Vertigo: The Title Credits

Features / 08 August 2005

Click to advance images

The position of Hitchcock’s name in the credits sequence in Vertigo is a telling element. The film – said to be his most personal – concerns a search for female identity. Hitchcock’s name is associated with the most identifiable feature we see: her eye. This film concerns a man’s struggle to identify a woman; significantly, the first woman seen in the film is in this sequence, and is anonymous.

As the camera closes in on the woman’s face, the screen becomes soaked in red, a fittingly dramatic color given the primal impulses highlighted in the movie. After zooming in on the woman’s eye, sprials of color begin to appear, signalling the workings of the inner mind. These shapes are significant not only in that they echo Madeline’s hairdo (which Scottie later insists Judy replicate), but also for the lack of control they represent. The spinning, dizzying sensation recreates the Scottie’s feelings of vertigo at great heights, with Bernard Herrmann’s powerful score underlining the action.

Beth Gilligan and Rumsey Taylor | © 2005 notcoming.com

Credits

Feature by
Beth Gilligan and Rumsey Taylor

Related Articles

Features
Titles Designed by Saul Bass