Hitchcock’s grand enigma was recently enshrined as the greatest film of all time in the British Film Institute’s respected survey, infamously displacing Citizen Kane for the first time in fifty years. A tantalizing spiral into the abyss, the film follows Scottie Ferguson, an ex-police detective in forced retirement after his last case ended in a tragic death, as he is enlisted as a private investigator to keep an eye on an old friend’s wife. Following Madeline, he is drawn into a sprawling riddle of love and death, from which he may never emerge. This is Hitchcock’s most profound and troubling exploration of his persistent themes: doppelgängers and duality, obsession, women trapped by deceit and the inexorable destructiveness of male desire. A cinematic landmark, Vertigo retains its power as a perplexing and harrowing nightmare.


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