Hitchcock’s head-spinning classic back on the big screen
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the film that scored the top spot in Sight & Sound’s 2012 poll of the greatest films ever made: Alfred Hitchcock’s psychological thriller Vertigo, starring James Stewart and Kim Novak.
To commemorate Vertigo’s birthday, Fathom Events has re-teamed with Turner Classic Movies and Universal Pictures to bring the film back to the big screen as part of Fathom Events’ ongoing “TCM Big Screen Classics” series. Among the 650 cinemas selected for this event is the Greensboro Grande Stadium 16, where the film will be screened on March 18, followed by encore screenings on March 21.
Adapted from Boileau-Narcejac’s 1954 novel D’entre les morts (From Among the Dead), the story focuses on “Scottie” Ferguson (Stewart), a former police detective forced to resign from the force after a traumatic incident that has left him with both vertigo (a sense of false movement) and acrophobia (fear of heights).
Eking out a living as a private investigator, Scottie is tapped by a colleague (Tom Helmore) to surreptitiously follow his wife, Madeleine (Novak), who has been behaving strangely. Scottie agrees, but when he meets Madeleine, he instantly becomes besotted. Their brief affair ends in tragedy, with Scottie consumed with grief and guilt.
Not long after, however, Scottie encounters Judy Barton (also played by Novak) and becomes infatuated with her as well. To the point of dangerous obsession, one that will inevitably lead to further tragedy.
Rife with subtext, suspense and symbolism, Vertigo makes superb use of its San Francisco locations, further augmented by Bernard Herrmann’s lush, romantic score. Upon its release, the film earned solid reviews and Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction/Set Decoration (color) and Best Sound, although it was not a major box-office hit.
In the ensuing years, however, Vertigo has emerged as one of Hitchcock’s most-discussed films, with entire volumes devoted to its making and enduring legacy. Eddie Muller of TCM will provide insight into the film both before and after the screening.
The Big Screen Classics series has already presented The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) in January and The Philadelphia Story (1940), with upcoming screenings of Grease (1978) in April, Sunset Boulevard (1950) in May, The Producers (1968) in June, Big (1988) in July, The Big Lebowski (1998) in August, South Pacific (1958) in August, Rebel Without a Cause (1955) in September, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) in October, Die Hard (1988) in November, and, appropriately enough, White Christmas (1954) in December.
“The audience response to the TCM Big Screen Classics has been extraordinary,” said Tom Lucas, Fathom Events’ vice-president of studio relations. “As attendance has grown, movie lovers all around the country have told us how much they cherish the opportunity to see these incomparable classics on the big screen. We’re very excited to be partnering with TCM in 2018 to present an incredibly diverse lineup of films that really captures the magic of the movies.”