Vertigo: color symbolism

Madeleine's first appearance, the conclusion of a shot that begins with Scottie looking toward her, introduces the crucial colors red and green.

As Madeleine presents herself to Scottie's
gaze, the red decor glows in intensity, reflecting Scottie's subjective response.
Judy's green dress, which she is wearing when Scottie spots her on a San Francisco street.

The purple dress Judy chooses after deciding to try to make Scottie "love me again as I am, for myself."

Achromatic (colorless) colors: Madeleine's white coat and gray suit; Judy in the black dress (minus the green stole). Kim Novak resisted wearing gray, thought to be unflattering for a blonde, but Hitchcock insisted.

Scottie wears conservative dark suits without flair, but his fantasies are associated with the colors red and, for Madeleine, green.

The color red is associated with Scottie's romantic fantasies, but also with his vertigo and thus a sense of danger. Here, the title in the opening credits; Scottie's nightmare of an open grave, and red roses in his room during his breakdown.

Establishing shot for the apartment scene: Scottie's red door, Madeleine's green car

A swap of colors in the pivotal apartment scene: Scottie wears green, Madeleine's color, while providing her with a robe that is red, the color associated with his fantasies.

Judy's home, the Empire Hotel in San Francisco, chosen for its green neon sign.
Seen in a mirror: green light on the door from which Judy will emerge as Madeleine

Scottie's point of view: Judy as Madeleine
Scottie waits

End of the transformation scene

Midge,the character created to represent an alternative of "reality" for Scottie, first appears in a yellow outfit in her yellow apartment

Midge wears red in the scene where she tries unsuccessfully to present herself in relation to Scottie's fantasy.
The changing green and red traffic signal in Union Square as Scottie walks through after leaving Midge's apartment for the last time.

During the courtship, Judy wears a yellow blouse with green skirt and sweater, mixing colors associated with reality and with Madeleine.