best films: #87: VERTIGO (1958)

An inspired pairing is undoubtedly found in the wholesome, good-guy demeanor of James Stewart and provocative auteur Alfred Hitchcock that makes this (and another entry to be seen later) a crackling thriller even fifty years later. Vertigo is still unnerving as ever, and the twists and turns are still as powerful as they assumedly were in the era right before Psycho. And though Kim Novak may be one of the lesser-known blonde bombshells that Hitchcock used as his muses, she’s one of the few who gets a crack at being a wee bit diabolical. Mimicked by dozens of other films for its opening rooftop chase scene and its catchy Bernard Herrmann score, the film is to be remembered as a perfect example of a great psychological thriller.

Standout Performance: Novak is a gem of a find (who then was underused for the rest of her career) as the elusive Madeleine.

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