2nd-Year Listening and Speaking: Vertigo

Syllabus | Schedule | Media | Groups | Home


Please use your complete student number when submitting homework. Example: CL123456


Vertigo opens with an ominous chase over the rooftops of SanFrancisco that leaves police detective John "Scottie" Ferguson (James Stewart) overcome with an intense fear of heights. His sudden handicap leads to the death of a fellow officer.

Scottie is later diagnosed with severe acrophobia a deep fear of falling that results in vertigo. He retires from the police department, determined to find a cure. With the help of an old girlfriend, the sensible Midge (Barbara Bel Geddes), Scottie attempts to return to a normal life.


James StewartHearing of his troubles, Gavin Elster (Tom Helmore), an old college acquaintance, hires the idle Scottie to take on a bit of freelance detective work. Elster wants Scottie to shadow his wife Madeleine (Kim Novak), whom he describes as "being possessed by a spirit" and being a "suicidal neurotic."

Scottie is wary of agreeing to the job, but when he sees the beautiful and mysterious Madeleine, he cannot resist. Scottie soon finds himself obsessed with sorting out Madeleine's secrets and her macabre fascinations.

Kim NovakA patrician-looking blonde, she spends her days visiting ancient gravesites, staring at a portrait of a woman in an art museum, and gazing out the window of a small rented room in a run-down, historic hotel. Scottie soon falls madly in love, but as his fixation with Madeleine grows, so too does Madeleine's obsession with death. When Scottie finally learns Madeleine's secrets, it turns Scottie's world into a dizzying whirlpool of illusion and reality, and of murder and madness.


Det. John 'Scottie' Ferguson
Madeleine Elster/Judy Barton
Midge Wood
Gavin Elster
Scottie's doctor
Manager of McKittrick Hotel
Pop Leibel
Older mistaken identification