As of 2013, The British Film Institute voted Hitchcock’s Vertigo into the top spot on the list of “The 50 Greatest Films of All Time.” I am surprised at this information, as the themes of Vertigo do not seem to resonate with audiences today. The way that Judy allows Scottie to remake her into Madeleine, to change everything about her in order to fulfill either a fetish or bring back a lost love, was offensive.
Personally, I did not enjoy the film; the majority of the film seemed to be dedicated to Stewart’s character either watching Novak’s character, or driving, which was very boring to me. I thought that the implications that Madeleine might be possessed, or a reincarnation of a long-dead relative, were rather unconvincing and hokey. I did not care much for Novak’s essentially blank-faced acting, though that manner may have been intentional, as Madeleine was meant to be a more reserved character. However, I thought that Stewart did an excellent job in this movie, as well as in my current favorite Hitchcock film, Rear Window.
On the other hand, Roger Ebert calls Vertigo “one of the two or three best films Hitchcock ever made” in his 1996 review of the film. He writes that Hitchcock put all of himself into this film: Scottie is meant to represent him, a man obsessed with one type of woman, the icy blonde. While I would agree that this makes the film more interesting, I still would not call it one of the best of all time.
You can follow the link blow to the review by Mr. Ebert; he makes some interesting points and the article is worth reading.