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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.

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

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.

Vertigo, 1958.