OK, film fans: What does Vertigo, Alfred Hitchcock’s hypnotic 1958 psychodrama and the current holder of the “Best Film Ever” title in the prestigious British Film Institute’s critics’ ranking, have in common with the flick it replaced at the top of that list, Citizen Kane?
Composer Bernard Herrmann.
Herrmann wrote the scores for both those films, and for a raft of other classics, including Psycho and Taxi Driver.
How much of a role did his music play in their success?
Herrmann could make even long takes of the 20th-century’s iconic movie nice guy, Jimmy Stewart, cruising behind the wheel of a 1950s DeSoto, into menacing nail-biters. Tonight’s program at the Ravinia Festival will pull the curtain back and let you judge for yourself about this least recognized but arguably most important factor in film impact: the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will play Herrmann’s spell-casting Vertigo score as the film runs, both in the pavilion and on a giant lawn screen.
And Stewart’s costar, the archetypal Hitchcock ice blond, Kim Novak (who survived both Hitch and—after her 2014 Oscars appearance—an infamous Trump tweet), is slated to be on hand to introduce the film.
It promises to be the best kind of audiovisual overload.
CSO: Vertigo Wed 8/15, 8 PM (park opens 5 PM), Ravinia, 418 Sheridan Rd., Highland Park, 847-266-5100, ravinia.org, $25-$90, $25 lawn.