North by Northwest

( 36 )

Overview

While having lunch at the Plaza Hotel in New York, advertising executive Roger O. Thornhill Cary Grant has the bad luck to call for a messenger just as a page goes out for a "George Kaplan." From that moment, Thornhill finds that he has stepped into a nightmare -- he is quietly abducted by a pair of armed men out of the hotel's famous Oak Room and transported to a Long Island estate; there, he is interrogated by a mysterious man James Mason who, believing that Roger is George Kaplan, demands to know what he knows...
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Overview

While having lunch at the Plaza Hotel in New York, advertising executive Roger O. Thornhill Cary Grant has the bad luck to call for a messenger just as a page goes out for a "George Kaplan." From that moment, Thornhill finds that he has stepped into a nightmare -- he is quietly abducted by a pair of armed men out of the hotel's famous Oak Room and transported to a Long Island estate; there, he is interrogated by a mysterious man James Mason who, believing that Roger is George Kaplan, demands to know what he knows about his business and how he has come to acquire this knowledge. Roger, who knows nothing about who any of these people are, can do nothing but deny that he is Kaplan or that he knows what they're talking about. Finally, his captors force a bottle of bourbon into Roger and put him behind the wheel of a car on a dangerous downhill stretch. Through sheer luck and the intervention of a police patrol car and its driver John Beradino, Roger survives the ride and evades his captors, and is booked for drunk driving. He's unable to persuade the court, the county detectives, or even his own mother Jesse Royce Landis of the truth of his story, however -- Thornhill returns with them to the mansion where he was held, only to find any incriminating evidence cleaned up and to learn that the owner of the house is a diplomat, Lester Townsend Philip Ober, assigned to the United Nations. He backtracks to the hotel to find the room of the real George Kaplan, only to discover that no one at the hotel has ever actually seen the man. With his kidnappers once again pursuing him, Thornhill decides to confront Townsend at the United Nations, only to discover that he knows nothing of the events on Long Island, or his house being occupied -- but before he can learn more, Townsend gets a knife in his back in full view of 50 witnesses who believe that Roger did it. Now on the run from a murder charge, complete with a photograph of him holding the weapon plastered on the front page of every newspaper in the country, Thornhill tries to escape via train -- there he meets the cooly beautiful Eve Kendall Eva Marie Saint, who twice hides him from the police, once spontaneously and a second time in a more calculated rendezvous in her compartment that gets the two of them together romantically, at least for the night. By the next day, he's off following a clue to a remote rural highway, where he is attacked by an armed crop-dusting plane, one of the most famous scenes in Hitchcock's entire film output. Thornhill barely survives, but he does manage to learn that his mysterious tormentor/interrogator is named Phillip Vandamm, and that he goes under the cover of being an art dealer and importer/exporter, and that Eve is in bed with him in every sense of the phrase -- or is she?
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Special Features

Commentary by Screenwriter Ernest Lehman; Music-Only Audio Track
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Kryssa Schemmerling
Who can forget Cary Grant running through a cornfield, menaced from above by a low-flying crop duster? Or Grant and Eva Marie Saint clinging to the stone faces of Mount Rushmore in an attempt to elude a nefarious spy played with suave perfection by the great James Mason? Two of the most visually inventive action scenes ever filmed, they are among the many pleasures to found in North by Northwest one of Hitchcock's very best films. Grant is Roger Thornhill, a New York adman who sets off a chain of exquisitely convoluted and sinister events when he is mistaken for an undercover agent; Saint brings a soulfulness to her role as the elegant, mysterious blonde who wins his heart. Here the master of suspense blends his signature ingredients -- edge-of-the-seat thrills, comedy, and sophisticated romance -- into a sparkling cinematic cocktail that has been much imitated but never matched.
All Movie Guide
Equal parts sly identity crisis, suspenseful cross-continental chase, and cool romance, North by Northwest is one of Alfred Hitchcock's most enjoyable films. Done with the irreverent brand of humor that the director made his trademark, the film balances somewhere between suspense thriller and urbane comedy, its considerable wit both complementing and fueling its intrigue. As memorable for the sexy, sophisticated banter between Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint as for the famous crop-dusting sequence or the climactic chase atop Mount Rushmore, North by Northwest is one of those films that inspires any number of readings. Chock-full of phallic references, conspiracy paranoia, Freudian subtext (made particularly apparent in Thornhill's relationship with his mother, who in reality was played by an actress born the same year as Grant), and featuring a token sinister homosexual, watching the movie is like watching an ode to the forces at work against the single, successful white man in Cold War America. As played by the superb Grant, he's a glib, increasingly befuddled man who perfectly represents the film's breezy yet cautionary tone, a playboy and a mama's boy in one charming yet vaguely troubled package. His true identity, Hitchcock seems to be saying, is as open to question as the one he is forced to assume. For her part, Saint put her stamp on the Icy Sex Goddess role as Eve, allowing just the right measure of vulnerability to melt through the character's freeze-dried exterior. She provided an able foil for Grant, easily matching his personal brand of suave charm with her own. Their pairing was one of the most delightful in Hitchcock's films, elegant yet with a delicate tinge of frenzy. Elegant frenzy could describe the film as a whole: stylish and taut, North by Northwest is Hitchcock at his gleeful best.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/9/2010
  • UPC: 883929157853
  • Original Release: 1959
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Repackaged / Pan & Scan
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Language: Français
  • Time: 2:16:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 3,208

