Wednesday, 29 March 2017

North by Northwest (1959)


Action | Thriller


Alfred Hitchcock




Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Jessie Royce Landis, Leo G. Carroll, Josephine Hutchinson, Philip Ober, Martin Landau, Adam Williams, Edward Platt, Robert Ellenstein, Les Tremayne, Philip Coolidge, Patrick McVey, Edward Binns, Ken Lynch


Advertising executive Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) is mistaken for a government agent by a group of spies and is pursued across the country both by the spies and the government while he looks for a way to survive.


Many say this is the greatest film Hitchcock has ever made, and while I don't agree - I believe his greatest work to be "Rear Window" - I still think "North by Northwest" is one of the most thrilling, interesting and gripping films from him, as well as one, if not the, best spy films ever made.

The best part of this film is easily the story because it has something to offer to everyone. It has some comedy, some romance and a lot of action, and, although it is quite simple and at times it isn't very believable, it still is exciting, intriguing and captivating, and it does feature more than just a few solid plot twists.

In that simple yet complex story, "North by Northwest" includes a lot of Hitchcock's recurring themes, from the dysfunctional relationship between a man and his mother to the mistaken identity to the "obsession" with blonde women.

And just like most of Hitchcock's films, this film is tremendously suspenseful. The suspense isn't only "generated" by some tense scenes, like the memorable scene when a small aeroplane pursues Grant's character in the middle of nowhere, but it's slowly built by Hitchcock, and waiting to see the reaction of the characters when they will learn the truth is actually more suspenseful than the action sequences.

And then there's the cast. From an entertaining, believable and humorous Cary Grant as Roger Thornhill to a sweet and sexy Eva Marie Saint as love interested Eve to the evil and charming James Mason as villain Philip Vandamm, all the actors give great performances and delivers the fun and sophisticated dialogue wonderfully. 


  1. I love this film but agree with you that Rear Window, Shadow of a Doubt, Strangers on a Train, Pscho and Vertigo are better. I love that Thornhill's initials are Rot. He really wasn't going anywhere until he met Eva Marie Saint. I also love the underlying homosexual tension that Martin Landau has for his boss.

    1. I loved that tension as well! I still need to watch most of those you mentioned, but I'm sure I'm going to love them.

  2. I really love North by Northwest as well. My personal favorites are Vertigo, Psycho and Rear Window though!

  3. This is one of my favorite movies of all time. I never get bored watching it. I agree that it is one of the best spy movies of all time