When Vertigo was released in 1958 you couldn’t have predicted that 50 years later, critics would select it as the best film of all time. On the contrary: the press was negative and audiences didn’t flock to the cinemas. Hitchcock blamed the cast: James Stewart was perhaps too old for his role – the actor was after all 25 years older than actress Kim Novak. However, it is that age difference that makes Vertigo all the more interesting. It makes Stewart’s character’s developing obsession with Madeleine, the wife of one of his friends, extra uncomfortable. Former cop ‘Scottie’ Ferguson isn’t a hero, but an anti-hero.
Ferguson is left a broken man after his vertigo contributes to Madeleine’s death. But then he meets Judy, his secret love’s double. While he gradually remakes her into Madeleine, the game that’s being played with him reveals itself.