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Ezekiel Steiner posts a message on 10/24/2006 12:45:16 PM In the original novel, the reader does not know what the real story is until the very end. It's a surprise ending. In the film Hitchcock lets the viewer, but not Stewart, know the ending near the beginning of part II. He wants us to ask the question, "What will Stewart do when he finds out that truth?" It's a matter of character and suspense over the mere titillation of surprise. With Hitchcock, the concern is always with what the characters will do. Ezekiel Steiner
posts a message on 9/29/2006 6:10:58 PM Ezekiel Steiner Warning contains Spoilers - Hitchcock beautifully explores the need for illusion in Vertigo. Scottie, played by James Stewart, is a man who drifts without direction, who can't make up his mind about anything. He is deeply dissatisfied with the real world. He seemingly has a choice between two women. Midge is open, practical, and unexciting a representative of life as it is. Madeleine is exotic, mysterious, complex, a perfect fantasy figure. He falls in love with Madeleine and lets her lead him into her world of drama and illusion. She becomes, for the audience as well as for him, the wish fulfillment of the dream woman. Two-thirds of the way through the movie, having strongly tied us to this character, Hitchcock betrayals us she dies suddenly and inexplicably, we are disappointed and confused. We are, surprisingly as disoriented as Scottie is. Soon after, Hitchcock explains what has happened, and we realize that we have been deceived, with Scottie, by a cheap trick. Neither audience nor hero wants to believe it. We both want her back. We prefer the illusion, false as it is, to the reality. Through Scottie we are made to see and feel the consequences of rejecting real people for a dream. Judy, a graceless, uninteresting girl, has been impersonating Madeleine all along. Still obsessed with Madeleine, Scottie forces Judy to recreate her role for him. At first she resists, wanting to be loved for herself, but then, like so many of us, she agrees to conform to his image of her. Otherwise she will lose him.
Ezekiel Zeke Steiner posts a message on 11/2/2005 1:42:40 PM Warning contains Spoilers - Hitchcock beautifully explores the need for illusion in Vertigo. Scottie, played by James Stewart, is a man who drifts without direction, who can't make up his mind about anything. He is deeply dissatisfied with the real world. He seemingly has a choice between two women. Midge is open, practical, and unexciting a representative of life as it is. Madeleine is exotic, mysterious, complex, a perfect fantasy figure. He falls in love with Madeleine and lets her lead him into her world of drama and illusion. She becomes, for the audience as well as for him, the wish fulfillment of the dream woman. Two-thirds of the way through the movie, having strongly tied us to this character, Hitchcock betrayals us she dies suddenly and inexplicably, we are disappointed and confused. We are, surprisingly as disoriented as Scottie is. Soon after, Hitchcock explains what has happened, and we realize that we have been deceived, with Scottie, by a cheap trick. Neither audience nor hero wants to believe it. We both want her back. We prefer the illusion, false as it is, to the reality. Through Scottie we are made to see and feel the consequences of rejecting real people for a dream. Judy, a graceless, uninteresting girl, has been impersonating Madeleine all along. Still obsessed with Madeleine, Scottie forces Judy to recreate her role for him. At first she resists, wanting to be loved for herself, but then, like so many of us, she agrees to conform to his image of her. Otherwise she will lose him.


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