Confession: I’ve only seen two Hitchcock movies, The Birds and, tonight, Vertigo. But that seems sufficient to grasp the innovative themes that define Hitchcock’s oeuvre: Shrieking, well-coiffed blonde ladies, swatting away seagulls and/or Jimmy Stewart’s unwelcome advances.
Vertigo begins with a mysterious conversation between recently retired Detective Johnny-o Scottie Ferguson (yes, you read that right) and his old college buddy, ThinStache McBritishson (…I maybe blanked on that guy’s name).
“Yo,” says ThinStache, “I might be boning a ghost.” And Johnny-o’s all, “naw, brah, that can’t be right” until he sees this maybe-ghost and then also wants to bone her.
But fast-forward through that nonsense, because I’m here to tell you, the only thing worth taking away from this film is a perfectly healthy and natural obsession with Midge Wood.
Midge is a career woman, lifestyle guru, compassionate soul, and all that is right with this world.
It’s 1958, and Midge has forsaken the expected path of housewifedom. Not that she didn’t have offers. In fact, in college, she broke off her three-week long engagement to Johnny-o.
Liberated from the shackles of societal expectations, she’s a fashion illustrator livin’ the dream.
The Dream, of course, entails an adorable, if slightly messy, Beat Era-flat in San Francisco. With a tiny bar!
And a Karmann Ghia.
AND THESE AMAZING GLASSES.
Beyond the superficial, Midge is also responsible for the only (intentionally) hilarious moment in the film. She holds her own in witty banter with Scottie-o Johnny (?? I give up). She’s a loyal friend, up to the point of literally catching him when he passes out (due to–spoiler alert–THE VERTIGO).
Midge only falters with a brief, cringe-worthy “why doesn’t this boy like me” meltdown. Pull yourself together, girl. We can split an It’s It.
Lest I detract from the Master of Suspense(tm) Hitchcock, I will refrain from commenting further on plot points. Besides Midge, Vertigo flaunts some incredibly chic Edith Head costumes, indulges in a trippy dream sequences by legendary illustrator Saul Bass, and captures the most improbable ghost of all: readily available San Francisco street parking.
3 out of 5 stars. One million stars for Midge.