WARNING: This character article contains major spoilers for
"Only one is a wanderer. Two together are always going somewhere." ― "Madeleine"
"Well, I'll wear the darn clothes if you want me to - if-if you'll just, just like me."
Judy turning herself in as Scottie tries to remake her as "Madeleine"
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Judy Barton (occasionally known as Madeleine Elster in her disguise) is the female lead and secondary antagonist of the 1958 Alfred Hitchcock film Vertigo. She was hired by Gavin Elster to impersonate his wife due to her similar appearance and help him kill her by pretending to commit suicide.
She was played by Kim Novak in a dual role.
Why She Rocks
- Kim Novak manages complex and masterful performances as both Madeleine and Judy.
- Plus she even manages to get the audience to sympathize and identify with her after her true identity is revealed.
- As Madeleine, she's meant to resemble the mysterious nature of women and how they have their own various thoughts.
- She's not your average femme fatale. While she does still charm the hero and show a mischievous side, she ends up getting true feelings for the male and regretting her bad actions.
- Halfway through the film, when her true identity was revealed, she ended up taking over John's role as the sympathetic character due to regretting taking part in Gavin's plan and hoping John would love her for who she is.
- Also, Judy was willing to due whatever it takes to get Scottie to love her, even if it meant using her Madeleine alter-ego to do so. She's also an incredible and convincing actress.
- Her final death scene at the ending is a very emotional moment, considering what had gone through. Plus it was also symbolic considering she knew Scottie wouldn't love her for who she really was and Scottie knew the truth about what happened to the real Madeleine.