Film as mirror in hitchcocks vertigo essay

Hansen accompanies Scottie to coroner's inquest Dave McElhatton as the radio announcer alternative ending Fred Graham as Scottie's police partner falls from rooftop Nina Shipman as the girl mistaken for Madeleine at the museum Sara Taft as nun during closing scene Alfred Hitchcock makes his customary cameo appearance walking in the street in a gray suit and carrying a trumpet case. Themes[ edit ] Charles Barr in his monograph dedicated to the study of Vertigo has stated that the central theme of the film is psychological obsession, concentrating in particular on Scottie as obsessed with the women in his life. As Barr states in his book, "This story of a man who develops a romantic obsession with the image of an enigmatic woman has commonly been seen, by his colleagues as well as by critics and biographers, as one that engaged Hitchcock in an especially profound way; and it has exerted a comparable fascination on many of its viewers. After first seeing it as a teenager inDonald Spoto had gone back for 26 more viewings by the time he wrote The Art of Alfred Hitchcock in

Film as mirror in hitchcocks vertigo essay

On a literal level it is a mystery-suspense story of a man hoodwinked into acting as an accomplice in a murder, his discovery of the hoax, and the unraveling of the threads of the murder plot. On a psychological level the film traces the twisted, circuitous routes of a psyche burdened down with guilt, desperately searching for an object on which to concentrate its repressed energy.

Finally, on an allegorical or figurative level, it is a retelling of the immemorial tale of a man who has lost his love to death and in hope of redeeming her descends into the underworld, the most famous of these stories being that of Orpheus and Eurydice in Greek Mythology.

VERTIGO's complexity, however, does not end with this multilevel approach to its tale; the film also succeeds in blurring the already fine line between objectivity and subjectivity. It takes the viewer so far into the mind of the main character Scottie, played by Hitchcock veteran James Stewart that the audience's own objectivity, at least initially, is lost and replaced by complete identification with Scottie's fantasies and obsessions.

Scottie is a San Francisco police detective who, during a rooftop chase, nearly plunges to his death. The psychological scars left by this incident and, probably more significantly, by the guilt of having been responsible for the death of a fellow officer who tried to rescue him, induce in Scottie a phobia--vertigo, or fear of high places, the phobia which initially caused his accident.

Throughout the rest of the film Scottie remains psychologically and symbolically suspended from that rooftop.

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He takes on a job as a private detective for an old college friend named Gavin Elster Tom Helmore who is worried about the strange behavior of his wife, Madeleine Kim Novakwhom Scottie has never met.

Madeleine is a wanderer, and in trailing her, Scottie becomes one too.


As he follows her through museums, graveyards, and forest haunts he becomes obsessed with this phantom woman who apparently believes herself to be the reincarnation of a turn-of-the-century belle named Carlotta. Visually Hitchcock reinforces this loss of objectivity and descent into obsession by photographing Scottie's wanderings in soft-focus and at a gliding, dreamlike pace.

Free psycho papers, essays, and research papers. Dualism in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho - The characters in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho () each have a dual nature that is masterfully portrayed through character development and use of mirrors throughout the film. - VERTIGO Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo is a thrilling film filled with mystery and suspense. However, Hitchcock left many unsolved issues at the end of this film. In contrast, when comparing Vertigo to more recent films of similar genre’, mysteries are usually always solved and thoroughly explained by the end of the film. Furthermore, the use of film as a mirror onto ourselves is made very clear in the audience’s relation to Scottie throughout Vertigo. In this paper, three instances of the film as mirror will be detailed in Vertigo, as well as how they inform the concept of film as mirror through their existence and varying properties.

In the scenes of Scottie tailing Madeleine by car through the streets of San Francisco, the vehicle seems to be floating above the pavement. This feeling is enhanced even more by the lilting, musical background of master film composer Bernard Herrmann.

With the growth of Scottie's obsession comes an equal and concurrent increase in the credibility of Madeleine's claims. Her appearance, her strange visits to places which Carlotta frequented, and her speech all seem to confirm her belief that she is the reincarnated Carlotta.

As noted before, however, Scottie is no longer a logical, detached observer, and because the viewer is given no more information than Scottie, neither is he.

The romance which develops between this obsessive searcher and this half-phantom, half-woman magnificently exploits San Francisco and its environs as a backdrop. Hitchcock's use of landscape and geography is most revealing.

The locations chosen are all connected with the past and with time: Even the details within scenes are keyed as symbols for the timeless state Scottie has entered: The central symbol for the film is, however, the mission at San Juan Batista.

It is here that Scottie searches for Carlotta's past in hopes of finding verification for Madeleine's claims. Steeped in history, the mission is safely isolated from the everyday world.

It is a museum of California's past, a place of religious ritual and retreat.Vertigo is a American film noir psychological thriller film directed and produced by Alfred story was based on the novel D'entre les morts (From Among the Dead) by screenplay was written by Alec Coppel and Samuel A.

Taylor.. The film stars James Stewart as former police detective John "Scottie" Ferguson.

Film as mirror in hitchcocks vertigo essay

Scottie is forced into early retirement. Many film critics and viewers have dubbed Alfred Hitchcock’s film Vertigo a cinematic masterpiece, some even enshrining it as the highest achievement ever attained in American film. Download-Theses Mercredi 10 juin Free psycho papers, essays, and research papers.

Dualism in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho - The characters in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho () each have a dual nature that is masterfully portrayed through character development and use of mirrors throughout the film.

The first scene in Vertigo that demonstrates film’s ability to hold a mirror to the individual watching it, and elicit the emotions of the character in the audience, is . After years of litigation VERTIGO--which many cinema historians, such as Donald Spots, feel is Hitchcock's masterpiece, as well as one of the greatest films of all time--was made available on vedio in the 's for public screenings in the United States.

Vertigo (film) - Wikipedia