Film of the Day: Vertigo (1958)

Kim Novak and James Stewart star in this emerald-eyed tale of love and death. Photo: Paramount

Many people, if you ask them for a top hundred, ten or even top film of all time will cite Vertigo among them without a pause. Whether or not you class it as the best, nobody can deny that Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller still has the power to shock and confuse its audience, even in 2021. 

James Stewart stars as ex policeman Scottie Ferguson, who suffers from vertigo, when he is asked by an old friend to investigate his wife, who he fears has become possessed by the spirit of an ancient ancestor.

His wife, Madeleine (Kim Novak), appears to fit this condition – however – as Scottie investigates, her self-destructive tendencies come into conflict with both his fear of heights and a burgeoning attraction between them.

122 mins

Vertigo – Friday at 4.20pm on Film4