Masteries of Mystery: Hitchcock’s Vertigo, yet again

Thereby hangs a tale…

I thought I’d said my last on Vertigo.  Really.  Honest.  And then I go and encounter yet three more contemporary references to this masterful mystery and I spout off once more.

First off I finally got around to watching last year’s Oscar winning picture The Artist.  If you are the last person on the planet not to view this witty film I urge you to rent it forthwith.  It is a true delight.

There comes a sequence near the film’s finale when the heroine, fearing for the hero’s life, drives her jalopy through the streets searching, seeking, wending, winding.  This ambulatory journey recreates Scottie’s subversive shadowing of Madeleine in Vertigo.  The Artist plays the scene with a wink to Hitchcock by scene stealing Bernard Herrmann’s score for Vertigo so we’ll be in no doubt whatsoever that this is suspense homage indeed.

A note from Martin Scorsese on the score:  “Hitchcock’s film is about obsession, which means that it’s about circling back to the same moment, again and again … And the music is also built around spirals and circles, fulfillment and despair.  Herrmann really understood what Hitchcock was going for — he wanted to penetrate to the heart of obsession.”

The second reference I’ve run across of late is tucked within the pages of Gillian Flynn’s amazing novel Gone Girl.  Brava, I say.  You’ll have to read the book and keep your eyes peeled, but if you’re a Vertigo fan you’ll get the inside joke.

One last reference to Vertigo comes as part of a vote for your favorite film score being conducted by my beloved classical music station, KUSC.  For more on the Great Movie Music Countdown follow the link:

This may not be my last say on Vertigo but it will keep for now.




About Stephanie

The student community adjacent to the University of California, Santa Barbara, campus forms the backdrop for Stephanie Lindsay Dunne's mystery romance meets noir suspense. Follow amateur sleuth, doctoral student Cate Ruthven on the track of a serial "Frankenstein" killer with a penchant for taking body parts from perfect people. Former fashion model, flight attendant and teacher, and one time chambermaid for a London hotel, Stephanie holds degrees in fine art, education, and Teaching English as a Second Language. She lives in Santa Barbara, California.
Filed Under: Musings Topics Discussed: , , , , .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *