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Blu-ray review: Vertigo

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Bernard Herrmman’s swirling score, the bright colour and James Stewart's superb performance all combine to make Vertigo one of the richest experiences a cinema-lover could wish for.

This week, Universal Pictures brings Alfred Hitchcock’s classic to Blu-ray (the first separate HD release the film has had, after being part of the gorgeous – though controversial – Hitchcock Blu-ray box set last year).

Voted in Sight & Sound’s poll as the best movie of all time, Vertigo has an important place among film enthusiasts and Hitchcock fans. It’s probably the director’s most controlled work and certainly one of his most accomplished.

The film focuses on an ex-cop who becomes caught up in the strange goings-on involving a suicidal wife (Kim Novak). As he gets deeper into the mysteries surrounding her his world becomes increasingly surreal, leading to a dramatic showdown two-thirds into the film (which paves the way for more weirdness in the final act).

The Alfred Hitchcock Blu-ray collection that Universal released last year sparked controversy due to its awful HD transfers of some of the director’s most famous films. Thankfully, Vertigo came off quite well. It looks wonderful – sumptuous, pleasingly grainy and full of colour.

Universal may not always get it right, but when they do, the results really are marvellous.

Vertigo (1958) is released on Blu-ray this week by Universal Pictures.

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