James’ Brand New Blog

Vertigo: A classic flick not @Hyland

- January 15th, 2013

kim novak jimmy stewart

Jimmy Stewart starred with Kim Novak in the Alfred Hitchcock classic Vertigo.

kim novak hitchcock

Director Alfred Hitchcock has a word with actress Kim Novak in this undated file photo on the set of his 1958 film Vertigo. Novak, the blonde bombshell who was a top box office draw in the 1950s, said she stopped acting because she was disillusioned by Hollywood typecasting. Novak, 70, who lives on an Oregon ranch with her veterinarian husband, last appeared on screen in 1991 in Mike Figgis’ Liebestraum.

kim novak vertigo

Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak are shown in a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 film Vertigo, in this studio production photo.

(All images & cutlines from QMI Agency files).

JBNBlog must admit that at least at 7 p.m. on Wednesday (Jan. 16, 2013), the best movie in #ldnont may not be at the Hyland, home of the hits.

At that time, the impossibly named Cineplex Odeon Westmount & VIP Cinemas is (are?) to be screening Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. Go you must.

In place of the usual efforts at plot summary (can’t be done) or symbolic suggestions (if you know Vertigo, you’ll know . . . if you don’t, well, settle back for a nightmare-dream of  astounding film a.k.a. “a sick puppy of a movie” — my beloved’s take & quite right, too.

Interestingly, Vertigo haunts Hitchcock, the fine film about the making of Psycho which is on at the Hyland this week. Hitch’s hostility to Vera Miles is a cruel subplot in Hitchcock. Miles was to be in the role — the roles, actually, spoiler alert —  taken by the incredible Kim Novak in Vertigo.

Miles’s pregnancy meant she didn’t make the film . . . & Hitch, with warped thinking, has clearly never forgiven her for that.

Vertigo was also a flop at the time — or at least perceived as one — & that failure also drives the plot in Hitchcock because, despite the huge success of NbyNW (1959 for a rival studio), the studio keeps taunting Hitch about Vertigo (1958) & the need to make Psycho a surefire hit.

It’s amusing & fascinating to see how the Vera Miles-Kim Novak casting issue & the flop talk thread in & out of Francois Truffaut’s discussion of V with Hitch in Truffaut’s interview in Hitchcock, the book about Hitch film’s with ardent admire FT posing the questions.

“It’s made money by now (the mid-1960s),” Hitch responds a little tensely when the question is about financial returns . . . he then lightly blames “faulty exploitation” (ie. inept marketing) for the box office failure of V before immediately shifting the topic mid-answer (!) to Vera Miles (!!) & how pregnancy kept her from “the part that going to make her a star” (!!!).

Hmm. Lots of control issues there, no?

JBNBlog doesn’t want to end this effort to entice you to goVertigo on that note . . . a few exchanges later, Truffaut offers an inspired defence of Novak after Hitch has just complained about her attitude:

FT: “I can assure you that those who admire Vertigo like Kim Novak in it . . . carnal . . . tawny-hair . . . animal-like sexuality. That quality is accentuated, I suppose, by the fact that she wears no brassiere.”

AH: “That’s right, she doesn’t wear a brassiere. As a matter of fact, she’s particularly proud of that!”

So. There. GoVertigo . . . the cinema with the best movie in #ldnont is at 755 Wonderland Rd. S.

Categories: Entertainment

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