North By Northwest

In Movie Reviews, Uncategorized on June 28, 2010 at 2:50 am

What if everyone around you was suddenly convinced that you were a spy? This classic from master director Alfred Hitchcock stars Cary Grant as an advertising executive who looks a little too much like someone else and is forced to go on the lam (helped along by Eva Marie Saint). Hitchcock’s sure-handed comic drama pits Grant against a crop duster and lands him in a fight for his life on Mount Rushmore — a true cliffhanger if ever there was one.

In my life time, I have watched thousands of movies. From some of the worst every put to film (I actually watched a movie called “Worm Eaters” once!) to some of the supposed classics (Citizen Kane is completely overrated in my opinion, but that will be for another review). Not one of the movies I have ever watched has made me feel as completely and totally satisfied as this Hitchcock classic. Now notice I did not put the title of the in the headline (though some of you may have figured it out from the description). That is because I want you to read the review before revealing what the movie is.

I will start with my only complaint with this film: Eva Marie Saint. I do not like her, and would have much preferred Grace Kelly in this role (whom Hitchcock used a few years later in Rear Window). I find Eva Marie Saints delivery to be stiff and unemotional, and she does not give off the lady in distress vibe needed for her role. But this is my one and only complaint with this film, everything else is complete perfection.

Carey Grant is one of the finest actors to ever live, and shows off why in this role. Completely bewildered about his situation, he sets out to gain the truth, even as more and more forces conspire around him. Hitchcock is a master as keeping the audience guessing, and this is the finest example of his craft. Just when you think you have things figured out, another chip falls. But it is not done so in a cheap way. So many of today’s writers use cheap gags and unbelievable plot manipulation to change direction. Hitchcock does not. He gives you the pieces of the puzzle like slow dripping syrup, so by the end of the movie, you have all the pieces, yet still go say “man I did not see that coming”.

Many scenes from the movie have been imitated. From the crop duster chase (if you saw the horrific “Eagle Eye” you would have caught the homage to this scene) to the Mount Rushmore scene (Family Guy attempted to replicate this and failed horribly).

This movie is the gold standard to which all other movies should be help. A tight well crafter thriller with subtle humorous undertones. What more could you ask for?

I give you my favorite movie of all time: 1959’s “North By Northwest”

10 out of 5 stars!!!!!!


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