Kim Novak, one of Hitchcock's coolest icy blonds, plays two roles in Vertigo, screening today at the Alamo Drafthouse. How much you like the film's ending depends on which of the two characters you like more. There's Madeleine Elster, a possibly mentally ill young married woman. Blond, tailored, and well put together (fashionably speaking, that is), Madeleine is reserved, elusive, mysterious. There's also Judy Barton, a working class girl with mousy brown hair and an unremarkable wardrobe. Judy is ordinary, easily influenced and not above a lie or two. (We belong to Team Judy.)
James Stewart plays Scottie, a private investigator hired by Madeleine's husband to uncover the cause of her odd behavior. Barbara Bel Geddes (yes, from Dallas) has a small role as Scottie's girlfriend. We would say we'd like to see more of her on screen, but that would take away from Novak's time, so never mind.
The vertigo from the film's title refers to Scottie's inability to handle heights. Since this is a Hitchcock film, it also refers to a lot of other things, like guilt and loss of control. Guilt over what? Loss of control of what? Ah, you'll have to see the film to find out. One of Hitchcock's best, Vertigo was restored several years ago so its showing today as part of the Alamo Drafthouse's Big Screen Classics series should be a treat.
6:30 p.m. 531 South Mason Rd. For information, call 281-492-6900 or visit drafthouse.com. $9.
Sun., April 21, 6:30 p.m., 2013