North by Northwest (1959)

Not Rated   |    |  Adventure, Mystery, Thriller


North by Northwest (1959) Poster

A hapless New York City advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.

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8.3/10
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  • Cary Grant and Alfred Hitchcock in North by Northwest (1959)
  • Cary Grant in North by Northwest (1959)
  • "North By Northwest," Director Alfred Hitchcock discusses scene with Eva Marie Saint. 1959 MGM
  • Cary Grant and Eva Marie in North by Northwest (1959)
  • Cary Grant in North by Northwest (1959)
  • Cary Grant in North by Northwest (1959)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


4 April 2004 | DarthBill
Worth it just to see the the crop duster chase
I can't quite understand how anyone can dislike Alfred Hitchcock's films. Personally, he's one of the few old school talents I find interesting and watchable, even if his work is dated and set in its era (the era when most sets were hopelessly phony). I guess you have to appreciate his themes - dysfunctional relationships between a man and his mother, flawed by essentially innocent men caught up in a web of intrigue, beautiful blonds, comments of authority figures, black humor, etc - to really appreciate Hitchcock.

Interestingly, James Stewart was Hitchcock's original choice for the role of Roger Thornhill, the hapless ad man who is mistaken for a spy who doesn't even exist to begin with and is chased half way across the country by villains and authorities for a murder he didn't commit. For one reason or another, Stewart was unavailable and the part went to Cary Grant instead. Grant seems better suited to the character and the situation than Stewart would have been, but I can easily picture Stewart being chased in the cornfield by the crop duster.

Like all Hitchcock films, there are hundreds of things that aren't realistic though set in the real world and lots of highly improbable stuff going on everywhere, but if you give it a chance you'll enjoy it and won't care. Don't miss Eva Marie Saint having to dub over a then lewd line about love, a full stomach and sex. The use of a crop duster may not be the most practical way to kill a man, but it's a great visual representation of the great Hitchcockian examination of "nowhere to run, nowhere to hide". The music and clinging to Mount Rushmore is also memorable. Did I mention the innuendo?

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Roger Thornhill is saved three times on his journey by Eve. He hides in a toilet on the train while she sends the police in the other direction, she hides him in her bunk bed in her cabin, and she gives him her shaving kit to disguise his face in the station bathroom. In Greek mythology, the hero, often on a journey, is always saved three times.


Quotes

Phillip Vandamm: Mr. Kaplan, you are quite the performer. First you're the outraged Madison Avenue advertising executive who claims that he has been mistaken for someone else. Next, you play the fugitive from justice supposedly trying to clear himself of a crime he ...


Goofs

Eve's line "I never make love on an empty stomach" is overdubbed with "I never discuss love on an empty stomach".


Crazy Credits

The Leo the Lion/MGM trademark preceding the credits is on a green field, to match the green field used in the credits proper.


Alternate Versions

The print originally had an acknowledgement for the cooperation of the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service. But they requested it be removed after MGM violated the agreement that no violence would take place near the Mt. Rushmore monument. Some prints, however, were released with the acknowledgement still in.


Soundtracks

I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face
(1956)
(uncredited)
Music by
Frederick Loewe
Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Portion sung by Cary Grant (as "I've Grown Accustomed to Your Bourbon") as he's being seated behind the wheel of the Mercedes while drunk

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Adventure | Mystery | Thriller

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