Vertigo (1958)

USA, 1957
128m, 129m (1996 restored version)
35mm film, 70mm (1996 restoration from the VistaVision originals), Vistavision, Super VistaVision (1996 restoration), Technicolor, 1.85:1
DTS (1996 re-release), English

An American drama with fantasy elements directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Production began on 2 September 1957.

Plot Summary

detective Scottie Fergusson is traumatised by the death of a colleague who falls to his death during a rooftop chase when Scottie succumbs to a serious attack of and . Forced to retire from the police, he finds himself hired as a private detective by Gavin Elster, an old college friend who wants Scottie to to track his wife Madeleine whose behaviour is becoming increasingly strange and obsessive. But Scottie finds himself drawn into a bizarre plot that sees him falling for Madeleine, losing her in an accident then trying to recreate her in lookalike Judy.


* = uncredited

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
© Alfred J. Hitchcock Productions, Inc.
A Paramount release
Producer: Alfred Hitchcock *
Associate Producer: Herbert Coleman
Screenplay by: Alec Coppel & Samuel Taylor 1Coppel didn't actually write any of the script but is credited for contractual reasons]
Based upon the novel “D'entre les morts” by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac
Director of Photography: Robert Burks
Edited by: George Tomasini
Music by: Bernard Herrmann
Sound Recording by: Harold Lewis & Winston Leverett
Costumes: Edith Head
Makeup Supervision: Wally Westmore
Style Supervision: Nellie Manley
Special Photographic Effects: John P. Fulton
Process Photography: Farciot Edouart & Wallace Kelley
Special Sequences by: John Ferren
Titles Designed by: Saul Bass
Titles: John Whitney *
Art Direction: Hal Pereira & Henry Bumstead
Locations: San Francisco, California, USA *

James Stewart (John ‘Scottie' Ferguson)
Kim Novak (Madeleine Elster/Judy Barton)
Barbara Bel Geddes (Marjorie ‘Midge' Wood)
Tom Helmore (Gavin Elster)
Henry Jones (coroner)
Raymond Bailey (Scottie's doctor)
Ellen Corby (manageress of McKittrick hotel)
Konstantin Shayne (Pop Leibel)
Lee Patrick (older mistaken identity)

Alternative Titles

From among the Dead – working title
Illicit Darkening – working title
Listen Darkling – working title
Vertigo – Aus dem Reich der Toten – German title

Extracts included in
AFI's 100 Years… 100 Movies (1998)
78/52 (2017)
Hitchcock: Shadow of a Genius (1999)
Obsessed with Vertigo (1997)
Precious Images (1986)



  • Correio da Manha 17 April 1998 – review (by Vitoriano Rosa)
  • Diário de Notícias (17 April 1998) – review (bt Nuno Henrique Luz)
  • Diário de Notícias, DNmais (18 April 1998) – review (by Joao Antunes)


  • The Dark Side no.73 (June/July 1998) p.21 – review
  • Empire September 1994 p.69 – review
  • Empire May 1997 p.50 – review (by Jake Hamilton)
  • Film Review May 1997 p.25 – review (by Anwar Brett)
  • New Musical Express 10 March 1984 p.21 – illustrated review (by Richard Cook)
  • Positif no.400 (June 1994) (France) – article (A free replay (notes sur Vertigo) by Chris Marker)
  • Shivers no.78 (June 2000) p.42 – illustrated video review (Video reviews by Stephen Foster)
  • Total Film May 1997 p.98 – review (by Simon Cox)
  • Trafic no.22 (Summer 1997) – review (Vertigo ou les puissances de l'imaginaire by Jean-Luc Alpigiano)
  • TV Times 19 December 1987-1 January 1988 pp.12, 75 – review; credits, synopsis


  • 101 Greatest Films of Mystery & Suspense by Otto Penzler pp.233-235
  • Bernard Herrmann, Hollywood's Music-dramatist by Edward Johnson p.35
  • BFI Companion to Crime, The by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.338 – credits, review
  • The Encyclopedia of Novels Into Films second edition by John C. Tibbetts and James M. Welsh pp.484-485 – credits, review (by T.W. [Tony Williams])
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.37
  • Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.69, 111, 160, 209, 234
  • The Films of Alfred Hitchcock by David Sterritt – article
  • A Heart at Fire's Centre: The Life and Music of Bernard Herrmann by Steven C. Smith pp.4, 54, 191, 219-222, 257, 272, 320, 342-344, 360
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films III by Donald C. Willis pp.295-298
  • Terror Tracks: Music, Sound and Horror Cinema by Philip Hayward (ed) pp.38, 49
  • Vertigo: The Making of a Hitchcock Classic by Dan Auiler – illustrated production details
  • by Walt Lee p.522 – credits

Other Sources

  • BFI Southbank programme March 2016 p.33 – illustrated note