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Cary Grant Roger O. Thornhill
Eva Marie Saint Eve Kendall
James Mason Phillip Vandamm
Jesse Royce Landis Clara Thornhill
Leo G. Carroll The Professor
Martin Landau Leonard
Philip Ober Lester Townsend
Josephine Hutchinson "Mrs. Townsend," housekeeper
Adam Williams Valerian
Edward Platt Victor Larrabee
Robert Ellenstein Licht
Les Tremayne Auctioneer
Philip Coolidge Dr. Cross
Patrick McVey Chicago Policeman
Edward Binns Capt. Junket
Malcolm Atterbury Man on Road
Tol Avery
Lucille Curtis
Tom Greenway Detective
Ken Lynch Chicago Policeman
Harvey Stephens Stock Broker
Sid Kane
Olan Soule Assistant Auctioneer
Ned Glass Ticket Seller
Doreen Lang Maggie
Nora Marlowe Anna the Housekeeper
Stanley Adams Lt. Harding
Andy Albin Farmer
Ernest Anderson Porter
Baynes Barron Taxi Driver
Sara Berner Telephone Operator
Taggart Casey Shaving Man
Bill Catching Attendant
Walter Coy Reporter
Jimmy Cross Taxi Driver #1
Patricia Cutts Bit
Jack Daly Steward
John Damler Lieutenant
Lawrence Dobkin Cartoonist
Tommy Farrell Elevator Starter
Jesslyn Fax Woman
Sally Fraser Attendant
Paul Genge Lt. Hagerman
Len Hendry Police Lieutenant
Bobby Johnson Waiter
Madge Kennedy Housewife
Alexander Lockwood Judge Anson B. Flynn
Frank Marlowe Dakota Cab Driver
James McCallion Valet
Maura McGiveney Attendant
Carl Milletaire Clerk
Howard Negley Conductor
Maudie Prickett Plaza Maid
Ralph Reed Bellhop
Harry Seymour Captain of Waiters
Robert Shayne Larry Wade
Helen Spring Bidder
Harry Strang Assistant Conductor
Dale Van Sickel Ranger
Susan Whitney Girl Attendant
Frank Wilcox Weitner
Robert B. Williams Patrolman Waggonner
Carleton Young Fanning Nelson
John Beradino Sgt. Emile Klinger
Technical Credits
Alfred Hitchcock Director, Producer
Lee Le Blanc Special Effects
Robert F. Boyle Production Designer, Set Decoration/Design
Robert Burks Cinematographer
Herbert Coleman Associate Producer
Arnold A. Gillespie Special Effects
Henry W. Grace Set Decoration/Design
Bernard Herrmann Score Composer
William Horning Art Director
Ernest Lehman Screenwriter
Frank R. McKelvey Set Decoration/Design
Franklin E. Milton Sound/Sound Designer
Merrill Pye Art Director
Robert Saunders Asst. Director
George Tomasini Editor
William J. Tuttle Makeup
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- North by Northwest
1. Credits [2:13]
2. Exaggeration [2:22]
3. Kidnapped [2:34]
4. Wrong Package [4:05]
5. Forced Libation [3:08]
6. Drunk Driving [3:26]
7. In Custody [4:54]
8. What a Performance! [3:56]
9. Hotelbreaking [2:53]
10. Becoming Kaplan [2:45]
11. You Gentlemen [2:24]
12. The United Nations [1:57]
13. He's Got A Knife [1:43]
14. ....Mr. Thornhill [3:00]
15. Grand Central [2:42]
16. Strangers on a Train [2:12]
17. "It's a Nice Face" [5:00]
18. So Good To Him [3:29]
19. Beats Flying [2:44]
20. Message from Lady [2:38]
21. Too Many Redcaps [2:34]
22. Travel Instructions [3:17]
23. Prairie Stop Traffic [:08]
24. Catching a Bus [2:47]
25. Crop Duster Attack [2:34]
26. Crashing Halt [2:42]
27. Surprise Visitor [1:21]
28. A Favor [3:20]
29. A Girl Like You [4:08]
30. The Auction [2:11]
31. Your Very Next Role [2:42]
32. Bid for Survival [1:45]
33. Special Orders [4:03]
34. Not a Red Herring [2:01]
35. Mount Rushmore [4:38]
36. Meeting in Woods [5:14]
37. Stop! Stop [5:37]
38. Vandamm's House [3:36]
39. Leonard's Revelation [3:16]
40. Matchbook Warning [3:57]
41. Stay Where You Are [4:36]
42. Escape [1:50]
43. Across the Monument [1:39]
44. One Man Down [1:25]
45. Leonard's Footwork [2:38]
46. Sentimental Ending [1:07]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- North by Northwest
   Play
   Scenes
   Features
      Commentary by Ernest Lehman
      Music-Only Track
   Languages
      Spoken Languages
         English
         Français
      Subtitles
         English (For The Hearing Impaired)
         Français
         Subtitles: Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 36 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    Highly recommended

