Vertigo (BFI Film Classics)

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The author documents the crucial role of screenwriters Alec Coppell and Samuel Taylor and, by a combination of textual and contextual analysis, explores the reasons why Vertigo has come to exert such a continuing fascination both on audiences and on a wide range of critics and theorists.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 88 pages
  • Publisher: British Film Institute (April 26, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851709184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851709185
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.3 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces

Customer Reviews

A Must Have For Those Obsessed With Hitchcock’s "Vertigo."

 on July 28, 2015
By George Finkle
This small book is packed with facts and details about “Vertigo.” The writing is a bit academic. It almost reads like a dissertation. Even so, it provides very thought provoking details about the making of Vertigo. Watch the movie first, then read the book. Then, watch the movie again and again. The book is a great reference tool.

Experience Vertigo at New Heights!

18 people found this helpful.
 on December 15, 2005
By Dash Manchette
Although I have always enjoyed the movie Vertigo, it was never on my list of favorite Hitchcock movies, preferring North By Northwest and Rear Window even more. Charles Barr’s book VERTIGO may not have changed my opinion but it certainly allows me to understand why someone else would disagree with my personal ranking. The book explores Vertigo on several different levels allowing for a richer appreciation of the movie.


7 people found this helpful.
 on November 8, 2006
By Dorothy Mullen
This is one of a series on classic movies put out by the British Film Institute, and I guess Alfred Hitchcock qualifies because he began as an English director, even though Vertigo was made in Hollywood…Anyway, like all of the BFI series I have read, this one is a little gem (almost as good as Camille Paglia’s essay on The Birds). If you are a Hitchcock fan — if you love movies, especially suspense thrillers — if you think Vertigo is one of the best movies ever made (like me), you will devour this little book the way a chocolate lover gobbles up a box of Godiva truffles. Everything you ever wanted to know and more about Vertigo. Well, almost. My only complaint is that it isn’t long enough.

Hereto I come to view a voiceless ghost…

 on May 14, 2017
By S. Michael Wilson
One of the great things about the BFI series is that contributing authors each approach their works from different schools of criticism. While Charles Barr does go into the historical and collaborative efforts behind the film Vertigo – including debates on the contributions of the multiple writers involved – but the majority of Charles Barr’s analysis focuses on textual deconstructionism, as he examines Hitchcock’s film frame by frame, shot by shot, delving not only into what individual images or sequences communicate to the audience, but also how removing the tacked-on ending or the expository middle sequence that Hitchcock tried to remove alter the narrative and it’s influence on the audience’s emotional investment in the film. While Barr’s methodical breakdown of screen time dedicated to silence or POV shots – complete with charts – might come off as needlessly ponderous, the book as a whole provides great insight into one of Hitchcock’s most beloved and studied films. Yet another indispensable BFI Film Classics volume.

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