So, Scottie, the cop played by James Stewart decides to retire. Maybe he should go on vacation. No, instead he stays in his town of San Francisco. Good idea, there are no steep hills there or any tall buildings. He'll totally be safe. While "relaxing", his ship-building friend asks him a favor. He wants Scottie to follow his wife, not because she is cheating, but because she exhibits strange behavior. Scottie gets to see his friend's wife at a restaurant. She has platinum blonde hair, is wearing a dark blue and green dress. Then, we see Scottie looking at her out of the corner of his eye. As her profile comes into full view, the music swells really loud. That's "he wants to bang her" music.
So, the wife, Madeleine, is supposedly possessed by the spirit of her dead grandmother, who wants to kill her. Years ago, her grandmother killed herself and now I guess wants to kill her too, I don't know. Anyway, Scottie follows her to an art gallery to look at her portrait, get flowers, drop them off at her own grave, then go out and look at the bay. Suddenly, she jumps! If you have ever been out there, then you know that water is freezing! Scottie rescues her and takes her back to his house. Eventually they're going to kiss, I know it. Madeleine is 24 years old while Scottie is 50! That's the difference in ages between my dad and I. Girl, why would you want to kiss anyone that old? This is my reaction when I saw that:
Everything leads up to this old mission. Madeleine "remembers" everything about it, then runs for the bell tower. Scottie can't follow because of his fear. He sees her body fall and flees. He and her husband go to court. The lawyer guy totally burns Scottie all about his weakness, letting two people fall off the roof, and running away like a chicken. The look on his face is so great. Later he has a tripped out acid dream and wakes up in a panic. He actually looks scared now. So he does have another emotion besides self-righteousness.
All is going great until one fateful day when Judy is getting ready for dinner and puts on Madeleine's ugly necklace! Scottie recognizes it immediately but stays silent. Shit is about to go down. How can Judy be so careless and stupid? She should have thrown the jewelry away a long time ago.
He takes her back to the bell tower and reveals that he knows everything about what she did. In a panic, she leaps off the bell tower. So she's dead. But what about him? He gets to live. Yes, he gets to live knowing he watched three people fall from a roof one three separate occasions and could never do anything to save them. But wait, he shouldn't have been mad about Judy staying because she loved him. Truthfully, he loved her too, he couldn't get the image of Madeleine out of his head. He never loved Madeleine; he loved Judy-as-Madeleine. He yelled at Judy that she was great at acting our her mannerisms, how would he know what she acted like? He never met the woman before. The only time he ever saw her was at the restaurant the first night and I'm not sure that was the real Madeleine either. He would have no idea what the real Madeleine was like at all. That's why he was so content to change Judy's appearance since that's all he noticed. Dude is shallow.
I would never go so far as to call this a masterpiece, but it was enjoyable in most parts. I will give it a 7/10.