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North by Northwest (1959)
Adventure,Mystery,Thriller
English
"A 3000 MILE CHASE . . . That blazes a trail of TERROR to a gripping, spine-chilling climax ! "
A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.
Cary Grant Roger O. Thornhill
Eva Marie Saint Eve Kendall
James Mason Phillip Vandamm
Jessie Royce Landis Clara Thornhill
Leo G. Carroll The Professor
Josephine Hutchinson Mrs. Townsend
Philip Ober Lester Townsend
Martin Landau Leonard
Adam Williams Valerian
Edward Platt Victor Larrabee
Robert Ellenstein Licht
Les Tremayne Auctioneer
Philip Coolidge Dr. Cross
Patrick McVey Sergeant Flamm - Chicago Policeman
Ed Binns Captain Junket (as Edward Binns)
Ken Lynch Charley - Chicago Policeman
Stanley Adams Lieutenant Harding (uncredited)
Andy Albin Farmer (uncredited)
Anne Anderson Woman (uncredited)
Ernest Anderson Porter on Twentieth Century Ltd. (uncredited)
Malcolm Atterbury Man at Prairie Crossing (uncredited)
Tol Avery State Police Detective (uncredited)
Baynes Barron Taxi Driver #2 (uncredited)
John Beradino Sergeant Emile Klinger (uncredited)
Sara Berner Telephone Operator (voice) (uncredited)
Stephen Bolster Man with Camera (uncredited)
Taggart Casey Shaving Man (uncredited)
Bill Catching Attendant (uncredited)
Walter Coy U.S. Intelligence Agency Official (uncredited)
Jimmy Cross Taxi Driver #1 (uncredited)
Lucille Curtis Woman (uncredited)
Patricia Cutts Hospital Patient (uncredited)
Jack Daly Steward (uncredited)
John Damler Police Lieutenant (uncredited)
Lawrence Dobkin U.S. Intelligence Agency Official (uncredited)
Tommy Farrell Eddie - Elevator Starter (uncredited)
Jesslyn Fax Woman (uncredited)
Josephine Forsberg Friendly Passenger (uncredited)
Sally Fraser United Nations Receptionist (uncredited)
Paul Genge Lieutenant Hagerman (uncredited)
Ned Glass Ticket Seller (uncredited)
Tom Greenway Silent State Police Detective (uncredited)
Norm Heffron Radio Announcer (voice) (uncredited)
Len Hendry Police Lieutenant (uncredited)
Alfred Hitchcock Man Who Misses Bus (uncredited)
Eugene Jackson Security Guard at Auction (uncredited)
Bobby Johnson Waiter (uncredited)
Sid Kane (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp Extra Leaving Office Building (uncredited)
Madge Kennedy Housewife - aka Mrs. Finlay (uncredited)
Doreen Lang Maggie - Roger's Secretary (uncredited)
Bill Lloyd Extra (uncredited)
Alexander Lockwood Judge Anson B. Flynn (uncredited)
Frank Marlowe Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Nora Marlowe Anna - Housekeeper (uncredited)
Tom Marshall Police Officer in Chicago (uncredited)
James McCallion Plaza Valet (uncredited)
Maura McGiveney Attendant (uncredited)
Carl Milletaire Hotel Clerk (uncredited)
Howard Negley Conductor on Twentieth Century, Ltd. (uncredited)
Charles Postal (uncredited)
Maudie Prickett Elsie - Maid (uncredited)
Hugh Pryor (uncredited)
Ralph Reed Bellhop (uncredited)
Jeffrey Sayre Man at Mt. Rushmore Cafeteria (uncredited)
Harry Seymour Victor - Captain of Waiters (uncredited)
Robert Shayne Larry Wade
Doris Singh Indian Girl (uncredited)
Jeremy Slate Policeman at Grand Central Station (uncredited)
Olan Soule Assistant Auctioneer (uncredited)
Helen Spring Bidder (uncredited)
Harvey Stephens Stockbroker (uncredited)
Bert Stevens Man at United Nations Building (uncredited)
Harry Strang Assistant Conductor (uncredited)
Dale Van Sickel Ranger (uncredited)
Ray Weaver Policeman at Grand Central Station (uncredited)
Susan Whitney Attendant (uncredited)
Frank Wilcox Weitner (uncredited)
Robert Williams Patrolman Waggoner (uncredited)
Wilson Wood Photographer at United Nations (uncredited)
Carleton Young Fanning Nelson (uncredited)
Producer: Alfred Hitchcock
Writer: Ernest Lehman
I finally get how great it is: Hitch infuses his wrong-man caper with ironic movie language and reality-be-damned escapism and suspense.
Its Hitch's most briskly entertaining movie, and one of his most comic, adventure-caper type movies, largely thanks to the persona of Cary Grant. But its also one of his most suspenseful - in the fact that Grant is being recognised as someone else, and that he may be put in jail for someone else's crime.

I've finally come to realise just how great North by Northwest is. The reason you should love Hitchcock is he put entertainment upfront. Hitchcock was not interested in whether this or that would happen in real life: he was interested in what would make the most entertaining scene for the movie. North by Northwest is a peak in this regard. The dialogue and situations intentionally throw reality to the wind - the double-entendre dialogue in the love scenes is not supposed to be the way people talk!

If you said to Hitchcock "as if he'd keep driving" or "as if she'd do that" - he would just laugh at you and say you've missed the point. This is 100% movieland, and once you get used to the fact, and that this is not a fault in the film, but done intentionally, you'll love it. Its expressionistic - everything happens in movie language: the people laughing at Grant in the elevator, the way he keeps driving drunk near the beginning, the way he grabs the knife and everyone stares at him after someone's been stabbed.

It flirts with the idea of identity. I thought it was interesting how Grant first is dismissing, then incredulous that people should be calling him by another name; then, as the tries to find out who this guy is, he enters the hotel room of this new identity, then he puts the suit on, and finally he identifies himself as George Kaplan.

A succession of fantastic, memorable scenes, a great leading man in Grant, and one of Hermann's essential Hitch scores make for a movie i can put on at any time.

10/10

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User credit 1:1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
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Storage device:DVD
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Movie
Imdb rating: 8.6
Musician: Bernard Herrmann
Running time: 136 min
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Last modified: 2008-01-02 12:53:59