James Stewart and Kim Novak taking a break during the filming of Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
“The last time she saw Stewart was when they bumped into each other at an airport [he died in 1997]. “I said, ‘Jimmy, I wish we could do a movie together.’ And he said, ‘I can’t be a leading man anymore. I don’t want to make movies anymore.’ He’d been away from movies for a while. He said, ‘You know, I walk out my back yard and I can’t remember sometimes why I walk out there.’ I said, ‘I understand that, it happens.’ He said, ‘Yep. Happens. [Pause.] Sure is good seeing you again.’ And I said, ‘You too, Jimmy.’ And gave him a hug.” - The Telegraph [UK], 2014
The funny thing is: I really like Vertigo as a movie, but I also accept, as one film critic says: “It feels over-directed. If that makes sense.” And the end is too dramatic and soap opera-ish. (A nun randomly pops out of the shadows to scare a woman and make her fall/jump to her death!? WTF!?)
Why I always thought Psycho was better. Neither plot is particularly realistic, obviously, but Psycho is far more subtle and toned down.
Hitchcock wasn’t actively trying to be great there. He just was.