2015 Reviews · 5 Star Worthy · Classic · Favorites · movie · My Dream Guy · TCM

North by Northwest

North by Northwest

North by Northwest

9 out of 10 All Stars images (3)

An Alfred Hitchcock film. Staring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Martin Landau, and Philip Ober.

Director Cameo
Alfred Hitchcock: Hitchcock arrives at a bus stop (during the opening credits) but gets there a second too late and the door is closed in his face. He misses the bus.

Director Trademark
Alfred Hitchcock: [bathroom] Thornhill hides in a bathroom three times.
Alfred Hitchcock: [mother] Roger has a close relationship with his mother.

IMDb Trivia and facts


The Short Short Synopsis: Mistaken identity spurs a foreign spy (James Mason) to pursue an innocent New Yorker (Cary Grant), all the way to Mount Rushmore.

My Thoughts: Cary Grant plays Roger Thornhill, a man mistaken for a false spy, George Kaplan. It’s a bit confusing. Naturally, Cary is confused too. And of course he’s going to want to fix this confusion. To think, someone trying to pretend to be him, even though their names are not similar. Preposterous. So Roger goes on the run, while looking for all the answers.


This is my second time watching this movie straight through. Before two years ago, when I first watched it, I’ve only seen bits and pieces of it. The major exciting pieces being the attack by the crop-duster plane, and the stunts on Mount Rushmore.

The opening credits music and scene starts off really suspenseful, and then calms down when Hitchcock misses his bus. So watching Roger get mistaken as George wasn’t that suspenseful in my opinion. Cary Grant didn’t even seem fazed by being kidnapped until he started talking to who he thought was Mr. Townsend.


Not until this car scene did the suspense pick up. And it continued with more chase scenes later on, with Alfred Hitchcock’s trademark “MacGuffin” plot device. I hadn’t seen this car scene before, and I thought it was pretty good. Seeing it again, I think that the way they made the drunk tunnel vision really good. It gave an extra kick of suspense. I thought it was ridiculous that he kept on driving in his drunken state. But then, the character is pig-headed and stubborn, just like his Mom, who thinks she wants to meet these “killers.” Explains why he still tries to find this “George Kaplan”, even though he’s got people trying to kill him. It doesn’t explain why he touched the knife that was used to kill the real Mr. Townsend, at the United Nations no less.

I thought Eva Marie Saint was pretty good, along with the other cast members. I still laugh at the ending despite the “cliffhanger” moment just before the final scene.

In all this is a really good Hitchcock movie. I’ve seen Psycho, The Birds, Rear Window, and bits of The Man Who Knew Too Much (mostly Doris Day’s popular song, “Que Sera, Sera”). North by Northwest might be my favorite.


One thought on “North by Northwest

  1. Looking through some old reviews for Throwback Thursday, and I found this movie’s review from 2 years ago…

    North By Northwest 5★

    *some spoilers*

    I watched this on Turner Classic’s television channel (TCM). All their movies aired yesterday (Sunday) was all Hitchcock. And then Robert Osborne would comment about each movie before and after it’s shown on their show. Like the interesting fact that Hitchcock was working on films since the 1920’s. I didn’t know that. He’s also helped changed suspense movies from all being a B-movie to a Must-See movie. That seems about right.

    I’ve seen only snip-its of this movie before watching it straight through. Like the famous scenes of the crop-duster airplane trying to kill Grant, as well as the very popular scene on the Mount Rushmore Monument. Seeing this entirely, I found it to be a really good spy suspense movie. The acting was really well done. And there was a lot of plot twists. So I felt – like Thornhill (Cary Grant), that there wasn’t that many people to trust. There was of course some scenes where I wanted to throttle Grant – like taking a knife out of a dead guy’s back at the U.N. building with loads of witnesses to see him do that. I would definitely call him a murderer before learning of his innocence because that’s jst plain stupid to take the knife. There was some new scenes that I really liked. The scene where Grant drives drunk down Long Island (which I learned was actually by the Californian coast and in Griffith Park – according to Wikipedia). The camera lense being obscured just so to make two things: 1) a night time illusion, and 2) a perspective look at what Thornhill saw while driving intoxicated. And the ending! This suspense building and then bam! Grant and Eva are on the train. That was nice to see their happy ending, but I think it could’ve been a better transfer between the two scenes.

    So after the movie was over on Turner Classic channel, Robert Osborne began telling some fun facts about the movie. The first fun fact was that Hitchcock was at first thinking of having Jimmy Stewart play Roger Thornhill. But then changed his mind and chose Cary Grant. Grant then tried to persuade Hitchcock to cast Sophia Loren as Eve Kendall. But Hitchcock chose Eva Marie Saint instead because he wanted a blond.


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