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Alfred Hitchcocks VERTIGO Alfred Hitchcocks VERTIGO is a film which functions on multiple levels simultaneously On one level it is a mystery about a man duped into being an accomplice to murder On another level it is about a psyche burdened down with guilt Finally it is a story of a man who has lost his love The films screenplay written by Alec Coppel and Samuel Taylor was based upon the 1954 mystery novel DEntre les Morts by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac Even though Vertigo is one of Alfred Hitchcocks most powerful deep and stunningly beautiful masterpieces it was the recipient of only two Academy Awards nominations Best Art Direction-Set Decoration and Best Sound and it was left without a single Oscar The film begins with a chase scene that ends with police detective John Scottie Ferguson JAMES STEWART overcome by his fear of heights He must retire from the police department until he finds an unlikely cure With the help of an old girlfriend the sensible Midge BARBARA BEL GEDDES Scottie attempts to return to a normal life His friend Gavin Elster TOM HELMORE hires Scottie to take on a little freelance detective work Elster asks him to shadow his wife Madeleine KIM NOVAK who he describes as being possessed by a spirit and being a suicidal neurotic Madeleine is beautiful and Scottie finds himself yearning to understand the woman he watches Scottie saves Madeleine from throwing herself into San Francisco Bay and begins a face-to-face relationship with her keeping his other identity as her husbands hired detective a secret He falls in love with her but his vertigo keeps him from saving her when she tries to commit suicide again by jumping from a bell tower Even thought she is dead Scottie continues to be haunted by Madeleine He sees a woman walking down the street who looks
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