• Most new users don't bother reading our rules. Here's the one that is ignored almost immediately upon signup: DO NOT ASK FOR FANEDIT LINKS PUBLICLY. First, read the FAQ. Seriously. What you want is there. You can also send a message to the editor. If that doesn't work THEN post in the Trade & Request forum. Anywhere else and it will be deleted and an infraction will be issued.
  • If this is your first time here please read our FAQ and Rules pages. They have some useful information that will get us all off on the right foot. More details on our policies, especially our Own the Source rule are available here. If you do not understand any of these rules send a private message to one of our staff for further details.
  • Fan Edit Of The Year (FEOTY) 2021: and the WINNERS are...! here Congratulations!

Vertigo - The Joan Harrison Cut

recordwrangler95

Well-known member
Donor
Faneditor
Messages
59
Reaction score
41
Trophy Points
28
Another Alfred Hitchcock micro-edit: removing the “flashback scene” from Vertigo to align with a) the source novel “D’entre Les Morts” and b) Hitchcock’s longtime screenwriter/uncredited collaborator Joan Harrison’s insistence that the movie worked better without this scene that gives away the big reveal of the plot before the climax. Harrison arranged for a screening of the edited film for Hitchcock and his wife Alma, James and Gloria Stewart and the film’s producer Herbert Coleman, which ended with a divided audience. Ultimately the film’s producer and distributors swayed Hitchcock to their side and the scene stayed in, with Hitchcock later stating that he preferred suspense to surprise.

This edit will attempt to recreate the version seen in the screening organized by Harrison so people can judge for themselves which version is superior.
 

doug23

Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
3
Trophy Points
8
Can’t wait to see this! I tried a hand at this years ago but couldn’t make the single dissolve work the way I wanted to.

I have been watching the film without the letter scene for years but not from a good, sound fan edited source. This will be wonderful.
 

recordwrangler95

Well-known member
Donor
Faneditor
Messages
59
Reaction score
41
Trophy Points
28
It's funny but my first time watching the movie I just so happened to step out of the room for that exact scene so when I got to the end I was blown away. Imagine my disappointment on subsequent viewings!
 

doug23

Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
3
Trophy Points
8
That is funny 😆.

Roger Ebert, I believe, justified the scene by (correctly) noting the film becomes Judy’s story, too, but I far prefer Judy to remain a total enigma, right up till the very end. It helps us feel and understand Scottie’s rage all the more, as we directly empathize how far he is from Judy.

I once long ago wrote a big blog entry on Vertigo without the letter scene; I’ll have to revisit that deconstruction properly with a review on this site for your edit.
 

recordwrangler95

Well-known member
Donor
Faneditor
Messages
59
Reaction score
41
Trophy Points
28
Yeah, Ebert's got a point and I think both versions have merit. The released cut probably does tend closer towards Hitchcock's general sensibilities (suspense over surprise) so it comes down to personal preference.

On the other hand (and I realize it sounds weird to say this about a movie that topped the last Sight & Sound poll BUT) I feel like Vertigo would have had a more lasting effect on the popular consciousness and probably more contemporary box office success if it had gone the Joan Harrison route. Nobody in the general population talks about anything from the second half of Psycho, the twist is what sticks in people's heads and the twist of Vertigo would have hit harder at the end.
 

doug23

Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
3
Trophy Points
8
Agreed. It is interesting to compare both versions. With the letter scene the final act was a the very definition of a “slow burn”, just aching but keeping the audience wondering who is going to crack first. It’s a very strong way to do it, if not exactly thriller material; indeed, “suspense” is where it’s at.

Without the letter scene the film is downright Lynchian, and we can see how Lynch mined the film’s archetypes in some of his work, but the official film itself never quite descended into surrealism.

*This* Vertigo, however, does indeed dive right into unheard of territory, almost straight surrealism, and we’re completely on edge, wondering if we are actually seeing this play out. It’s unsettling in the way that we trust filmmakers who know what they’re doing to lead us down “rabbit holes”, all the while implying to “trust me” the way we’re accustomed to with Fellini, John Huston, Hitch himself (Notorious is his best film!)
 

Last Impressions

Well-known member
Donor
Faneditor
Messages
749
Reaction score
339
Trophy Points
83
Watching Vertigo the Joan Harrison way was a great experience and i think will remain my go to from now on. Edits like this, is one of the reasons i love this site... finding editors that come up with new ways to watch older films i have seen numerous times.

A best of both worlds edit would be to have a scene at the end
after Madeleine's jump from the tower, Scottie reads the letter Madeleine intended to write to him and then ripped up.

but i still prefer this version
 
Last edited:

recordwrangler95

Well-known member
Donor
Faneditor
Messages
59
Reaction score
41
Trophy Points
28
Watching Vertigo the Joan Harrison way was a great experience and i think will remain my go to from now on. Edits like this, is one of the reasons i love this site... finding editors that come up with new ways to watch older films i have seen numerous times.

A best of both worlds edit would be to have a scene at the end SPOILER

but i still prefer this version

I thought about trying to do something like that but ultimately a) I wanted this to be Joan Harrison's edit, not mine and b) I'm lazy.
 

Eyepainter

Well-known member
Faneditor
Messages
213
Reaction score
156
Trophy Points
53
This sounds very interesting! Vertigo is one of my big favorites (We're talking top 5 territory here), and I'm curious to see how this version changes the movie!
 

doug23

Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
3
Trophy Points
8
This sounds very interesting! Vertigo is one of my big favorites (We're talking top 5 territory here), and I'm curious to see how this version changes the movie!

Watching Vertigo this way is a completely new experience. The “necklace reveal”gives me chills even thinking about it in this context, for now it’s not just about Scottie. We are unraveling the mystery at the same time.
 
Top Bottom