British Board of Film Classification

Quick search of releases

Advanced search

VERTIGO (1958)

VERTIGO <span>(1958)</span> artwork

VERTIGO (1958)

Type Feature

Approx. Running minutes 122

Release dates 10/10/2005

BBFCInsight Contains mild threat and references to suicide

Genre(s) Thriller, Drama

Director(s) Alfred Hitchcock

Cast includes James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore, Henry Jones, Raymond Bailey, Ellen Corby, Konstantin Shayne, Lee Patrick, Paul Bryar, William Remick, Julian Petruzzi, Sara Taft, Fred Graham, Mollie Dodd

Cut All known versions of this work passed uncut.

BBFCinsight publication date 08/08/2012

Note: The following text may contain spoilers

VERTIGO is a 1958 thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock. It stars James Stewart as a retired San Francisco detective who agrees to follow a friend's wife who is apparently depressed. It was originally classified 'A' for cinema release in 1958 (meaning under 16s should be accompanied by an adult). It was subsequently classified 'PG' for video release in 1988. This cinema re-release has been rated PG for mild threat and references to suicide.

There are some scenes of mild threat. At the beginning of the film, a character hangs on to a gutter high above the ground after slipping during a rooftop chase. In the same scene, another character falls to his death with brief sight of his lifeless body lying on the ground. There is also a nightmare sequence in which a character dreams that he sees a ghost and then approaches an open grave. Towards the end of the film we see a man briefly grabbing a woman's neck as he threatens her, although she is not physically harmed.

References to suicide occur throughout the film, relating to the mental state of a female character who it is feared may intend to kill herself. As well as some verbal references to suicide, there is sight of the character jumping into water in an apparent suicide attempt and a sequence in which she falls from a bell tower. While the tone of the film is dark throughout, the verbal suicide references generally take the form of passing comments only. As the film progresses it becomes clear that the apparent suicide attempts were actually part of a murder plot, being used to fool people into thinking that the woman in question was depressed.

There are occasional uses of very mild bad language, including 'darn', 'bum' and 'God knows'. There are a couple of scenes featuring smoking by middle aged characters, reflecting the period in which the film was made. There are some very mild sex and oblique sex references, such as when a woman misunderstands a man's offer to 'take care' of her, thinking he wants sex. However, this is only subtly implied.

PG stands for Parental Guidance. A PG film should not disturb a child aged around eight or older. However, parents are advised to consider whether the content may upset younger or more sensitive children.


Cinema, DVD
Universal Pictures (UK) Ltd,Universal Pictures Int (UK),Paramount Film Service Ltd,Columbia/Tri-Star Home Video,CIC Video
Classified date(s)
Main language
BBFC reference

Share this!

Facebook logo Twitter logo