image from the film Vertigo

Image from the film VERTIGO

Carefully restored in 1996 to its profoundly alluring colors, with a new stereo soundtrack, Vertigo is Hitchcock’s brilliantly schematic, endlessly fascinating masterpiece of obsession starring James Stewart as Scottie Ferguson, a detective who has been forced to retire because of a crippling pathological fear of heights, and Kim Novak as the mysterious woman he is hired to trail, who becomes the object of his obsession.

The restoration also “dusted off a San Francisco that appears mythical and alluring, shaded by fog and lonely streets, damp gardens and a hypnotic bay.” (SF Chronicle)

“Perverse, poetic, steeped in emotional desolation and destructive obsession, it delivers a fearlessly dolorous view of longing and betrayal in the guise of an acrophobia thriller, making through its classical ambitions (referenced by Herrmann’s swelling variations on Wagner’s ‘Liebestod’) and enduring fascinations a splendid case for Hitchcock as a grand experimental artist who labored in commercial genre cinema.” (Slant)

Cited by the acclaimed British film journal Sight & Sound in their 2012 decennial critics’ poll as the greatest film of all time, toppling Citizen Kane, which held the spot for 60 years.