Writer: Ernest Lehman (Screenplay)
Starring: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Jessie Royce Landis, Leo G Carroll, Josephine Hutchinson, Philip Ober
Plot: 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.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: True Classic
Story: North by Northwest starts as New York advertising executive Roger O Thornhill (Grant) is taken my Phillip Vandamm (Mason) and his man believing he is George Kaplan a spy. Setting up to kill Roger he is filled with booze but escapes by finding himself arrested.
Roger teams up with his mother Clara (Landis) to figure out who this Mr Kaplan with the people in the hotel believing him to be and no one believing the story of his events, searching for the truth takes him right across the country where he meets the beautiful Eve Kendall (Saint) who aids in his escape but not everything is what it seems for Roger.
Thoughts on North by Northwest
Story – This is the classic Hitchcock thriller that tells us the simple story of being miss-identified by all the wrong people with nowhere to turn to. This is a thriller that shows us that the idea that could easily be what inspired many a movie in modern times. The story had plenty of twists and turns along the way which at the time would have kept you guessing what will happen next at the time.
Action/Mystery/Thriller – This has action when the chase scenes with the mystery of what is going on happening very early on with the thrilling side of the story keeping you guessing from the start to the finish. All the genres mix together to give us one of the most ground breaking thrillers of all time.
Characters/Performance – Robert is a great everyday man who ends up in the middle of the bigger conspiracy going on with each of the people he meets either offering something new or a threat for his life. Cary Grant is brilliant in this role showing he was the star of the era with the rest of the cast all shining close to his level throughout.
Settings – Each setting is used to show how Robert is looking to escape or answers to what is going on. We have the iconic scenes in the crop field, Mount Rushmore and the opening shot overlooking New York.
Final Thoughts – This will always be looked at as one of the best thrillers of all time that did truly inspire so many of the films we get in modern cinema.
Overall: An absolutely classic that could never be beaten.