* AdaptationDisplacement: Based on an obscure French novel, ''D'entre les morts'' (''The Living and the Dead''[[note]]The title literally translates as "From Among the Dead"[[/note]]), by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac. Like most books adapted by Creator/AlfredHitchcock, it's long since been overshadowed by the movie. [[note]]Incidentally, Boileau-Narcejac were the authors of the source for the French classic ''Film/LesDiaboliques'' by Henri-Georges Clouzot (promoted to his and Hitchcock's mutual chagrin, as "The French Hitchcock"), a film that Hitchcock liked, and that it's likely that the latter's success inspired him to check out their catalogue[[/note]]
* ArchetypalCharacter: An unnoticed legacy of ''Vertigo'' as an iconic classic are repeated times in popular culture which feature a woman named "'''Madeleine'''" (or variations of the name), who become DoppelgangerReplacementLoveInterest, are look-alikes for another woman, and end up dead because of the actions of a man. A few examples include [[Characters/TwinPeaks Madeline Ferguson]] (''Twin Peaks''), [[Characters/XMenRoguesGalleryMToZ Madelyne Pryor]] (Marvel Comics), and [[Film/WhatLiesBeneath Madison Frank]] (''What Lies Beneath'').
* AwardSnub: ''Entertainment Weekly'' considers the failure to even nominate Creator/JimmyStewart for his performance as Scottie to be [[http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20179544_20411971,00.html#20411802 the worst Oscar snub ever]]. Many tend to agree, although they would add that there are many others which are comparable. Of course, ''Vertigo'', and Hitchcock's films of the '50s in general for that matter, were seen as OscarBait in their day and Stewart likely never had a chance.
* AwesomeMusic: Music/BernardHerrmann's haunting main title, and "Scene D'Amour".
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment:
** [[DownplayedTrope Downplayed]] but there is a strange scene when Scottie is first following Madelline. He sees her in her hotel room, goes in to ask the receptionist about it and she claims no one has used the room today. She even has the key behind the desk to prove it and they inspect the room just to make sure. It's never explained how she left the hotel room and returned the key without the receptionist knowing, and [[spoiler:assuming Judy is a real person (some interpret the entire end sequence as AllJustADream, probably even a DyingDream of Scotty who never really made it past the opening scene), she shouldn't ''want'' to actively evade Scotty; she needs him to follow her to make the plan work.]]
** Yet another downplayed example is the coroner's speech in the court, almost bordering on satire. He seemed much more interested in chastising Scotty (despite admitting he couldn't possibly bear any legal responsibility for Madeleine's death) than in determining the cause of the victim's death.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Plenty of fans self-identify as being on Team Midge.
* HilariousInHindsight: The fact that the film's leading ladies both named the heroine in ''Film/DownWithLove'' - which is a GenreThrowback to the 1950s. The character's name is Barbara Novak.
* HypeBacklash: It's finally achieved the critical and cultural prestige and popularity to face this. Especially after the film unexpectedly dethroned ''Film/CitizenKane'' in the 2012 ''Sight and Sound'' Critics' Best Films poll[[note]]Many of the critics and directors polled more or less admitted they voted to knock ''Citizen Kane'' of the perch, i.e, they had HypeAversion for Welles and now wanted [[CursedWithAwesome to pass the disease to a new carrier]]. Incidentally, the Director's 2012 Poll chose ''Film/TokyoStory'' by Creator/YasujiroOzu, so it's not an unanimous choice[[/note]] It was a modest success (an AcclaimedFlop by fifties standards) in its time, and critically mixed, and more or less vanished off American screens for decades. It's only since TheNineties, that it enjoyed the critical reputation it now has. While the general consensus nowadays is that ''Vertigo'' should definitely be counted among Hitchcock's best works, you will find plenty of professional critics or even casual moviegoers feeling that it got way more praise than it deserved and [[StrawmanHasAPoint much of the original 1958 criticism of it was in fact well founded]]. Possibly one of the most convincing arguments is that the film isn't innovative on a technical level(With the notable exception of the appropriately named cinematographic gimmick known as the VertigoEffect). It's pointed out that from the aesthetic-technological view, a Hollywood without ''Vertigo'' wouldn't differ a great deal, from the Hollywood we know today, as compared to ''Citizen Kane'' or ''Film/StarWars''. Among Hitchcock's enthusiasts, ''Psycho'', ''Rear Window'' or ''Rope'', for example, are considered more influential and well-executed movies. Alfred Hitchcock [[WordOfGod himself]] considered ''Shadow of A Doubt'' as his best movie.
* {{Narm}}:
** The mental breakdown in the middle of the film can come off like a badly done DisneyAcidSequence.
** The final scene with [[spoiler:Judy falling to her death off the belltower upon being startled by a curious nun]] could probably provoke a chuckle or two instead of an appriopriate sense of tragedy. It doesn't help that [[spoiler:the aforementioned nun's reaction makes it look like she witnesses this kind of things every Tuesday]].
* RewatchBonus: After TheReveal obviously.
** You'll notice that Scottie gets all the information about Madeline from her husband.
** Madeline seems to flirt with Scottie rather a lot for a married woman.
** Madeline's words to Scottie before [[spoiler: her apparent death]] can now be read as [[spoiler: Judy saying goodbye to a man she loved]].
** Right before she runs into the church, you hear Madeline's posh voice slip a little. [[spoiler: Judy slips up and can't keep her accent up because she's so distressed at what she's about to take part in]].
* SheReallyCanAct: Doubled with VindicatedByHistory. At the time of the release (and throughout her acting career), Kim Novak's acting abilities were largely dismissed by the audience and critics alike - and ''Vertigo'' initially did little to change that. However, with a newly found appreciation for the film itself there gradually came recognition that it would have lost a great deal of its magic, had it not been for the actress who portrayed the female lead. Her performance in the second half is considered to be especially moving and powerful, especially in the way she manages to get the audience to sympathize and identify with a character who the audience would otherwise see as a FemmeFatale villain.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot: One of complaints about the movie is that TheReveal of the PlotTwist, a good 40 minutes before the ending, ruined the potential for a more shocking finale. This was more or less an IntendedAudienceReaction on Hitchcock's part (The Novel he adapted from indeed did have such a twist, but Hitchcock and his screenwriters changed it), since he wanted a HalfwayPlotSwitch that converted a PsychologicalThriller into a character study about TheHero's sexual obsession and neurosis, and part of the way of achieving that was via PerspectiveFlip of seeing the hero from Judy's point of view.
* ValuesDissonance: The disturbing scenes where Judy is forced to get the same grey suit that Madeleine wore. It's portrayed as disturbing when he bullies her verbally into doing it (as well as having her hair dyed). But the employees in the boutique and hair salon go along with it without question. These days, Scottie would come across as an abusive boyfriend and they would be more likely to call the police than go along with his demands, but in the context of TheFifties, [[ValuesResonance and other patriarchal and conservative societies that still exist today, it's sociologically accurate]] and the film clearly condemns this attitude.
* VindicatedByHistory: Neither a box office hit (though it recouped costs) nor critically acclaimed (except by Hitchcock's admirers in France) when it was originally released, it is now regarded as one of Hitchcock's best and most popular films, and by many film-makers and critics as his masterpiece, alongside other essentials made in a 9 year stretch - ''Film/RearWindow, Film/NorthByNorthwest, Film/{{Psycho}}, Film/TheBirds''.
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