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Wed Aug 1, 2012, 04:56 PM

"Vertigo" tops "Kane" in critics' poll of greatest films

I am so glad that this film finally made it to the top of someone's list.

(CBS News) NEW YORK - For decades Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane" has ruled as the greatest film ever made, according to various critics' polls, the granddaddy of them all being the poll conducted by the British Film Institute's Sight & Sound magazine.

Every 10 years critics are asked to list their top 10, and since 1962 when "Kane" topped the poll, no other film has been able to dislodge it.

Enter Alfred Hitchcock.

The 2012 poll results, announced Tuesday, now name Hitchcock's 1958 thriller "Vertigo" as the greatest film ever made, with "Citizen Kane" slipping to number 2.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31749_162-57484695-10391698/vertigo-tops-kane-in-critics-poll-of-greatest-films/?tag=cbsContent;cbsCarousel

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Reply "Vertigo" tops "Kane" in critics' poll of greatest films (Original post)
El Supremo Aug 2012 OP
longship Aug 2012 #1
El Supremo Aug 2012 #2
longship Aug 2012 #3
El Supremo Aug 2012 #4
longship Aug 2012 #5
Graybeard Aug 2012 #6
lavenderdiva Aug 2012 #7
El Supremo Aug 2012 #8
Bolo Boffin Aug 2012 #9
Graybeard Aug 2012 #10
graham4anything Aug 2012 #11

Response to El Supremo (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 06:53 PM

1. Wow! I love "Vertigo"

It is an astounding movie. A murder mystery disguised as a movie about obsessions, disguised as a movie of unrequited love, disguised as a psycho-drama. It is layers within layers within layers.

The cast is near flawless with Kim Novack turning in an astoundingly flawless performance. James Stewart, too. But the young Barbara Bel Geddes is a stand-out in support.

Every time I watch it there are new elements to discover.

I am a huge Hitch fan. His 50's works are an astounding record of his awesome capabilities. Vertigo is the capstone of his great four, Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest, and Psycho.

At this point one has to give a nod to Bernard Herrmann, the film score composer whose music underpinned Hitch's beautiful, astounding and often jarring visions. It has to be one of the greatest collaborations in all of cinema. That two such egos would eventually destruct (with Torn Curtain) was probably inevitable.

But I cannot imagine 50's Hitch without those expansive, wonderful scores, each more adventuresome and daring, culminating in Psycho, which surely must be rated among the top ten as well.

These four are a lasting testament.

Rear Window Was Hitch himself claustiphobic? Maybe he was a voyure? If not, he sure knows how to relate those feelings. Fast paced, beautifully set, a wonderful cast, with Stewart and Kelly playing their parts while Thelma Ritter chews the scenery. Delightful.

Vertigo A long, sprawling exposition that works so many ways. Deserves the top billing. Novak is astounding.

North by Northwest If Hitch had made a graphic novel this would be it. It has a Seinfeldian element in that it is a movie about nothing with an iconic MacGuffin. What was in the belly of the figurine? And what difference would it have made if there was no figurine? That MacGuffin knit everything together, but was, after all, only a MacGuffin. A wild romp for merely the romp's sake with a jaw dropping climax.

Psycho Much has been said of this one. Not as sprawling as Vertigo; it is a rather shorter film. Compressed even. Filmed in black and white, which might be Hitch saying, we are going to be looking at very primative forces in this film. Probably Herrmann's and Hitchcock's greatest, and riskiest collaborations. The cinematography and the music score are a unit. And no other score would do. Brilliant. Like another of my favorite directors (Robert Wise) Hitch opts for actors not so well known. Thus, we see Martin Balsam, Tony Perkins, and others not really famous in the trade.

What tells one that these are great is that they all have aged well. Psycho still scares the shit out of me. North by Northwest still keeps me on the edge of my seat. I still swoon for Grace Kelly and laugh at every one of Thelma Ritters asides in Rear Window.

But for Vertigo, fucking Vertigo, all I can do is watch it with my mouth agape. Maybe that's the only way to view it, by relaxing and letting the awe overcome you. That's why it deserves to be number one.

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Response to longship (Reply #1)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 07:28 PM

2. Rear Window and Vertigo were autobiographical...

about Hitchcock's own personality. Rear Window was about his voyeurism and Vertigo was about his desire to manipulate women. I think he did it on purpose and it wasn't a secret.

The ONLY thing that I find fault with in Vertigo is that the story (not the plot) is too damn unbelievable. I think it is unique in its psychological portrayal of lost love.

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Response to El Supremo (Reply #2)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 08:07 PM

3. The story is contrived.

But the visuals are incredible.

Spoiler alert:
If one is not left an emotional shambles by Madeline walking through the doorway after Scotty transforms her, you are heartless. All at once one may realize that Scotty may know where this will end. But it's only a hint in that one scene. But it is a devastating juxtaposition given the ambiguity of what has gone before. You know Hitch is imparting something important here, but given the shear emotion of the scene, one doesn't exactly pick it up. Hitchcock is playing viewers like a violin. It is an astounding scene, one that is not easily forgotten. It transforms the plot all at once. It can't even be called a Hitch set piece. It is unique in his works.

