Thursday, May 23, 2013

David's Top Ten - #8 - Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)

It was bound to happen.  For the first of three instances, there is a movie on my personal top ten that is also at a higher point in Chelsea’s top ten.  Perhaps we take this two-become-one thing a bit too seriously, because our tastes have seemed to, in some ways, meld together after nearly five years of cinematic adventures enjoyed in marital bliss.  I’m still waiting for that fated day in which we adamantly disagree about a film – mainly because it would be a fun thing for our readers to experience.  Alas, today is not that day, and my love for my eighth favorite film of all-time is a love I share with my wife.

So instead, I will provide clues to what this mutually loved film is.  The first to figure it out gets a hearty handshake and a healthy share of respect.  Here are your five clues!  (C’mon modern peoples, try to figure it out without the help of web searches!)

Clue #1: The film’s lead character shares a last name with an infamous judge whose ruling upheld, at the time, the constitutionality of racial segregation.  (And you thought this would be easy – ha!)
Answer: State of Louisiana Supreme Court Judge John Ferguson of the infamous Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) case shares the name with the protagonist John 'Scottie' Ferguson.
Clue #2: 1964's Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte shares a strikingly similar plot to a (wonderful) 1955 French film based on a book by the same author as this film’s source material.
Answer:  The French film is Diaboliques (Highly Recommended!) and the authors are Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac who also wrote D'Entre Les Morts, the novel upon which Vertigo is based. 
Clue #3: A pivotal scene of the film takes place in a wooded area near the site of golfer Tom Kite’s only U.S. Open victory.
Answer:  Tom Kite won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, and the nearby location is Cypress Point.
Clue #4: Was the last collaboration of the filmmaker and the lead actor, as the filmmaker lamented after initial lukewarm reviews that the star was now simply “looking too old.”
Answer:  Alfred Hitchcock said this of Jimmy Stewart.
Clue #5: The film’s iconic score is inspired heavily by Richard Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde.”
Answer:  The film was scored by Bernard Herrmann.

The film is, of course, Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, which comes in at #2 on Chelsea's Top Ten of All Time.

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