VERTIGO: THE MAKING OF A HITCHCOCK CLASSIC by Dan Auiler
1998 -St. Martin’s Press – 220 pages
Foreward by Martin Scorsese
2018 is a milestone year for Hitchcock’s Vertigo. It is the 60th anniversary of the film’s original theatrical release. It is also the 20th anniversary of the sublime James Katz/Robert Harris restoration, which was released theatrically in 1998. Twenty years ago the movie was back in theaters, winning over new fans and reminding old fans of its power and beauty. It was the perfect time for a book about Vertigo, and Dan Auiler answered the call.
Since Vertigo is about obsession, it is only fitting that the many fans who now obsess over the film have a book that narrates the making of this classic in great detail. First of all, Auiler did his research. He has meticulous detail about the film’s production. The book is written chronologically. Auiler begins with a little background information, where Hitchcock was in his career when he began making Vertigo.
There is a chapter dedicated to the writing of the screenplay; one on the shooting of the film; one on post-production; and so on through the film’s premiere and beyond. This book goes into great detail on the film’s shooting. Again it is detailed chronologically, so the reader will learn the order in which the scenes were filmed. The language is fairly scholarly and straightforward as it relates the specifics of the production. This book does not delve too much into the film’s themes. It is a nuts and bolts description of the film’s making. If you are the type of fan who would like to know that on October 9th shooting wrapped at 3:05 PM, then this is the book for you.
This reader was thrilled to learn so many specifics of the film’s making. Included are several great photos and storyboards. Also included is an interview with Robert A. Harris and James C. Katz, the two men responsible for saving Vertigo for future generations by performing one of the greatest and most ambitious film restorations of all time. In addition, Martin Scorsese wrote the forward. His passion for Hitchcock in general, and this movie in particular, are made quite clear.
Recommended for fans of Hitchcock and Vertigo.