In the fall of 2012 The British Institute of Film rightly voted Hitchcock’s masterpiece Vertigo to its number one spot within the Greats 50 films of all time, knocking Citizen Kane down to the number two slot after 50 years of reigning at number one. Ranking films based on their “greatness” is a highly subjective matter, however, it is evident that Hitchcock’s Vertigo surely belongs to such a list based on its novel camera tracking shots, shocking story and ability to stand the test of time. Vertigo compiles many cinematic and stylistic features which make it appealing to all types of audiences and film critics alike. These features include a melodramatic romantic plot but also a thrilling detective story sure to please any movie goer, however, it is the stylistic camera shots which truly define both these differentiating styles that perhaps make this film so captivating and influential. The whirling romance of the film is tangibly felt through passionate kisses, a mist, spinning cameras, and montage overlays. The decorative noir essence is portrayed through the suspense of following Madeline within Scottie’s point of view. The audience stylistically follows Madeline through Scottie’s car and into the beautiful city landscape of San Francisco.
Vertigo rightfully deserves its new number one standing as it is both stylistically classic and thrillingly entertaining. Vertigo is an influential film within the film industry. Its iconic staircase tracking shots, cityscape panoramas, and spinning camera kiss scenes will be studied and influential in the making of further films.