Vertigo Sucks

1) I like many old movies.  

Many of them* are “still” good, even though now-movies are faster louder and full of incredible innovations.

2) The cause of encouraging people to enjoy old movies is hurt when we pretend bad old movies are good. 

If you’re on the fence about old movies, and you hear about one that’s supposedly good, and then you watch it and it’s boring nonsense, you might conclude “old movies are boring and shitty.”

3) Vertigo sucks.  

It is boring to watch.  The plot is ridiculous and implausible, multiple times over.  This plot is explained in tedious, boring ways.

I absolutely concede that Vertigo might have been AMAZING when it came out in 1958, full of crazy innovations and sexiness.  This shot, say – still very cool:


As cool as the paintings on old rides at Disneyland.

4) People pretend Vertigo is good for some reason.  This is destructive.

It’s possible that these people just have different taste than me.

But I don’t think so.  That’s how much I hated Vertigo.  I believe it is either 1) old people who remember seeing Vertigo in 1958, and having their minds blown, which, fine I totally concede or 2) people who for some micro-cultural reason have bought into liking Vertigo as some kind of status indicator or something.  Possibly uncharitable, I know, but understand: I hated Vertigo.

I don’t even not like Hitchcock.  I would say Rope is 2x better than Vertigo.  Psycho is better than Vertigo.  So is North by Northwest which also doesn’t make a ton of sense.  Rear Window is way better than Vertigo.


1) I only just saw Vertigo a couple days ago, maybe I would’ve liked it more if I saw before I’d seen, say 12 Years A Slave, Gravity, and The Counselor.

3) I’m wrong all the time

But I think this is an important cause.

Vertigo was voted in first place in Sight & Sound‘s 2012 poll of the greatest films of all time, both in the crime genre and in general, displacing Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane from the position it had occupied since 1962.

Ok: lists are stupid, deliberately provocative, Sight & Sound is a British magazine so maybe they are biased, and also who cares, and maybe, as Sight & Sound editor Nick James says, it might just be that critics love j. o.’ing to the idea of disguised/impersonated movie stars (paraphrasing).

The problem is that Citizen Kane is good.  I think if you’d never seen Citizen Kane tomorrow and you watched it it would still be interesting.

By hyping Vertigo to youths, we encourage them to watch a boring piece of shit, and their conclusion will be “don’t trust the fuckers who say old movies are good.”

5) Don’t believe anyone who tells you Kim Novak is “sexy” in Vertigo.

The sexy one is tragic, confused Midge.

9 Comments on “Vertigo Sucks”

  1. Juan says:

    I probably watched “Vertigo” some 25 years ago, but I didn’t remember. I watched it again last month and, oh boy, was it boring! It was a massive disappointment.

    So I agree with you about 90%. I feel the same frustration and distaste for how snobs hurt the noble cause of encouraging all sorts of people (not just doctors in History of Cinema) to watch good films, no matter from where or when.

    Our only disagreements are:
    – “Citizen Kane” sucks if you don’t have a strong background on cinema editing and the history of development of the cinematographic language. So it seems to me, but I’m surely also wrong all the time.
    – Midge wasn’t sexy. Actually, nobody was sexy in “Vertigo”.

  2. rico says:

    imho kim novak was, is and will forever remain sexy and beautiful, inside and out. From what I’ve read about her life she is an unusually strong and courageous woman.

    re: Vertigo I agree 100%. It’s a ridiculous plot layered over a pseudo-psychological drama. There are some beautiful shots of the city and the bay, and Kim Novak is lovely as always but eye candy isn’t enough to redeem a picture of 2 characters going through absurd motions. When Stewart’s “Scotty” doesn’t immediately recognize Judy as Madeleine that broke the last straw for me. I can understand and appreciate suspension of disbelief but c’mon already.

    I read another website talking about the auteur theory of film-making and how Vertigo is such a prime example of Hitchcock as auteur. Frankly it made very little sense but I’m no film critic and I’ve never studied film-making. I figure if I have to do homework to appreciate a film then it’s not for me. If it’s over my head so be it.

    I love almost everything else Hitchcock did and in case anyone doesn’t know his work let me recommend 2 of his more obscure films: “Lifeboat” and “Jamaica Inn.” Great movies both of them and no homework required. “Rebecca” (Best Picture 1940) is a masterpiece but most people probably already know that film.

  3. Trav says:


  4. Brian Kamaki Cho says:

    thank you…im trying to get my kids to enjoy old classic movies, and some are timeless and still enjoyable.. but this one… i really REALLY dont get why its on the top 100 list of best movies of all time.
    Also dont you think the scene with Scotty and Midge in the office talking in the beginning of the movie.. goes on way too long!!!

  5. Marcia Smith-McKenna says:

    I disagree. Most current “action” pictures feature an explosion and/or killing every other minute.

  6. Joseph Natale says:

    For the love of God. Vertigo is boring nonsense, Citizen Kane is an avalanche of cinematic excitement, incredibly dynamic. Welles is the Mozart of film makers. This is all due to the filthy French who elevated Hitchcock and Jerry Lewis to genius status. Most of their New Wave blows as well. Intelligence and good taste have been in decline for years.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.