Synopsis by Bob Mastrangelo
Obsessed with Vertigo is a polished documentary chronicling both the making of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo and the two-year restoration that was done in the 1990s by Robert A. Harris and James C. Katz. Straightforward in its presentation, Obsessed with Vertigo provides valuable insight into the creation of Hitchcock's masterpiece, discussing his creative process and his collaboration with both his actors and his crew. Kim Novak and Barbara Bel Geddes are on hand to discuss how the master of suspense would meticulously coach his actors, even down to their eye movements, and there is significant time spent on such Hitchcock collaborators as composer Bernard Herrmann, cinematographer Robert Burks, title artist Saul Bass, and special effects artist John P. Fulton. Other highlights include script supervisor Peggy Robertson discussing Hitchcock's practice of doing extensive storyboarding before ever taking the first shot, writer Samuel A. Taylor's insights into the extended scriptwriting process that was used on the film, June Van Dyke (of the Edith Head Collection) and art director Henry Bumstead explaining how closely Hitchcock worked to create specific colors and designs to increase the film's impact, and Harris and Katz walking the viewer through the restoration process. There are also great tidbits of information, including the story of Maxwell Anderson's indecipherable first script. Other interviewees include Martin Scorsese, associate producer Herbert Coleman, production manager C.O. "Doc" Erickson, and Hitchcock's daughter Patricia Hitchcock. The film is narrated by Roddy McDowall.