(CAUTION! Big-Time Vertigo Spoilers Ahead!)
Make no mistake, I adore Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 classic Vertigo just the way it is; I wouldn’t change a frame of it, from the powerful performances to Bernard Herrmann’s swooning, poignant score. That said, since I’m a sucker for a happy or at least hopeful (if not necessarily plausible) ending, I’ve sometimes toyed with alternate ways that Vertigo’s plot could have gone, purely for my own private amusement. It’s just that I’ve come to care so much about protagonists John “Scottie” Ferguson and Madeleine Elster, a.k.a. Judy Barton, that I can’t help wondering how Vertigo’s plot would have unfolded with just a few little behavioral tweaks in these characters. Goshdarnit, where are screenwriters Alec Coppel & Samuel Taylor and source authors Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac when you really need them?
|Cool, tantalizing Madeleine
|Tawdry yet tender Judy
|What a love scene! It's like From Here to Eternity
without the bathing suits!
Considering Scottie is still calling our heroine “Madeleine” at this point, I’m imagining her snuggling up to him as they drive away, cooing, “You can call me Judy. All my friends do.” Hey, if Scottie can go by his nickname, so can Judy!
|Oh, to be torn 'twixt love and Judy!
|"C'mon, Johnny-O, where's your sense of humor? And you wonder why we broke off our engagement!"
|Poor Judy; her guilty self is behind that chair,
and she has no power to stop the smooching
and 'fess up about Madeleine!
(Apologies to Forbidden Planet)
|With Scottie's eye for fashion, loving the new, improved Judy
is even more fun than What Not to Wear!
Let’s say love conquers all plot devices, and Scottie and Judy make a life together. What about his obsession with “Madeleine”? Would Judy decide blondes really do have more fun, and stick with the Madeleine look on her own terms and not just because Scottie’s dotty about it? I can hear the lovebirds now:
“Scottie, sweetie, I’ll wear my hair Madeleine style Monday through Friday and wear it loose on weekends, okay?”
“Aw, Judy, honey, if the style’s too much work, I’ll learn how to make that little chignon ’do for ya.”
|There was a little girl who had a little curl...
Feel free to check out my IMDb review of Vertigo:
|"Dames! They always put a guy in a spin!"