North by NorthwestDirector: Alfred Hitchcock
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?
- Release Date:
- Original Release:
- Warner Home Video
Cast & Crew
|Cary Grant||Roger O. Thornhill|
|Eva Marie Saint||Eve Kendall|
|James Mason||Phillip Vandamm|
|Jesse Royce Landis||Clara Thornhill|
|Leo G. Carroll||The Professor|
|Philip Ober||Lester Townsend|
|Josephine Hutchinson||"Mrs. Townsend," housekeeper|
|Edward Platt||Victor Larrabee|
|Philip Coolidge||Dr. Cross|
|Patrick McVey||Chicago Policeman|
|Edward Binns||Capt. Junket|
|Malcolm Atterbury||Man on Road|
|Ken Lynch||Chicago Policeman|
|Harvey Stephens||Stock Broker|
|Olan Soule||Assistant Auctioneer|
|Ned Glass||Ticket Seller|
|Nora Marlowe||Anna the Housekeeper|
|Stanley Adams||Lt. Harding|
|Baynes Barron||Taxi Driver|
|Sara Berner||Telephone Operator|
|Taggart Casey||Shaving Man|
|Jimmy Cross||Taxi Driver #1|
|Tommy Farrell||Elevator Starter|
|Paul Genge||Lt. Hagerman|
|Len Hendry||Police Lieutenant|
|Alexander Lockwood||Judge Anson B. Flynn|
|Frank Marlowe||Dakota Cab Driver|
|Maudie Prickett||Plaza Maid|
|Harry Seymour||Captain of Waiters|
|Robert Shayne||Larry Wade|
|Harry Strang||Assistant Conductor|
|Dale Van Sickel||Ranger|
|Susan Whitney||Girl Attendant|
|Robert B. Williams||Patrolman Waggonner|
|Carleton Young||Fanning Nelson|
|John Beradino||Sgt. Emile Klinger|
|Lee Le Blanc||Special Effects|
|Robert F. Boyle||Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design|
|Herbert Coleman||Associate Producer|
|Arnold A. Gillespie||Special Effects|
|Henry W. Grace||Set Decoration/Design|
|Bernard Herrmann||Score Composer|
|William Horning||Art Director|
|Frank R. McKelvey||Set Decoration/Design|
|Franklin E. Milton||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Merrill Pye||Art Director|
|Robert Saunders||Asst. Director|
|William J. Tuttle||Makeup|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
"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
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.
North By Northwest is truly a classic. Classic Hitchcock and classic Cary Grant. It is entertaining, suspenseful, maddening and funny.
Cary Grant's best movie!! Love the chase scene with the airplane. Filming with different angles is spectacular.
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.
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.
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.
Director Alfred Hitchcock made another sophisticated thriller with some humor and a cool blonde. Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint make a good team.