North By Northwest

"No. No mother. I have not been drinking." Roger

"No. No mother. I have not been drinking." Roger

☆ Masterpiece 


North by Northwest (1959) showcase's Alfred Hitchcock and Cary Grant's elegant, seamless, layered  art.

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason and Martin Landau among many others.


North by Northwest uses Hitchcock's reoccurring theme of an innocent man wrongly accused. Alfred knew how to get an audience's empathy for his characters plight by appealing to their humanity. The film's genesis began when writer Ernest Lehman told Alfred he wanted to write the ultimate Hitchcock film. Alfred thought for a minute then said, he had always wanted to do a chase scene across Mount Rushmore. They started throwing out ideas; a murder at the U.N., a showdown in Alaska, a cross country road trip, etc... Hitchcock then recounted to Lehman an American journalist's factual story about how spy's create fake agents as a decoy. Alfred bought the idea rights from the journalist for $10,000 and it became central to the mistaken identity plot in the film.

In the scene below watch Grant flawlessly bring out the sexual subtext within the lines. Eva and Cary have incredible chemistry together. The scripts sexual innuendos are brought to life by Grant and Saint's impeccable timing. Compare Grant's development as an actor with his earlier work in Leo McCarey's, An Affair to Remember (1957). Grant is exploring the darker side of his comedic talents in this film. I love how Cary adds humor throughout this drama. Grant never took himself seriously and that's what makes him so enjoyable to watch. Carey was Alfred's film alter ego.


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Trivia- Roger O. Thornhill says that the "O" means nothing. He is referring to David O. Selnick whose "O" meant nothing either. 


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