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Where Was the 1958 Thriller Movie, Vertigo Filmed?

Vertigo Filmed Locations
Poster of the Movie (Credits: Universal City Studios)

Where Was the 1958 Thriller Movie, Vertigo, Filmed? Regarded as one of the best movies Alfred Hitchcock ever made, Vertigo is a movie from the year 1958 about a detective. It is a psychological thriller movie based on a novel by Boileau-Narcejac called From Among the Dead. The film’s story revolves around John Scottie Ferguson. Known by his peers as just Scottie, he is a former police detective. He had to retire early because he developed an extreme fear of heights, acrophobia while on a mission, and vertigo as well. After his retirement, a mutual friend Gavin Elster hires him to follow his wife Madeleine as he is suspicious of her. And thus, the story unfolds. Although at first, it received not-so-good reviews, it is now one of the greatest movies to be ever made. It currently boasts an IMDb rating of 8.3.

Vertigo became Hitchcock’s classic film. In the British Film Institute’s 2012 Sight and Sound poll, Vertigo became the greatest film ever made. Thus it replaced Citizen Kane (released in 1941). In 1996, the movie was restored, and a new print of seventy mm was made, along with an official DTS Soundtrack. Vertigo is also among the 25 movies in the National Film Registry’s Library of Congress of the US. In this article, we are bringing to you the name of every location where Vertigo was filmed.

Vertigo Stills

A Still From the Movie (Source: Paramount Pictures)

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Vertigo: Plot Explained

Scottie is a detective, and after he watches his colleague fall to his death from a great height, he becomes afraid of heights. As a result, Scottie has to retire. All his attempts to conquer his fear fail miserably. Marjorie “Midge” Woods, who is his ex-fiancee, claims that only another emotional shock can help him. Then comes Gavin Elster, a person Scottie knew from his college days. He asks him to follow and observe Madeleine, his wife. The reason behind this, he gives, is that she’s from a bad mental state which puts her in danger. Scottie agrees, albeit hesitantly. So he follows her everywhere, even a graveyard, where she stares at the grave of Carlotta Valdes and goes to stare at the same person’s portrait at an art museum.

Still

A Still From The Movie (Source: Paramount Pictures)

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Madeleine and Scottie Fall in Love:

After Madeline enters the McKittrick Hotel, she suddenly vanishes from there. It is found that Carlotta is Madeleine’s great-grandmother, who was the mistress of a very rich man. The man was married and childless, and Carlotta was tossed aside after she bore him a child. Gavin confides in Scottie that he thinks Carlotta’s ghost is in possession of Madeleine’s body. Apparently, Carlotta had killed herself thereafter. And so, Scottie continues to follow her. When she tries to kill herself by jumping into the sea, Scottie saves her.

Scottie Saves Her

Scottie saves Madeleine Elster from drowning (Source: Paramount Pictures/Getty Images)

In the course of time, Madeleine and Scottie fall in love with each other. He takes her to Carlotta’s childhood home. There, Madeleine suddenly runs up the bell tower, and Scottie cannot follow because of his fear of heights. He can do nothing but stare as Madeleine jumps off and dies. Although Gavin doesn’t blame Scottie, he becomes so depressed that he is sent to a sanatorium. Then he meets Judy Barton.

Judy Barton and Scottie:

It turns out that Judy is who Scottie thought was Madeleine, even though they look nothing alike. Gavin had killed his wife and wanted to write it off as a “suicide jump.” Judy was paid to impersonate Madeleine. They start to see each other, and Scottie is so obsessed with Madeleine that he asks Judy to dress like her. Judy agrees for she loves him. Scottie finds out that Judy was no one but Gavin’s mistress, who he cast aside; just like Carlotta. Scottie drives Judy back to the church from where he thought Madeleine died. They re-do everything that had happened the other day. Judy admits to having been paid by Gavin at the top of the bell tower. Scottie thus conquers his acrophobia. They embrace, but as a nun startles them, Judy falls to her death. Again, Scottie could do nothing but watch.

Stills

A Still From The Movie (Source: Paramount Pictures)

Vertigo: Every Location Where the Movie Was Filmed

Vertigo was filmed entirely in the US state of California. Some of the locations include the city of San Francisco, Cypress Point, Paramount Studios and Mission San Juan Bautista, and Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

Vertigo Filmed Locations

Mission Dolores, Dolores Street in San Francisco (Credits: SF Travels)

San Francisco: Locations Where Vertigo Was Filmed

In Vertigo, the following locations were filmed in San Francisco: Madeleine’s apartment was Brocklebank Apartments, on 1000 Mason Street, Nob Hill. Ernie’s restaurant was filmed in the Financial District. Madeleine visits the grave of Carlotta Valdes at the Mission Dolores on Dolores Street. At the Palace of the Legion of Honour in the Lincoln Park area, Madeleine stares at Carlotta’s painting. The place where Madeleine is saved from drowning is Fort Point at Long Avenue and Marine Drive. Scottie’s house is located on Russian Hill of the city. The hotel where Judy stayed was Hotel Vertigo, Sutter Street, Lower Nob Hill. The hotel was previously named York Hotel but was renamed after the movie got so famous.

Vertigo Filmed Locations

The Hotel Vertigo at San Francisco (Credits: Ricardo C/Yelp)

Locations Outside of San Francisco Where Vertigo Was Filmed:

These locations are present in the north of the state of California were also places where Vertigo was filmed. The location for the Muir Woods is actually in the Big Basin Redwoods State Park in Boulder Creek. The actual Muir Woods is home to some of the oldest trees in the world. But the movie was instead filmed at the Big Basin Redwoods State Park. The mission of Juan Bautista is the place Madeleine and Scottie visit after she claims to dream about it. The actual location is about 90 miles far from San Francisco.

Vertigo Filmed Locations

San Juan Bautista (Source: Wikimedia)

Also Read: Where was The Eiger Sanction Filmed?

Written By

Ananya Annapurna on this side of the screen!! I am 19, and from India's Best Kept Secret, the State of Odisha. I proudly identify as a bookworm, a K-pop fanatic, a kdrama enthusiast, and a law student. You can get in touch with her on Ananya@otakukart.com

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