North by Northwest – Alfred Hitchcock

No. 37 in the IMDB top 50 is North by Northwest directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Made at the end of the 1950s this is a fairly light adventure story of mistaken identity, cold war criminals and FBI agents. It’s mostly nonsensical but highly entertaining. An ad-man (Cary Grant) goes on the run after escaping an attempt on his life and then being falsely accused of murder. It’s funny in places, intentionally and dated-movie-wise, and sometimes suspenseful, as in the two most iconic scenes – the crop sprayer and up on Mt Rushmore at the end. You get plenty of 1950s acting and those car-driving scenes with the projected rear-view, and a very pretty supporting actress. It reminded me somewhat of a James Bond film. The ending is jarringly sudden, I found, and the opening credits ahead of their time.

Good lines:

Not that I mind a slight case of abduction now and then but I have tickets for the theatre this evening.

Thornhill: “Kaplan has dandruff.”
Mother: “In that case, I think we should leave.”

“I’m an advertising man not a red herring. I’ve got a job, a secretary, a mother, two ex-wives and several bartenders depended upon me, and I don’t intend to disappoint them all by getting slightly killed. The answer is no.”

Original poster:

Trailer (looks way more dated than the film itself):


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