The Movie: Vertigo (1958)
What Is It?: Fear-addled Jimmy Stewart is made to believe that Kim Novak has been possessed by the ghost of a woman named Carlotta Valdes. This proves a ruse, but it allows Hitchcock to indulge in a sort of California-Gothic sensibility. Stewart’s acrophobic episodes (his vertigo doesn’t seem as acute, but I guess Acrophobia isn’t a very catchy movie title) are made horrific with Hitchcock’s distorted camera effects. His psychedelic nightmare is like something from one of Roger Corman’s Poe pictures and Bernard Herrmann’s score is disorienting and romantic.
Why Today?: On this day in 1911, Bernard Herrmann is born.