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Calgary Herald (03/Feb/1991) - Vertigo showcases Hitch's genius



Vertigo showcases Hitch's genius

Alfred Hitchcock has you thinking you're tangled up in the supernatural, then he yanks you back down to earth and the depravity of man.

James Stewart stars as John Ferguson, an ex-cop who quits the force after his fear of heights prevents him from saving his partner who plunges to his death from a downtown highrise.

While Johnny's just knocking around the city, he gets a call from a old college buddy, Gavin Elster, who's concerned about his shipping heiress wife (Kim Novak).

It seems Madeline Elster often "becomes" another person — wearing her hair differently, buying strange bouquets of flowers and hanging out at a museum just gazing at a portrait of her long-dead great-grandmother.

Elster wants to hire Johnny to follow his wife to determine if she's simply obsessed with the past, or if she's possessed by someone from beyond.

Johnny takes on the job, and soon discovers that he's falling in love with the hauntingly beautiful woman whom he's determined to protect.

It's not until very late in the film that you discover what the lead character's vertigo has to do with anything, but when the intricate web is at last untangled, you're left to marvel at the genius of this fascinating thriller.