It transforms the entire flick's character, just as the earlier dream sequence does. None are iconic Hitchcock, but all are solely Hitch at his most creative, delving into new territory.

Forget the sillier plot elements. With Vertigo, you are the orchestra, and Hitchcock wrote the score and is doing the conducting.

That's why I called it fucking Vertigo in my post. It is brilliant cinema. Let the silly stuff go; they are mere MacGuffins.

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Response to longship (Reply #3)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 08:26 PM

4. Hitch explains that scene to François Truffaut. Video >>

The clip is too dark.

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Response to El Supremo (Reply #4)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 08:47 PM

5. I read Hitchcock-Truffaut years ago

A brilliant, frank discussion between two great filmmakers.

It may be too dark, but it remains a stunningly emotional scene. All at once various elements of the plot come together in what an opera lover might call sotto voce. It's like a stage whisper heard to the back of the house.

Throughout, Hitch drops many hints. But even though this one is overt, he disguises it as a moment of passion, not of revelation. He is the orchestral leader after all.

I don't care how dark it is. It's the most important scene in the movie. And it's a stunner.

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Response to El Supremo (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 12:18 AM

6. List of BFI Top 10:

1. Vertigo -1953
Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

2. Citizen Kane -1941
Dir: Orson Welles

3. Tokyo Story -1953
Dir: Yasujiro Ozu

4. La Regle du jeu -1939
Dir: Jean Renoir

5.
Sunrise -1927
Dir: FW Murnau

6.
2001:A Space Odyssey -1968
Dir: Stanley Kubrick

7.
The Searchers -1956
Dir: John Ford

8.
Man With A Movie Camera -1939
Dir: Dziga Vertov

9.
The Passion of Joan of Arc -1927
Dir: Carl Dreyer

10.
8 1/2 -1963
Dir: Federico Fellini

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Response to El Supremo (Original post)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 12:03 PM

7. I'm SO glad to see 'Vertigo' make the top!

'Vertigo' is one of my all-time favorite Hitchcock films, alongside 'Rear Window'. Of course, there are many others I enjoy, but these 2 are my favorites

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Response to El Supremo (Original post)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 09:02 PM

8. Why isn't Gone With The Wind on this list?

I agree that The Searchers should be there. It is the best Western just ahead of Shane. But what happened to Gone With The Wind? Too much of a soap opera? The acting was terrific. And where is the other 1939 great, The Wizard Of Oz?

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Response to El Supremo (Reply #8)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 10:59 PM

9. I have a feeling these things are so incrementally based

that completely random factors account for what makes the top 10 of the list.

I tell people my top three movies of all time are "Brazil," "E.T.," and "Monsieur Verdoux," but truly I've got so many like the ones in the top ten here, the two you mentioned, and hundreds more, I can't really rank them with justice.

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Response to El Supremo (Reply #8)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 04:22 PM

10. Birth Of A Nation disappeared too.

I seem to remember it being on the list for many years but it's gone. Too politically incorrect? Maybe the same with GWTW?

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Response to El Supremo (Original post)

Thu Aug 16, 2012, 05:23 PM

11. Strangers on a train, my favorite, the perfect movie but love Vertigo too

 

and the British release of Strangers is even better than the US.
I think Strangers was the combination of everything Hitchcock did prior (and after for that matter)
and the pairing of the overpowering Bruno (Robert Walker), with the mild Guy (Farley Granger),
and some of the classic scenes (of many), and the outright sex (which might not even be allowable today in prude 2012).

but Vertigo is almost as good.

Bernard Herrmann used his own score in Vertigo for one of his last, "Obsession" by DePalma, which was "almost" Vertigo redone (til the end)
And last years Oscar winner "The Artist" used the love theme in tribute (and gave credit to) the theme.
In my opinion the best film scorer ever.

and of course, Mel Brooks' High Anxiety used many Hitch films, but especially Vertigo.

As I am not the biggest Jimmy Stewart fan, I do think Cary Grant or Gary Cooper or John Garfield, or Monty Clift and a few others could have made Vertigo even better. But I know that's arguable by most others.
It always bothered me in Rear Window that Jimmy and Grace Kelly were a couple.
Cary and Grace wonderful together, but Jimmy and Grace???

and another favorite is "I confess".


back to Vertigo-that was one of the handful of Hitch films that for years and years was never released on video or tv, as Hitch and then his family held the rights and waited to release it.


I always wondered why Citizen Kane was considered the best. And Welles burnt out quickly and cannot in anyway compare to Hitchcock.

Antenna TV is running the 1/2 hour Alfred Hitchcock Presents, currently in the NJ area
five or six days a week (2 a day).
A friend in NYC says the hour long ones are also being run on another small cable station, those never have been released officially on dvd.

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