    This special edition of North by Northwest was well worth getting. It has great extras including a fascinating film biography of Cary Grant. This movie always grabs my attention from start to finish because of its exciting pace, well cast characters and masterful directing, editing and acting. The commentary shed light on how the whole story was developed from a conversation between Hitchcock and the screenwriter
    Lehman as the germ of an idea into a finished story with all its twists and turns and changes of locale. This edition offers a lot for the money including behind the scenes glimpses into how the film was made.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Simply put, one of the greatest movies...EVER!

    And it's even better than you'll remember it being on Blu-Ray. It's got Cary Grant playing a character who is essentially Cary Grant, which is good because he's sexy and suave and, well, Cary Grant. And it's got one of the best scripts ever written; it's so well-written and witty you barely even notice the preposterosity of the plot. It also sports one of the greatest film scores ever written, by Bernard Herrmann. And, finally, it's one of the movies Hitchcock made when he was at the height of his skill as a director. I've seen NORTH BY NORTHWEST at least a dozen times over the years, and it's still as fresh and as witty as it ever was. And on Blu-Ray, it's as close to cinematic nirvana as you're ever going to get outside of a real movie theater.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2013

    One of the greatest movies ever. Certainly my all-time favorite

    One of the greatest movies ever. Certainly my all-time favorite. It has it all. Actors: the incomparable Cary Grant, the elegant Eva Marie Saint, the great Jason Mason, Martin Landau, Jesse Royce Landis... A story full of twists and turns. Instantly recognizeable scenes: the car getaway, the scene on the Mt. Rushmore monument, and one of the most famous of all time: the crop duster scene. Add in that theme score and you get Hitchcock at his finest. They don't make movies like this any more.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Alfred Hitchcock's Films Live Again On Blu Ray Disc

    I remember seeing this film as a child in the theaters, and on TV all the time in the early days of television. But to see it in 1080P on Blu Ray Disc is an experience that can't be reviewed in writing - it must be viewed. They remastered this film expertly. A real exciting Hitchcock film. When one scene ended, another unexpected and excellent scene began. Blu Ray is fantastic for the next generation who never had the opportunity to see the film in theaters or on TV. Excellent. Just excellent. Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint were at their best. And Leo G. Carroll, from the T.V. show "Topper" fame was the best actor cast in his role. I never believed Blu Ray would really make much of a difference until I saw "North by Northwest" in Blu Ray. Thank You.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Classic Alfred Hitchcock

    North By Northwest is truly a classic. Classic Hitchcock and classic Cary Grant.

    It is entertaining, suspenseful, maddening and funny.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Good sophisticated entertainment

    Director Alfred Hitchcock made another sophisticated thriller with some humor and a cool blonde. Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint make a good team.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    North by Northwest

    North by Northwest glistens on Blu-ray. Although the film has always looked good in it's previous television incarnations, it is especially triumphant in it's current high-def format. It's the first Hitchcock film to make it to Blu-ray, and I believe, it will set the bar for the subsequent Hitchcock films that are released.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    One of my favorites

    Cary Grant's best movie!! Love the chase scene with the airplane. Filming with different angles is spectacular.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    I really didn't like North by Northwest. I thought it focused too much on the sex and not enough on the thrills. Cary Grant is OK in the movie, but not great. Same with Eva Marie Saint. The most disappointing Hitchcok thriller.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Hitch's American Monument.

