The great movie scenes: Hitchcock’s Vertigo

James Stewart and Kim Novak in Vertigo (1958). Alfred J. Hitchcock Productions

The great movie scenes: Hitchcock’s Vertigo

What makes a film a classic? In a new monthly column, film scholar Bruce Isaacs looks at a single sequence from a classic film and analyses its brilliance.


Vertigo, 1958.

We start with Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958) – recently voted the greatest film ever made in a Sight & Sound poll.


Read more: The great movie scenes: Hitchcock's Psycho and the power of jarring music


In this fabulously stylised scene, set at Ernie’s restaurant, Scottie (James Stewart) lays eyes on the enigmatic Madeleine (Kim Novak) for the first time.


See also:


The great movie scenes: Antonioni’s The Passenger
The great movie scenes: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
The great movie scenes: Steven Spielberg’s Jaws
The great movie scenes: Hitchcock’s Psycho
The great movie scenes: The Godfather
The great movie scenes: Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey