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A retired police detective (James Stewart) with a crippling fear of heights loves, loses, and remakes the blonde goddess of his dreams (Kim Novak) in Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece of erotic fixation.
In Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece of erotic fixation, San Francisco police detective Scottie (James Stewart) — who has retired from the force after a fatal rooftop incident leaves him with a crippling fear of heights — is hired to follow his old friend's supposedly suicidal wife Madeleine (Kim Novak). Quickly falling in love with this blonde goddess, Scottie loses her with equal speed — but when he meets brunette shopgirl Judy (Novak again), her uncanny resemblance to Madeleine leads him to try to remake her in the image of his lost love. One of Hitchcock's personal favourites of his own films, Vertigo was a critical and commercial failure upon its original release, a verdict that has now been decisively reversed: in 2012, Vertigo was voted #1 on Sight & Sound's list of the top ten films of all time. A mesmeric plunge into a vortex of time, memory and obsession, Vertigo is "[o]ne of the landmarks — not merely of the movies, but of twentieth-century art" (Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader).