If I could just find the key

The impeccably lay Bay Guardian reviewer describes Vertigo as "a standard Hitchcock whodunit" -- meaning what? In this particular film, the existence of a crime is revealed only at the very same moment that its perpetrators are revealed: the "who" and the "dun" collapse together. In fact, I can't think of any Hitchcock films that could possibly be viewed as setting a standard for whodunits.

No, Hitchcock as large body-of-work is not defined by any professional genre, but instead by personal obsessions. It would be more accurate to describe Vertigo as, for example, "a standard chance for Hitchcock to ensure that the top of a woman's foot is scraped while she's dragged upward."

Copyright 1998 Ray Davis