’m going to give vertigo a 9/10.