Like the actual condition of vertigo, the film Vertigo, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, is psychological and suspenseful and brings the audience into a freefall of twists and turns. When Scottie’s true love commits “suicide” he spirals down to his rock bottom where he ends up meeting Judy. Judy is the spitting image of Madeline except for her hair color and clothing. Once he convinces her to go out with him, he begins to try and transform her into his late love by dying her hair and buying her the exact clothes Madeline wore.

One of the main themes in the film Vertigo is death. It is constantly on the minds of the characters tempting them through their dreams and the loss of love. Madeline, the subject of Scottie’s private investigation finds herself caught up in her nightmares, which leads her to her ultimate “suicide.” He life is literally taken control of by the nightmares when she is doing daily activities that she doesn’t remember where she always is knocking at death’s door.  Even though she has strong feeling towards her own death in her possessed state, she really doesn’t want to die. This is related to Madeline’s true persona of Judy, who is “dead” because she has taken on the role of Madeline. Judy is fighting to keep her true self alive as she is falling for Scottie and tries to take control of that when she is back to her normal self. Scottie also faces the threat of death when he loses Madeline, his love. He begins to have the nightmares that had possessed Madeline however he is able to overcome them when he meets Judy.

Another theme in the film is the changing appearances of people. All of the characters at one point take on another façade that is either brought by their self or others changing them. Scottie is the first example of this as his profession is being a private eye always hiding in the shadows, never letting anyone see him. Judy, who plays the role of Madeline in the set up of her death by her husband, goes through the most transformations. Judy is first disguised as Madeline, the blonde, high-lass, elegant woman, as she plays the role of some mans wife in carrying out her homicide to make it seem like a suicide. Then she revives her actual self as Judy who works in a department store and lives meagerly. When Scottie meets Judy, he changes her back into the spiting image of Madeline so he can be with his true love once more. Lastly, there is Midge who is desperate for Scottie’s attention and love. She takes a painting that he saw with Madeline and copies it but puts herself in the picture. She changes her appearance to the image of something that Scottie loved.


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