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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday July 28, 2020 

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John Ferguson, ‘Scottie’(Stewart) is a detective who has left the police force because he believes his fear of falling (acrophobia, resulting in vertigo) caused a colleague’s death. When an old college friend pleads with him to investigate the eccentric actions of his psychologically perplexing wife Madeleine (Novak), Scottie’s life takes a new, obsessive course from which he never recovers, and which leads him to follow this mysterious woman to the death - but whose death?

"More than a million dollars were spent to restore and remaster Vertigo, the hypnotic thriller that many consider to be Alfred Hitchcock's greatest achievement. From the chilling opening credits using the human eye, Vertigo is a tale of obsession starring two Hollywood legends: James Stewart and Kim Novak. Originally shot in Vista Vision, it is a treat to watch this compelling classic beautifully restored with the sound as sharp, if not sharper, than the day it was made.

In Obsessed with Vertigo, a 40 minute documentary, we hear fascinating details about the restoration and the making of the film itself. Hitchcock wanted Vera Miles to play the role of Madeleine; indeed Miles even posed for the portrait painting used in the film. But there were delays and Hitch was ill. By the time production was ready to roll, Miles was pregnant and Novak was offered the role. Novak tells about her experience on the film, as does actress Barbara Bel Geddes. Vertigo was a very personal picture, says Martin Scorsese and we get a genuine insight from James C. Katz (producer, restoration) and Robert A. Harris (restorer). The doco is cleverly sectioned into chapters, so you can easily jump to the part that interests you most.

Original Associate Producer Herbie Coleman joins the restoration team in an insightful commentary. It is quite extraordinary listening to someone talking who was actually there. Coleman's memory may not be a sharp as it was, but there's plenty of fascinating information. Navigation is simple and there are language options of English, German, Italian, French and Spanish, with a host of sub-title options. You can get in the mood with the original theatrical trailer and catch up on production notes and info about the cast and the filmmakers. In fact there's so much information on this DVD, you will have to start early. This is a masterpiece worth collecting."
Louise Keller

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Collector's Edition

CAST: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes

DIRECTOR: Alfred Hitchcock

RUNNING TIME: 124 minutes

RRP: $39.95

DVD RELEASE: May 2, 2000

DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment


We gratefully acknowledge the complimentary use of a DVD player from Philips.


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