3/24/10

Hitch on the Hump: Top 10 Alternate Posters for Vertigo

There is no doubt that Vertigo (1958) is not only one of my favorite Hitchcock films, but it is also one of my favorite films in general. We've all seen the iconic orange spirograph poster for Vertigo by artist Saul Bass, and I love the iconographic look it lays down for the film. Some of these alternate posters borrow from Bass' design while others took it in a whole different direction. So I thought it would interesting to look at a few of those posters and which were my favorites.

10. I like this one more because it is a double billing with To Catch a Thief. It doesn't tell much about either film, but it does show off two of Hitchcock's favorite leading men with their blonde companions.

9. Taking a portion for Bass' design, this poster changes up the color design to yellow and blue and adds artists rendering of Kim Novak and a man who is either Fred Rogers on a bender or James Stewart. The Golden Gate bridge is a nice touch, but while an important scene happens there, it does not tie into the titular ailment like the poster might imply.
8. This Portuguese language poster doesn't have the most eye popping design, but the close-up shot of the stars laid over the black and white photo of Stewart saving Novak's character from drowning are nice enough. What I really like here is the title, La donna che visse du volte which translates to something along the lines of "There she goes and back again"
7. Why is Jimmy hanging from an overpass near the Golden Gate bridge, and is Kim Novak on a flying carpet beside him? And if so, why won't she help him?
6. I really like the color palate they chose for this one. It looks like the version of the poster made for Miami. Even Jimmy Stewart looks tan. The blue bricks with the bodies falling down are a nice touch as well.

5. Beware the big giant head of Alfred Hitchcock. As the Master of Suspense looks on like he's The Watcher we get a bit of the Saul Bass style, but this time in black and red. Add in all the overlays of moments in the film and this one comes off like the swinging lounge version. They should make this in blacklight for good measure.
4. This French poster has a very German style to it, but the title clearly reads Sueurs Froids, literally Cold Sweat. The entire illustration works for me and I would love to hang this one on my wall. The only problem here is the weak likeness of Stewart, but I love Kim Novak's disembodied head that looks to be split down the middle.

3. What can I say, the Belgians got it right. Great eerie illustrations, fabulous colors, and a play on the Saul Bass theme with the eyeball add up to the second solid entry from the country.
2. But then there were the Japanese. Completely devoid of the Saul Bass-esque look. This poster features the love story and the mystery of Novak's character. All the placement is great and I like that it's the only one that really captures the grey suit and Novak's hair.
1. I've never been able to quite determine where this one is from, but I love the feeling of dread that it gives off. Many of Hitch's other films are tempered by comedy. Vertigo is a film that has no time to make merry. So while the Saul Bass original will forever be my favorite, this strange morbid representation comes in second. Plus, it is rather metal.


4 comments:

  1. My guess is that the last one is from Poland. They have a reputation for having the most bizarre posters for American movies.

    If you look for Hitchcock posters here:

    http://www.polishposter.com

    you'll see that they spell his name the same as in your poster.

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  2. dorian courteney-windsorMarch 24, 2010 at 7:06 PM

    I`ve actually got the original Saul Bass design on a key-ring.

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  3. thanks for the insight sammarlia, yeah it does look its polish. thanks.

    dorian, nice, I'm planning on getting the Saul Bass design as a tattoo. Just have to find an artist to do it.

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  4. The last one could also be russian, because of the way in which they've written his name, by adding an aditional "A" - Hitchcocka. Well, my personal favourite is the French poster, I think it's the most inspired one, excepting the last one, which is somehow a bit surreal for my taste.

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