Masculinity in Laura and Vertigo

Powerful Essays
Both Vertigo and Laura raise the idea of masculinity, and it's place and role in society and character. The relationships in both films, particularly those between the male protagonists and women, highlight the differing ideas of masculinity. The character of Scottie in Vertigo highlights how relationship with women can greatly effect the idea of masculinity, whereas this is reversed in Laura, when the title character Laura shows how she greatly changes the concept of masculinity through three differing male characters.

The relationship between detective John, or Scottie, Ferguson and his friend Midge Wood is one of the more interesting looks at male and female identities in the film. Robin Wood points out that the scenes in which both Scottie and Midge are both present place a strong emphasis in their communication difficulties. (Wood, 1989) Midge seems to treat Scottie more as a mother than as a friend. Whether this is in an attempt to ease the pressure off Scottie with his vertigo, she constantly talks down to him. This is highlighted when Midge attempts to explain her bra to him, telling Scottie that "You know about these things. You're a big boy now." Scottie recognises this relationship, going as far as to tell Midge "Don't be so motherly." (Modleski, 1988) Another scene in which these two appear is when John attempts to overcome his vertigo by climbing a stepladder. This scene also highlights the mother-son relationship these two seem to have, as Midge warns Scottie while getting the ladder for him at the same time. While Scottie is climbing the ladder, he looks out the window and falls into vertigo again, dropping towards Midge. Here, Midge looks on with concern at John, and seems to hold him in a way very similar to the way a mother would hold her child. (Modleski, 1988) This motherly relationship is greatly emphasised when Scottie is taken to the hospital after his nervous breakdown, with Midge telling him "Mother is here." The issue of masculinity is

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Vertigo

    • 1767 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Vertigo Overview Vertigo is the feeling that you or your environment is moving or spinning. It differs from dizziness in that vertigo describes an illusion of movement. When you feel as if you yourself are moving, it's called subjective vertigo, and the perception that your surroundings are moving is called objective vertigo. Unlike nonspecific light headedness or dizziness, vertigo has relatively few causes. Vertigo Causes Vertigo can be caused by problems in the brain or the inner ear…

    • 1767 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Vertigo

    • 1783 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Vertigo Vertigo is a very deeply loved masterpiece of Alfred Hitchcock’s. He made a stack of movies, yet Vertigo happens to be my favorite. The movie is about the inner and outer journey of two characters involved willingly and unwillingly in a set-up. In fact, there were a lot of behind the scenes ideas that the average movie-goer may not have known about yet. The movie begins with Jimmy Stewart talking to his friend after a long sequence where he is chasing a burglar on a roof top. In a…

    • 1783 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Vertigo

    • 638 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Vertigo. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock. Perf. James Stewart, Kim Knovc, Barbara Bel Geddes. Paramount Pictures, 1958. This film is an Alfred Hitchcock masterpiece, this is truly my opinion. The main characters where: James Stewart who played John “Scottie” Ferguson, the protagonist detective with the police department whom has retired early because of his acrophobia; and Kim Novack the antagonist who plays Madeline Elster the wife of Gavin Elster who hire’s Scottie to follow his wife. Gavin believes that…

    • 638 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Vertigo

    • 1746 Words
    • 7 Pages

    In this essay I will be comparing two films, ‘Vertigo’, and ‘Trust’. I picked these movies off the list not knowing what they were about, but the synopsis I read on them sounded interesting. I will discuss the use of cinematography and the genres of the films, and describe how effective they are. I will also look at the characters, action, plot and atmosphere created in these films. The film “Vertigo” loves to keep you on the edge of your seat.…

    • 1746 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Vertigo

    • 930 Words
    • 4 Pages

    result in dizziness, which is one of the most common complaints causing patients to see their physician (1). One type of dizziness is vertigo, causing illusions of movement such as spinning, unsteady sensations when walking, or illusions of environmental rotation. although many people experience the sensation of dizziness, most complaints cannot be diagnosed as true vertigo. Equilibrium in our bodies is primarily coordinated in the brain stem. Environmental stimuli is necessary in determining the position…

    • 930 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Vertigo

    • 682 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Where the camera is placed in relation to the subject can affect the way the viewer perceives the subject. There are a number of camera angles, such as a high-angle shot, a low-angle shot, a bird's-eye view and a worm's-eye view. A Viewpoint is the apparent distance and angle from which the camera views and records the subject.[2] They also include the eye-level camera angle and the point of view shot. A high-angle shot (HA) is a shot in which the camera is physically higher than the subject and…

    • 682 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Vertigo Observation

    • 663 Words
    • 3 Pages

    if you had any Vertigo episodes that day, and if so how many and to rate the severity of your worst Vertigo episode you had on that day and how that episode effected your day. You will receive a toll-free phone number to call and we find it…

    • 663 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Analysis Of Vertigo

    • 854 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The thesis of vertigo is to be a psychological thriller and i believe that the director,Hitchcock did a very good job presenting this thesis. The fact that Hitchcock was able to make you feel like you have vertigo by all the twists and turns in the plot of the movie is just mind blowing. Hitchcock truely knew exactly what he was doing when creating this film it had so many twists and turns you didn't know where it was going to end up. The film was intriguing, interesting and disappointing all…

    • 854 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The cinematography of Vertigo is, at least for me, is the most memorable aspect of the film. The theme of voyeurism, already a common Hitchcock element, is accentuated by the use of the camera as Scottie’s eyes; the audience is Scottie, and we see exactly what he does. Only twice does the camera break from the protagonist. In Judy’s flashback the camera goes where Scottie cannot, making the audience more powerful than the protagonist. The audience does not object; we desire to see more of Judy’s…

    • 230 Words
    • 1 Page
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Film and Vertigo

    • 1621 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Theory & Analysis Vertigo (1958) Vertigo, directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1958, is a psychological thriller that is said to be Hitchcock's most personal and revealing film. Vertigo was a failure in the box office, but later became to be the premier of pure cinema. Through the use of formal elements such as lighting, color, spacing, and sound Hitchcock brings the film off of the screen and into the audience's head. The themes presented in Vertigo: love, sex, obsession, and guilt…

    • 1621 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays