NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959) C widescreen 136m dir: Alfred Hitchcock
w/Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Jessie Royce Landis, Martin Landau, Leo G. Carroll, Philip Ober, Josephine Hutchinson, Adam Williams, Edward Platt
Master of suspense Hitchcock apparently had lots of fun directing this tongue-in-cheek spy thriller, and you'll have fun watching it. Innocent Grant gets mixed up with spies, and the heat is on.
From Georges Sadoul's Dictionary of Films : "North by Northwest is not dissimilar to The 39 Steps ... and Saboteur. Its fantastic chase across America, its deft wit, and its spirited style make this one of Hitchcock's best Hollywood films. Best known sequences: the hero lured to a remote Indiana prairie and attacked by a biplane 'crop dusting where there ain't no crops'; the climax on Mount Rushmore with the chase and fight on the gigantic sculptured faces of American presidents."
From The Movie Guide: "One of Hitchcock's most famous films, NORTH BY NORTHWEST has everything --- thrills, suspense, mystery, and black humor, as well as dark undertones of sexual exploitation and covert political machinations. ... The title of the film paraphrases Hamlet: 'I am but mad north-northwest; when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw,' an implication that neither Thornhill [Grant], Hitchcock, nor Hamlet is mad. Although NORTH BY NORTHWEST is available on videotape, no small screen viewing can match the Technicolor, VistaVision experience of seeing this one in the theater. With James Mason a study in velvet villainy, but looking dowdy for once, next to Grant, and Landau as a chillingly effeminate gunsel."
FilmFrog suggests that, if you're a big fan of NORTH BY NORTHWEST, you check out a wonderful website that's devoted to the film. The website is maintained by the University of Illinois (http://www.english.uiuc.edu/104/northwest/) and and lets you study the film shot by shot, as well as having many other features that will dazzle you.