Your browser does not support or blocks cookies. The site will not function properly. Do not ask for support.

Stream it now

North by Northwest 1959

A hapless New York 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...

Release Date:
September 26, 1959
136 min
Alfred Hitchcock
Eva Marie Saint, Ned Glass, Kenner G. Kemp, ...
Drama, Mystery, Thriller, ...

Your rating: 0

Solar rating: 9.3


Imdb rating: 8.4



I've started my Hitchcock phase again and was dreaming of this one so I watched again for the 20th time. The font of all chase/thriller movies that came after it. Take a moment to see where it all came from. Great color and the last scene at Mount Rushmore and the house is a doozy.
Song: It Wasn't Me
Artist: Shaggy
Album: Hotshot

I actually saw this before I saw Shadow Of A Doubt. In the area of tension-building, its a freaking masterpiece. The famous crop duster scene is a perfect example, the crop duster goes back and forth over Cary Grant's head till it starts firing.

Cary Grant was great in the role, but I couldn't say the same for Eva Marie Saint. She seemed too cold for the role. The end was superb until the final scene, which left me puzzled for some strange reason.

A great movie, and my second favorite Hitchcock in a long list (3).

I'm watching Strangers On A Train.
It's hard for me to imagine this film was made more than 40 years ago. I must say that most of the movie today seemed like just mindless works and our tastes of humor had been dropping through out years. "North by north west" definitely has turned me back to the right track, at least for a while.
of film (part 2):

The Killing (Stanley Kubrick, 1956)
The Killing is just so much better than the rather terrible Killer's Kiss, it's hard to credit how quickly the one followed the other. A better story, script, and cast will do that for you, I guess.

The Grey Zone (Tim Blake Nelson, 2002)

North by Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock, 1959)
There are not many equal to Hitchcock when it comes to delivering suspense, so it's easier to forgive the buffet car-sized holes in the plot. On the other hand, what about that last shot? Freud would have been proud-my friend and were I falling off the couch in gales of laughter.

As Good As It Gets (James L. Brooks, 1997)
This film led directly to one of my favorite Family Guy moments-Peter staring at the city worker whose eyes are too close together and saying, "I have to draw you." I actually rather like Nicholson here, which is unusual for me; Greg Kinnear continues to be one of my favorite actors (calling to mind another Family Guy line).
Let's hope that trend continues.
These films were made back-to-back by Hitchcock...think about that. Some directors are lucky to have one masterpiece, let alone two...right after each other.

North By Northwest
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: Cary Grant
Eva Marie-Saint
James Mason
Written by: Ernest Lehman
Released in 1959
North by Northwest stars Cary Grant in a classic wrong man tale. You see, Roger Thornhill is kidapped by some rather nasty gentlemen who believe he's an FBI agent. They try to kill him, and when they can't do that, they frame him for murder. He flees NYC and starts a trek across the country. Along the way, he meets Eve Kendall (Marie-Saint) who may not be all she seems. All this explodes in a heartpounding finale.

Cary Grant is superb in this film. He and Hitchcock had a very good working relationship and it seems they had a good time with this one. Not one thing is wrong about this, except the climax feels a bit much. Furthermore, it does lag a bit at times, but this is a great film worthy of the high praise it recieves.

The famous by-plane sequence is in this film. And here's a few lines of dialogue to soak in.

Roger Thornhill: Now you listen to me, I'm an advertising man, not a red herring. I've got a job, a secretary, a mother, two ex-wives and several bartenders that depend upon me, and I don't intend to disappoint them all by getting myself "slightly" killed.

Ticket Seller: Something wrong with your eyes?
Roger Thornhill: Yes, they're sensitive to questions.

Roger Thornhill: The moment I meet an attractive woman, I have to start pretending I have no desire to make love to her.
Eve Kendall: What makes you think you have to conceal it?
Roger Thornhill: She might find the idea objectionable.
Eve Kendall: Then again, she might not.

Phillip Vandamm: What possessed you to come blundering in here like this? Could it be an overpowering interest in art?
Roger Thornhill: Yes, the art of survival.
Eve Kendall: He followed me here from the hotel.
Leonard: He was in your room?
Roger Thornhill: Sure. Isn't everybody?

Roger Thornhill: Apparently the only performance that will satisfy you is when I play dead.
Phillip Vandamm: Your very next role, and you'll be quite convincing, I assure you.

Roger Thornhill: You're police, aren't you? Or is it FBI?
The Professor: FBI, CIA, ONI... we're all in the same alphabet soup.

