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9.4 4 10
FanFix August 02, 2022 1353
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Visual Editing
Ok, just a quick one: this review I may amend if an update comes around. I appreciate recordwrangler’s attempt here. It’s a simple edit, but, knowing Vertigo so well with and without the letter writing scene, everything for me hinged on the quality of the single edit that was made.

If any edit takes place for this film, to excise the letter scene, we need a quick fade-to-black, and a quick fade back in Ernie’s.

Or, another dreamy dissolve. Vertigo thrives on its dissolve shots and an occasional quick fade. There are no quick edits from one setting to the next.

This edit also makes the edit at a most awkward moment (the back of Judy’s head). No professional editor would choose to cut the film there.

I’ve long envisioned the edit to be:

Judy: uh-hun
Scottie: ok

Dissolve the shot from Scottie closing the door of the hotel room to Ernie’s. No cut back to Judy, no splice. Fade to black or dissolve. It fits with the cinematic language of what Hitch was going for.

The merits of both versions of Vertigo are so worth exploring I won’t even go there now. The source here uses the toned-down remaster, and it looks and sounds lovely. But the one edit made pulls me right out of the film.

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Owner's reply October 09, 2022

I genuinely appreciate the thoughtful feedback, Doug. I definitely recognize that it's a simple yet impactful cut that needs to be made, and there's arguments to be made for various techniques. I screened various versions of this cut for some very patient loved ones, and I chose this one rather than a lingering fade because I wanted to center the cut shot on Judy's head, but, importantly, not her face, giving the viewer an approximation of Scotty's experience in that moment -- remembering Judy's face as he leaves but having to reconstruct it in our minds, i.e., "does she really look like the dead woman, or am I crazy?"

And you're right, the "cut-on-sound" isn't an edit that Hitchcock typically employs, but I felt that a more lingering fade edit was a bit too much of a cinematic wink to the audience that "something's not right here" so a more casual edit was used so as to not betray the surprise. As that was the main goal of my edit, I opted to go with that one.

Again, thanks for taking a look and for your feedback.

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