Featuring the most twisted and tortured performance of Jimmy Stewart’s career, it is a moody and dark tale involving sexual obsession, demonic possession and acrophobia or fear of heights. Stewart plays Scottie Ferguson, a policeman who quits the force because of his fear of heights. Scottie is presented with the opportunity to spy on a woman named Madeleine. Madeleine’s husband believes she is possessed by the spirit of a deceased relative. Scottie takes the job, but falls in love with her in the process. When Madeleine goes to an old missionary bell tower to commit suicide, Scottie is unable to stop her. Stunned, he meets another woman named Judy who looks just like Madeleine and decides to make her into image of the former woman he once loved. Eventually, his obsession brings tragic consequences.
Never has a movie so captured sexual obsession. This movie demonstrates the cumulative destructiveness with sin and mental disease. In many ways, this movie demonstrates the inner problems of Hitchcock himself. While able to convey horrible themes without depicting sex or graphic violence, it is definitely for adults only and even discerning viewers will stay away from its dark allures. Hitchcock has never been more sinister or more powerful than in this masterpiece.
(B, O, L, S, A,D, M) Biblical worldview that the wages of sin is death about a man obsessed with a woman with elements of demonic possession; no foul language; mild violence including man falling to his death, attempted suicide, implied murder & implied suicide of woman falling to her death; adulterous kisses; no nudity; alcohol use; smoking; and, & necrophilia themes