North by Northwest (1959)

Not Rated   |    |  Adventure, Mystery, Thriller


North by Northwest (1959) Poster

A New York City advertising executive goes on the run after being mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies.

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8.3/10
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  • Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint in North by Northwest (1959)
  • Cary Grant in North by Northwest (1959)
  • Cary Grant and Eva Marie in North by Northwest (1959)
  • Cary Grant in North by Northwest (1959)
  • Cary Grant in North by Northwest (1959)
  • Cary Grant and Alfred Hitchcock in North by Northwest (1959)

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27 July 2002 | bob the moo
Classic thriller - I love it!
Roger Thornhill is an advertising man. However when he is kidnapped it is clear that he has been mistaken for someone else. When he tries to find out what's going he is framed for murder and sets out on a cross country run to survive. Along the way he meets danger, adventure and beauty in the shape of the mysterious Eve Kendall. However when he finds the truth he is drawn towards a final showdown with the dangerous Vandamm.

Rightly regarded as a classic and can more than compete with today's thrillers that too often rely on special effects to make up for the lack of genuine suspense. Here the plot requires a great deal of faith, but it is brought off with such style and energy that it is totally absorbing. The action is great and the several main scenes have become part of popular culture and are regularly spoofed on TV etc. The romance works as well and Thornhill and Kendall exchange plenty of good scenes.

The dialogue is great and the direction is faultless from Hitchcock. Many thrillers run over 2 hours - but only the good ones can stand up to repeated viewings. Northwest can take back to back viewings it is so good. The plot may have been put together as shooting went (as was the case with at least

one key scene) but it all stands together well. The acting is also perfect, Grant's rebirth as a thriller man is brilliant and is one of Hitchcock's best everyman characters. Marie-Saint is yet another dangerous blonde but is very good. James `The Voice' Mason is excellent, while Landau adds great homosexual subtext to his character. The ever present Leo G Carroll IS Mr Waverly but is still enjoyable and even support roles like Landis as Thornhill's mother is perfection!

Over 40 years on this film has barely dated. Hearing the music is enough to make me want to see it again, while the direction, set pieces, dialogue and performances are all pitch perfect. A wonderful thriller for young and old - no sex, no swearing, all thrills.

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