By Gunnar Heinrich | IMG via IMCDB.org
VERTIGO is one of Alfred Hitchcock’s all time greats.
Shot in 1957, released in ’58, the film is a distant, surreal look at unrequited love, betrayal, and revenge. Vertigo envelops us in a San Franciscan fog of mystery. There’s little dialogue and each scene takes on the dreamlike, melancholic din of an Edward Hopper oil-on-canvas.
It’s said that Hitchcock dedicated months to story boarding so that every cinematic moment would symbolically transmit the plot’s (and perhaps his own) naked message of lust, vulnerability, and rage.
Our darkest conditions, in otherwords.
When I first watched Vertigo ten years ago, I discovered that part of this gothic work’s appeal is in how Hitchcock artfully implements automobiles in establishing scene and, of course, to transport the story. Herein the graceful Jaguar Mk VIII played a central role.
The casting was perfect.
Jaguar represented an exotic alternative in the American car market circa 1958. The Mark series presented the same upstanding chrome and burl inlay qualities of a Bentley but with the sporting forward lean of the Jaguar S-Type.
The big cat’s flowing fenders, shown in the above screenshot in three quarter, perfectly compliment the deportment of our mysterious, anglophilic lady (Kim Novak).
Notice how the car’s right fender is in direct line with the Golden Gate’s abutment and seems to point at the actress; framing the action that’s about to ensue. An artful confluence of automobile and cinema, no doubt.
And, ladies & gents, a stylish template for automotive product placement for years to come.