- article: Orpheus Descending: Love in "Vertigo"
- author(s): Walter Poznar
- journal: Literature Film Quarterly (1989)
- issue: volume 17, issue 1, page 59
- journal ISSN: 0090-4260
- Sloan's Alfred Hitchcock: A Filmography and Bibliography (1995) — page 503, #856
- keywords: Alfred Hitchcock, Gough Street, San Francisco, California, Ingrid Bergman, Lombard Street, San Francisco, California, Montgomery Street, San Francisco, California, Psycho (1960), Robin Wood, San Francisco, California, The Birds (1963), Vertigo (1958), William S. Pechter
Ostensibly the dramatization of a man's infatuation with a woman he supposes dead, Vertigo has been analyzed extensively by critics like Robin Wood because of the haunting sense of its strange visual power, a power somehow incompatible with the simple reading of the film as a study in necrophilia causally related to Scottie's acrophobia. If a love as powerful as Scottie's cannot bring Madeleine to life, then Judy's death at the end is the fitting and tragic climax of a vision of the modem world more appalling and desolate than the death of God, for the God that is still possible in Scottie must remain alone in a darkness rendered absolute by the absence of any responsive voice.