Vertigo (Collector's Edition)
Tagline: A Hitchcock thriller. You should see it from the beginning!
Plot Outline A San Francisco detective suffering from vertigo investigates the strange activities of an old friend's wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.
Although it wasn't a box-office success when originally released in 1958, Vertigo has since taken its deserved place as Alfred Hitchcock's greatest, most spellbinding, most deeply personal achievement. In fact, it consistently ranks among the top 10 movies ever made in the once-a-decade Sight and Sound international critics poll, placing at number 4 in the most recent survey. (Universal Pictures' spectacularly gorgeous 1996 restoration and rerelease of this 1958 Paramount production was a tremendous success with the public, too.) James Stewart plays a retired police detective who is hired by an old friend to follow his wife (a superb Kim Novak, in what becomes a double role), whom he suspects of being possessed by the spirit of a dead madwoman. The detective and the disturbed woman fall ("fall" is indeed the operative word) in love and...well, to give away any more of the story would be criminal. Shot around San Francisco (the Golden Gate Bridge and the Palace of the Legion of Honor are significant locations) and elsewhere in Northern California (the redwoods, Mission San Juan Batista) in rapturous Technicolor, Vertigo is as lovely as it is haunting. --Jim Emerson
The Vertigo DVD presents the superb restored print of the film with a remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. There's a half-hour documentary made in 1996 about the painstaking two-year restoration process, plus an informative commentary from the restorers Robert Harris and James Katz, who are joined by original producer Herbert Coleman. There are also text features on the production, cast, and crew, plus a trailer for the theatrical release of the restoration. This is an undeniably essential requirement for every DVD collection. --Mark Walker