San Francisco police detective JOHN "SCOTTIE" FERGUSON (Jimmy Stewart), already a bit over the edge, thanks to his obsession with a former girlfriend, develops a fear of heights and is forced to retire when a colleague falls to his death during a chase. An old college friend (Gavin Elster) hires Scottie to watch his wife Madeleine, who's also obsessed with the past. Turns out she's a dead ringer for Scottie's true love. He follows her around San Francisco and is drawn into a complex plot in this Alfred Hitchcock classic that inevitably leads to that damn mission bell tower.
Arguably Hitchcock's masterpiece. Recommended.
By the way, in the original novel, the main character wasn't a former cop, but a lawyer. So John 'Scottie' Ferguson wasn't really created by Boileau and Narcejac, but by Samuel Taylor when he adapted the novel for the screen.
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