Get Your Reps In: “Vertigo” Turns 65

What to see at Portland’s repertory theaters.

Vertigo (IMDB)

Vertigo (1958)

Sixty-five years ago, filmgoers first watched acrophobic police detective Scottie (Jimmy Stewart) tail a mysterious woman (Kim Novak) around San Francisco in Alfred Hitchcock’s film about doppelgangers, reciprocal entrapment and suicidal mysticism.

Today, the reputation of Vertigo is dizzying. Its fans and scholars have written volumes on its use of high and low angles and how it subverts Jimmy Stewart’s movie star nobility, all while doing their very best to reclaim Scottie’s best friend Midge, played by Barbara Bel Geddes (she is truly living her best life, minus her affiliation with the increasingly hopeless detective).

Vertigo is a thriller that contains multitudes. It’s knotty, nasty and literal if you like. Or it’s whacked out, metaphorical and inexplicable, rivaling Kubrick’s late-career masterpieces in creating the impression that the film stock itself is alluringly cursed.

Have it any way you like it, but be sure to revisit what is arguably Hitchcock’s finest thriller in celebration of its 65th birthday. To paraphrase Scottie, “Don’t you think it’s a waste to wander separately?” Living Room, Sept. 24, 26 and 28.


Academy: Blow Out (1981), Sept. 22-28. The Dark Knight (2008), Sept. 22-28. Cinema 21: Niagara (1953), Sept. 23. Cinemagic: Freddy vs. Jason (2003), Sept. 21. Children of Men (2006), Sept. 23-24. District 9 (2009), Sept. 23 and 25. Moon (2009), Sept. 23, 24 and 26. Primer (2004), Sept. 22 and 26. Snowpiercer (2013), Sept. 22, 24, and 27. Clinton: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010), Sept. 22. Blood Diner (1987), with director Jackie Kong in attendance, Sept. 22. Hollywood: Hausu (1977), Sept. 22-24. Magic Mike XXL (2015), Sept. 22-24. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), Sept. 22. It (1927), with pipe organ, Sept. 23. Angst (1983), Sept. 23-24. Suddenly, Last Summer (1959), Sept. 25. Bound (1996), Sept. 25-28. Winter Kills (1979), Sept. 25-27. Living Room: Rashomon (1950), Sept. 21.

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