Phillip Vandamm: Seems to me you fellows could stand a little less training from the F.B.I. and a little more from the Actor's Studio.

This is a fun ride that no film lover should miss.

"Of course, Cary Grant trying to outrun a homicidal cropduster is embedded in the collective conscious, but the film fizzes with energy and intrigue."
So...yeah...eeerrmm... on the 17th of March I wrote that I'd review those movies, but well, don't feel like doing it. So I'll just give them ratings and maybe some comments, dunno...
Here we go:
Love Actually: I really love rom coms usually but this one just didn't do it for me. I guess it's because there are too many storylines. The characters were not fully rounded and I didn't care for them. Some good moments though, especualliy the ones with the rocker (Bill Nighby). "Don't buy drugs. Become a rock star and get them for free!"
North by Northwest: Really entertaining movie and Cary Grant is so cool. Too cool perhaps, his character makes jokes even when his life is in danger, that was a little unrealistic. But this movie is not meant to be realistic after all. I really enjoyed it.
Run Lola Run: Astounding movie. I liked its pace and the fact that there were some animated sequences. Felt like a rollercoaster and was a good experience watching it because of the innovative techniques it used.
The Professional / L
A great film and terrific and intruiging overall better film than Rebecca (which I recently watched)..but lacked the punch that it had to really make this a masterpiece. Still a great work by Hitchcock.

A man with a mistaken identity is forced to travel thousands of miles to escape the police and the men trying to kill him.

A lot of people criticize me for this, but I do not like watching old films. I find most of them to be boring as all get out! But every once in a while there's one I enjoy, and the one I enjoyed recently is North by Northwest. North by Northwest had incredible cinematography, and a great cast. The only problem I had with it was it was a little long in the tooth. The movie could have easily been cut into a two hour film (instead of 136) while still keeping its greatness.

What stood out most was the cinematography and the FX. Even today's movies do not have as good of cinematography as this film does. I mean it is great! From when the plane tries to mow him down and you see it coming closer and closer to him, to the scene at the end where he's trying to climb down Mount Rushmore. The cinematography is what makes this so entertaining. The FX were not bad too. When you think of a movie that came out in 1959, you naturally think bad special effects; but bad is not a word to describe the FX on this film. Sure you can tell when there's a green screen behind him, but there are some scenes where I wasn't sure what was the green screen and what was real, and if it was real, how did they do it? The Mount Rushmore scene is a perfect example. As he's climbing down one of the president's faces, you see the green screen in the back, but it seems to look like he's actually climbing down the face of the statue. Maybe it was just trick camera work by Hitchcock, but it was very cleverly done. I could only imagine how cool the FX were back in 1959!

I found Cary Grant's performance outstanding. This was the first film I had seen him in and I can understand why so many people love him. In the beginning he acts like a rich snob, but then when all of the problems start to happen, you begin to see who his character really is; and Cary Grant revealed that in such a convincing way.

The only problem I had with North by Northwest was that it was a little too long. His identity is mistaken in the first few minutes of the film and he spends more than two hours running away from the people who are after him. For awhile there, I was so tired, I almost wanted to sleep! But luckily the classic ending at the end woke me up and left me pretty well satisfied after the movie was over.

Overall, North by Northwest is a enjoyable old Hitchcock film that I would have loved if it wasn't so long.
North By Northwest is counted among Alfred Hitchcock's classics, and it's easy to see why. The complexity of the mystery combined with Hitchcock's smart way of developing the tension make this an exceptional movie, especially put against other movies of the same time period.

There are a few problems with this film, most notably, Eva Marie Saint. She's gorgeous, but she felt like a mismatch with Cary Grant. She was a bit offputting, and actually took away from the movie, I thought. (And, if you didn't know, the guy gets the girl. Does that spoil the ending? I wouldn't think so, there doesn't seem to be any Hollywood movie from this era that doesn't end like that, except Psycho.)

I will say, though, that the very last two shots are ingenious. So clever, and so Hitchcock. Same goes with the cropduster scene... there seems to be a scene in most Hitchcock films that go down as Hollywood history, and in North By Northwest, it's the killer cropduster.

I applaud the decision to include Mount Rushmore in the film, too. The scenes that were done in a Culver City soundstage look very realistic--the quality is spectacular. The Department of the Interior wouldn't allow any filming done on the actual Mount Rushmore, only one longshot, but that doesn't surprise me a bit. I'm more in awe of how real the Mt. Rushmore sets looked.

And good on Rapid City, too.

Report a problem