    "It's so horribly sad," says a CIA agent in 'North by Northwest,' "how is it I feel like laughing?" It is a question one might ask of the film. Alfred Hitchcock's first movie after "Vertigo" might also have its serious implications about identity and sexual tensions, but they are kept at arm's length by the sheer delight in malevolent inventiveness. Hitchcock often recalled remarking at story conferences: "Wouldn't it be fun if we killed him this way?" "North by Northwest" remains one of the greatest of all comedy thrillers precisely because of its ability to be at its funniest when also at its most frightening. Hitchcock had long wanted to film a chase across the presidential faces sculptured into Mount Rushmore. He also had an idea for a film that would begin at the United Nations in New York and end in the wastes of Alaska. Another idea that intrigued the director was for a story involving a non-existent character or event. He remembered a conversation with a New York newspaper man who had offered him the idea of the CIA inventing a fake decoy agent in a spy plot. John Michael Hayes said that Hitch invited him to script "North by Northwest" well before Ernest Lehman was given the job. The reason that Lehman was finally chosen to write the script--apart from his impressive credentials, which included such films as "Sabrina," "Executive Suite," and "Sweet Smell of Success"--was MCA's negotiation for Hitchcock of a one-picture deal with M-G-M, where Lehman happened to be under contract. The two began to work, calling their project "In a Northwesterly Direction," a title later changed at the suggestion of M-G-M itself. Hitchcock's exploitation of the dramatic contrast between bizarre foreground and benign background has seldom been more ingeniously demonstrated than in "North by Northwest." A hotel lobby is the setting for kidnapping, the United Nations building for murder, and the stone face of Mount Rushmore for perilous pursuit. Most famously, Hitchcock even injects paranoia into a prairie setting when Thornhill (Cary Grant) is sprayed with bullets from a crop-dusting biplane. It is Hitchcock's most dazzling reversal of thriller cliché: here the dark deed takes place in bright sunlight. It is also a set-piece that is brilliantly set up by the film, establishing a hero who is the embodiment of urban man then suddenly depositing him in a setting where he is small, vulnerable and exposed. And it shows his arrival at the scene from a vantage point that subtly implies danger without revealing what it is. The crop-dusting episode is an object lesson in how to prepare and pace a suspense sequence. Apart from the technique, what makes "North by Northwest" exceptional amongst comedy thrillers is the maturity of its relationships and perceptive cynicism of its politics. The central love relationship has the kind of tensions one has observed elsewhere in Hitchcock. As in "Vertigo," the girl falls in love with the man almost out of guilt at setting him up as in "Suspicion" and "Spellbound" she makes love to a man who could be a murderer. For his part, he seems only too willing to be ensnared by a sexual siren who might be summoning him to his doom. Politically, the film also has a comment to make about the callous exploitation and abuse of individuals for minor political advantage in a deadly game of strategy, performance, bluff and double bluff. But it would be unwise to distort the emphasis of the various elements. Lots of familiar Hitchcock ingredients are bubbling in "North by Northwest": the theme of the wrong man, the precariousness of identity, the ineffectuality of the police. The ultimate effect, however, is of a dazzling and exhilarating cinematic display, the American Dream played out as potential nightmare but in broad daylight an

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Ad Exec Mistaken for Spy

    Cary Grant - at the peak of his postwar and Cold War elegance. Grant plays New York ad exec Roger Thornhill. At a business meeting in New York's Plaza Hotel, murderous foreign agents mistake Grant for a government spy named Kaplan. Grant tries to stay alive as he extricates himself from a web of mistaken identity and Cold War espionage. There's a romance here with Eva Marie Saint and a cliffhanger ending on top of Mount Rushmore.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    a great Hitcjcock film

    What a great Hitchcock film. Funny as well as thrilling. The scenes of Mt Rushmore are spectacular. Don't forget to view the Behind the Scenes Documentary by Eva St Marie. The photo of Hitchcock's portrait aong side of the Presidents on Rushmore is priceless. I really enjoyed this film.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2002

    Cary Grant as advertising man turned fugitive

    Cary Grant at his most debonair as advertising exec Roger O. Thornhill(his initials spell ROT, just in case you hadn't noticed). Grant's character is mistaken by enemy spies for an American agent and roughed up and left for dead. Just the first of several times that this happens. Later in the movie, Grant's on-screen nemesis - played by James Mason - tells him his next role WILL be that of a dead man. But Grant fools Mason and the audience too, as the plot twists and turns and hinges on mistaken identity and a train trip west from New York. Catch icy blonde Eve Kendall -played by Eva Marie Saint - as she alternately rescues Grant and lures him into trouble.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Alfred Hitchcock's most entertaining film.

    This great 1959 Suspence Thriller is a pure classic. My favorite part in the movie is the auction. When Cary Grant is trying to make trouble, this is what he does to get the police. The story does get kind of complacated. The length is 2 Hrs. and 16 Mins. In the origianl trailer, Hitchcock says, ''I promise you nothing but entertainment.'' ''A vacation from all your problems, as it was for me.'' Enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2009

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    Posted November 5, 2009

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    Posted October 23, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews