Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Top Ten Movies of All Time

Number 10:

Vertigo (1958)

Directed by:  Alfred Hitchcock

Starring:  Jimmy Steward, Kim Novak

Oscars (winners in bold):  2 Nominations - Best Art Direction, Best Sound 

Ranking on AFI's 100 Greatest Movie List (2007):  9

Review:  Alfred Hitchcock garnered the title "Master of Suspense" through his career in films, however, I would shorten that and just call him a "Master" as a director.  The man rarely had a miss with his movies and his ability to toy with his audience is second to none. 

This movie starts out with our protagonist, police officer Jimmy Stewart, seeing one of his fellow policeman plummet to this death as a result of a rooftop chase of a criminal.  This causes our hero to develop the condition of Vertigo whenever he encounters such heights (I get it, it's funny cause the name of the movie is Vertigo...). 

This compells Stewart (who will heretofore be referred to by his character name "Scottie") to quit the force and become a private detective.  A case that comes his way involves him following a rich man's wife who has been acting "strange" as of late.  This following prompts Scottie to fall in love with the man's wife and become obsessed with her.  This leads to a turn of events I won't dare spoil for you here, and of course, it's all done with the expertise of the great Alfred Hitchcock.

Why this made the list:

I first really got into movies in my early pre-teen/teenage years and this was the oldest movie that I was able to fully comprehend the greatness.  Movies from this time were made in a different style than those of today and it took a more mature version of my movie-going self before I was able to take that into account and appreciate the sheer billiance of filmmaking this movie showed. 

This film is what really clinched it for me that Alfred Hitchcock was not just good at making suspense movies, but good at making movies.  If Hitchcock directed a movie called Serendipity with John Cusak and Kate Beckinsale you would have to fight me in line to get a ticket.  That is how great he is and this movie is my favorite of his.  His longtime actor Jimmy Steward plays the obsessive role very well and Kim Novak plays hers just as well.  This truly is a great movie.

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