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NORTH BY NORTHWEST(1959)
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Producer: Alfred Hitchcock
Screenplay: Ernest Lehman
Cinemtography: Robert Burks
Music: Bernard Herrmann
Cast: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Jessie Royce Landis, Leo G. Carroll, Philip Ober, Martin Landau
Format: Video and DVD Running Length: 2:16
MPAA Classification: PG (Mild profanity, mild violence)
U.S. Distributor: MGM
Reviewed by Judith Fox
Some viewers would tell you there are many continuity errors in this movie. Which there are. But frankly my dear, I don't care. I have watched this movie a few times, and each time I get a bigger kick out of it. Cary Grant is hilarious as the unfortunate hero and so charming I am carried away by the action and thrills to which he is subjected.
Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) is mistaken for a double spy and is kidnapped by the villain and his sidekicks. Mr. Thornhill walks into this trap with complete abandon. He's aghast at the continual pursuit and disbelief he receives from the villains when he insists he is not the man they think he is really. But the more he resists the deeper the hole he digs for himself.
Then along comes Eve (Eva Marie Saint), a bit stiff in her part, but a tasty morsel Mr. Thornhill drools over. At last things begin to look a little better for him. But no, it gets worse. Eventually he is like the whining man who says "I can hardly look after myself and now I have to look after you." I don't know where I got the quote.
The action scenes are memorable. In each of these scenes I enjoy running with Roger Thornhill in his beautiful business suit from a crop duster plane trying to kill him on the dried up prairie fields; then hanging from the rafters of a majestic house over a waterfall; and then climbing the carved rock faces of famous men in the history of America, and more. All this to escape being killed by the villains.
James Mason plays Vandam the villain boss. He's also sophisticated but conveys an underlying danger if crossed.
There are all sorts of pranks and hi-jinks Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) must deal with and endure. Even his mother, Mrs. Thornhill (Jessie Royce Landis) lacks motherly sympathy. In a scene while he runs again to escape the villains, she yells after him, "Roger, will you be home for dinner?(sic)"
In constant peril for his life Roger Thornhill is off and running. At one point, he's the only one who knows the truth. The mystery is slowly divulged to him and the viewer, and at the end...wait... I must keep my job as a reviewer and stop saying anything more.
Watch and see. You'll enjoy it. If you're like me, you'll enjoy it more and more each time you see it.
Cary Grant, always a pleasure to watch, carries his part so well I start to feel sorry for him as Roger Thornhill and his predicament.
The icing on this wonderful film is the witty script by Ernest Lehman and the moving score by Bernard Herrmann.
I highly recommend "North by Northwest." In my humble opinion this is one of Alfred Hitchcock's best.
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