Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Vertigo: Haunted Locations - Part Three

There are two sequences which take place at the old Spanish Mission at San Juan Batista which is located 40 miles south of San Francisco. Before each there is a striking sequence where first Scottie and Madeleine and then Scottie and Judy drive down to the Mission. There is a beautiful sequence where they drive through the Avenue of Tall Trees.

The iconic sequences at the San Juan Batista Mission south of San Francisco occur in a number of different buildings. The first sequence occurs in a livery stable, where Madeleine sits apparently in a trance on a buggy drawn by a plaster horse. The stable, together with plaster horse and buggy are perfectly preserved and almost completely unchanged since the shooting of the film.

From the script:

INT. LIVERY STABLE - (DAY) The dark interior of the Livery Stable. The figures of Scottie and Madeleine are seen a little way in. Madeleine is seated in a surrey, while Scottie stands by her.

INT. LIVERY STABLE - (DAY) Madeleine's eyes are closed. Scottie, leaning against the surrey, looks up at her intently. After moment he calls to her softly.

SCOTTIE: Madeleine...? She opens her eyes and looks down at him.

SCOTTIE: Where are you now? She smiles at him gently.

MADELEINE: (Softly) Here with you.

SCOTTIE: And it's a all real.


SCOTTIE: (Firmly) Not merely as it was a hundred years ago. As it was a year ago, or six months ago, whenever you were here to see it. (Pressing) Madeleine, think of when you were here!

She looks down at him with, a worried, regretful smile, wishing she could help him. Then she looks away into the distance, and speaks almost at irrelevantly.

MADELEINE: (Dreamily) There were not so many carriages, then. And there were horses in the stalls; a bay, two black, and a grey. It was her favorite place, but we were forbidden to play here, and Sister Teresa would scold us...

Scottie looks up at her in desperation, then looks about the stable for help. His look scans the carriages and wagons lined against the wall, goes past the old fire truck on which there is a placard proclaiming the world's championship of 1884, and finally stops at a small buggy -- a Bike Wagon --To which is hitched a full-sized model of a handsome grey horse.

SCOTTIE: Well, now, here! He races to the horse. On it hangs a sign: "Greyhound World's Greatest Trotter."

SCOTTIE: Here's your grey horse! Course he'd have a tough time getting in and out of a stall without being pushed, but still... You see? There's an answer for everything!

He looks across to Madeleine eagerly. She is staring ahead, lost in the past.

Madeleine then runs from the livery stable across the courtyard of the Mission towards the chapel and the Tower. The Tower does not exist and was added as a special effect for the film. In all other respects though the Mission at San Juan Batista remains startlingly unchanged from the film.

The chapel and the Tower from the original film:

Madeleine and Scottie embrace outside the chapel, before Madeleine persuades him to allow her to go into the chapel alone.
From the Script:

MADELEINE: You believe that I love you?


MADELEINE: And if you lose me, you'll know that I loved you and wanted to go on loving you.

SCOTTIE: I won't lose you. Pause.

MADELEINE: Let me go into the church alone.

MADELEINE: Please. Because I love you.

He stares at her, sees the pleading look in her eyes, and lets go. She turns and walks away toward the church, slowly, her head bowed. He watches her go and starts to move after her. Then slowly, as she goes, her head begins to go up until finally, as she walks, she is staring high above her. And then, suddenly, she breaks into a broken run.

EXT. CLOISTERS - (DAY) Scottie jerks his head up to see what she was looking at.

EXT. CLOISTERS - (DAY) From Scottie's viewpoint: the high church tower.

EXT. CLOISTERS - (DAY) Scottie, immediately alarmed, brings his eyes down and looks toward the church entrance.

EXT. CLOISTERS - (DAY) From Scottie's viewpoint: Madeleine runs through the open front door of the church, and vanishes.

EXT. CLOISTERS - (DAY) Scottie starts to run toward the church.

SCOTTIE: Madeleine!!! He runs to the church door and runs in.

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