John "Scottie" Ferguson is a retired San Francisco police detective who suffers from acrophobia, and Madeleine is the lady who leads him to high places. A wealthy shipbuilder who is an acquaintance from college days approaches Scottie and asks him to follow his beautiful wife, Madeleine. He fears she is going insane, maybe even contemplating suicide, as he believes she has been possessed by a dead ancestor who committed suicide. Scottie is skeptical, but agrees to the assignment after he sees the beautiful Madeleine.Written by
In her hotel room, Judy shows Scottie a photograph of her father. He is standing in front of a store, holding an upright pitchfork in his hand. The image recalls the famous painting "American Gothic". On the window behind him, one can see that this was his hardware store. However, the image is cropped such that the actual words one sees are "Barton's War." See more »
The ice cubes in Gavin and Scottie's drinks disappear. See more »
The opening Paramount logo is in black and white while the rest of the film, including the closing Paramount logo, is in Technicolor. See more »
An addition to the ending was made for some European coutries due to certain laws prohibiting a film from letting a "bad guy" get away at the end of a film. In the new ending, after Scottie looks down from the belltower (the original ending) there is a shot of Midge sitting next to a radio listening to reports of police tracking down Gavin Elster. As Midge turns off the radio the news flash also reports that 3 Berkeley students got caught bringing a cow up the stairs of a campus building. Scottie enters the room, looks at Midge plainly, and then looks out a window. Midge makes two drinks and gives one to Scottie. It ends with both of them looking out the window. This ending can be found on the restoration laserdisc. See more »
Along with "Psycho", Hitchcock's best film that wraps itself around the viewer very fast and never does let go. San Francisco detective Jimmy Stewart is slowly going crazy due to a failed mission which did not work because of his intense fear of heights. This is all front-page news of course and Stewart is shamed about the whole event. But a ray of light shines as he gets a job to watch a man's wife (Kim Novak) who is supposedly having an affair with another man. Stewart believes this is his chance to put the past behind him, but sometimes the future is even darker. Stewart falls in love with Novak and the love turns into a dark and twisted obsession that becomes deeper and deeper as the film progresses. When tragedy strikes, that is the end. Right? Not quite. An amazing screenplay and arguably Hitchcock's greatest directing venture make the film solid and Stewart's stunning performance raises the whole project to a classic level. Somewhat ignored around the awards circuit in 1958, but ages beautifully as the years go by. 5 stars out of 5.
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