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I have seen a lot of Alfred Hitchcock films, and "Vertigo" is one of my favorites. I can watch this movie over and over, and find something new and interesting each time. My most recent viewing was in the National Gallery of Art East building. I was delighted to see a restored version of this film on the big screen. "Vertigo" has everything I want in a Hitchcock film: suspense, romance, interesting cinematography and a fantastic score. Kim Novak beautifully embodies the iconic Hitchcock heroine--cool, blonde and sophisticated. Jimmy Stewart is wonderful as Scottie, the retired police detective with a fear of heights. Critics have written that the way Scottie objectifies Novak's character is emblematic of the way Hitchcock viewed women, making this one of his most personal films. SPOILERS FOLLOW! I live in the San Francisco Bay area, so I also enjoyed seeing the City and surrounding areas depicted in "Vertigo." There is so much to appreciate in this film, but the heartbreaking ending is what resonates most with me. "Vertigo" depicts the objectification of a manipulative and manipulated woman who, in the end, becomes sympathetic and real. The viewer can't help but root for their fatally flawed love to succeed. It is heart-wrenching to watch these two people, who love each other so much, in unbearable pain over what cannot be, and what cannot be undone.
Just as "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" (1962) fell into an obscure sub-genre of films being produced around the early 1960s called "Psycho-Biddy" - essentially old, famous actresses cast in new movies as "old ladies gone mad," "Satan's Triangle" (1975) falls into a cluster of films around the mid-1970s - including "The Exorcist" (1973), "The Omen" (1975), and "The Devils" (1971) that I would term, "Catholic Horror." I've never heard of this sub-genre before, but I remember an unusually high concentration of "Priest and Devil" films that came out right when I was transitioning from child to teenager (the exact time in someone's life when these would scare one the most). And "Satan's Triangle" scared the beejesus out of me when I saw it on TV, so much so that I've spent my entire life thinking it was one of the scariest films I've ever seen. However, I saw it last night for the first time in 42 years (!), and although parts are very creepy (if you watch it, make sure to stick with it until the very end), it just isn't all that terrifying, and although the actors themselves are extremely talented (Kim Novak, Doug McClure, Michael Conrad, Alejandro Rey), the film itself just doesn't bring out their very best. I also recently rewatched "Duel" (1971), Steven Spielberg's first feature-length film, which I saw when I was ten years old, and that film has not only withstood the test of time, but I enjoy it almost as much as a 56-year-old, as I did as a 10-year-old - Spielberg takes an almost painfully simple plot, and nearly impossibly turns it into 90-minutes of genuine, nail-biting thrills - I urge everyone reading this to click on that link and to watch "Duel." As for "Satan's Triangle," it isn't "dated" so much as I've grown up - any teenager who doesn't question the existence of God would probably still be scared by it, but I've turned into such a cynic that it just doesn't do as much for me. However, I can still be scared by a good, old-fashioned Catholic Horror film, if it was done well-enough; this particular one just isn't there. It's perhaps worth watching, and there are currently two free versions on YouTube which I cannot recommend (and won't even link to), as the quality is mediocre-to-poor (I made the mistake of watching one of these, and the quality of the presentation *really* diminished the experience). The one I watched even got worse in quality as it went along - if you're going to watch it, pay a few bucks and rent it: This might be the difference between "scary" and "not scary."