Dizzily acrophobic detective Scottie (James Stewart) is hired to follow a friend's beautiful but unhinged wife, Madeleine (Kim Novak); he saves her life, falls in love with her but sees her apparently commit suicide at a Spanish mission. He cracks up, haunts the places he and Madeleine used to go – and sees a woman called Judy with an uncanny resemblance to her. He proceeds to try and turn her into Madeleine, then notices she's not what she seems... Many critics think Vertigo is Hitchcock's finest work, and seeing the 1996-restored print confirms its depth and richness. Stewart was at his passionate best in this and Rear Window, and Novak is gorgeous both as posh Madeleine and trashy Judy.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies