Another trip down the Hitchcock rabbit hole!
-directed by Alfred Hitchcock
A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend's wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.
James Stewart as John 'Scottie' Ferguson
Kim Novak as Madeleine Elster/Judy Barton
Barbara Bel Geddes as Midge Wood
Tom Helmore as Gavin Elster
Raymond Bailey as Scottie's doctor
Uncredited second-unit cameraman Irmin Roberts invented the famous "zoom out and track in" shot (now sometimes called "contra-zoom" or "trombone shot") to convey the sense of vertigo to the audience. The view down the mission stairwell cost $19,000 for just a couple of seconds of screen time.
First ever film to use computer graphics (Intro sequence done by Saul Bass)
The film was unavailable for decades because its rights (together with four other pictures of the same period) were bought back by Alfred Hitchcock and left as part of his legacy to his daughter. They've been known for long as the infamous "Five Lost Hitchcocks" amongst film buffs, and were re-released in theatres around 1984 after a 30-year absence. The others are The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Rear Window (1954), Rope (1948), and The Trouble with Harry (1955). Poorly received by U.S. critics on its release, this film is now hailed as Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece.
Audrey Hepburn expressed an interest in playing the dual roles of Judy and Madeleine.
Kim Novak hated wearing the important gray suit because it felt confining. However, she learned to make it work for her, as she saw it a symbol of Madeleine's character.
Director Cameo (Alfred Hitchcock): Wearing a gray suit walking past Gavin Elster's shipyard, carrying a musical instrument case.
In Hitchcock's cameo he is seen carrying what has been called a musical instrument case, but there is no musical instrument shaped like that. It is a case for a very high quality costume mask of the Doctor of the Plague, much more appropriate for the Master.
Hitchcock thus described the film to François Truffaut: "To put it plainly, the man wants to go to bed with a woman who is dead."