Bill and Ted Get Vertigo! Movies viewed

As a fan of Keanu Reaves and Alex Winter as Theodore Logan and Bill S. Preston, it was inevitable I’d watch the final film in the series, 2020’s BILL AND TED FACE THE MUSIC. It’s 25 years since the guys blew the world away with their concert at the end of BILL AND TED’S BOGUS JOURNEY and in that time they’ve crashed and burned, failed to create a world of peace and harmony, and failed to find day jobs. And their two daughters, Theodora (Samara Weaving) and Billie (Brigette Lundy-Paine) are just as much music-loving slackers as their old folks.

Time up guys: the future’s Great Leader (Holland Taylor) discovers that if the guys don’t play the song that unites the world by 7:17 PM that evening, history goes off the real and reality collapses. The guys set off on a desperate quest to find themselves in the future when they’ve already written the song; the Leader thinks she can salvage time by killing them instead. The end results show, like many series, the law of diminishing returns, but the returns are good enough I’m glad I caught it. “The Sahara Desert just materialized in San Dimas — Queen Elizabeth I is looking at it.”The first time I saw VERTIGO (1958) I’m pretty sure I didn’t get it; as the standard critical take is that it needs multiple viewings to appreciate it, it seems I’m not alone. A near-fatal fall during a rooftop chase leaves John Ferguson (Jimmy Stewart) afflicted with crippling vertigo that forces him off the force. A friend (Tom Helmore) asks John to shadow his buddy’s wife Madeleine (Kim Novak), who seems obsessed to the point of suicide with a woman of the 19th century. John falls hard for Madeleine and when she finally succumbs to the haunting and kills herself, he’s completely lost. Then he meets her exact double (again played by Novak) and begins recreating her into the image of his lost love.

As part of my Hitchcock rereading I can see this has resemblances to Rebecca and the upcoming Psycho with Madeleine, then John, haunted by a dead woman; I think it may also have some commonalities with the upcoming Marnie. While it’s still a movie that fascinates me more than entertains me, it is very fascinating. The special features on this DVD detail the restoration (like Rear Window the master print had decayed over the years and that Hitchcock at one point eliminated a key flashback revealing what’s really going on (the audience hated the results so he put it back). Barbara Bel Geddes plays’ John’s ex-fiancee best friend, who gives us an outside perspective on the strange relationship, though her character doesn’t entirely make sense (she’s clearly still into him, so why was she the one who ended their engagement?). “There’s one final hing I have to do, and then I’ll be free of the past.”

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Bill and Ted Get Vertigo! Movies viewed

  1. Pingback: Two classic Hitchcocks: North by Northwest and Psycho (with spoilers) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  2. Pingback: “You have the habit of not necessarily looking for implausibility but of not avoiding it if it’s useful.” | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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