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North by Northwest (1959)  IMDB   Website
Genre Thriller/Spy Film MPAA NR
Director Alfred Hitchcock Rating
Writer Ernest Lehman Runtime 136 minutes
Producer Type Movie
Cinematographer Robert Burks Format DVD
Studio MGM Disk No. 1/1
Language English Edition
Country USA UPC
Color Color    
Plot Summary

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Middle-aged Madison Avenue advertising executive Roger O. Thornhill is mistaken for a government agent by a gang of spies. He gets involved in a series of misadventures and is pursued across the States by both the spies and the government whilst being helped by a beautiful blonde.

Summary written by: Col Needham {col@imdb.com}
Actor / Character

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Cary Grant ..... Roger O. Thornhill/George Kaplan
Eva Marie Saint ..... Eve Kendall
James Mason ..... Phillip Vandamm
Jessie Royce Landis ..... Clara Thornhill
Leo G. Carroll ..... The Professor
Josephine Hutchinson ..... Handsome Woman (Mrs. Townsend/Vandamm's Sister)
Philip Ober ..... Lester Townsend
Martin Landau ..... Leonard
Adam Williams (I) ..... Valerian
Edward Platt ..... Victor Larrabee, Thornhill's Attorney
Robert Ellenstein ..... Licht
Les Tremayne ..... Auctioneer
Philip Coolidge ..... Dr. Cross
Patrick McVey ..... Chicago Policeman
Ed Binns ..... Captain Junket, Nassau County Detective
Awards

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(1959) Academy - Best Art Direction (nom) ..... William Horning
(1959) Academy - Best Art Direction (nom) ..... Robert F. Boyle
(1959) Academy - Best Art Direction (nom) ..... Henry W. Grace
(1959) Academy - Best Art Direction (nom) ..... Frank R. McKelvey
(1959) Academy - Best Art Direction (nom) ..... Merrill Pye
(1959) Academy - Best Editing (nom) ..... George Tomasini
(1959) Academy - Best Original Screenplay (nom) ..... Ernest Lehman
(1959) Directors Guild of America - Best Director (nom) ..... Alfred Hitchcock
(1959) EAP - Best Screenplay .....
(1959) New York Film Critics Circle - Best Direction ..... Alfred Hitchcock
(1995) Library of Congress - U.S. National Film Registry (win) .....
(1998) American Film Institute - 100 Greatest American Movies (win) .....
Review

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Equal parts sly identity crisis, suspenseful cross-continental chase, and cool romance, North by Northwest is one of Alfred Hitchcock's most enjoyable films. Done with the irreverent brand of humor that the director made his trademark, the film balances somewhere between suspense thriller and urbane comedy, its considerable wit both complementing and fueling its intrigue. As memorable for the sexy, sophisticated banter between Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint as for the famous crop dusting sequence or the climactic chase atop Mt. Rushmore, North by Northwest is one of those films that inspires any number of readings. Chock full of phallic references, conspiracy paranoia, Freudian subtext (made particularly apparent in Thornhill's relationship with his mother, who in reality was played by an actress born the same year as Grant), and featuring a token sinister homosexual, watching the movie is like watching an ode to the forces at work against the single, successful white man in Cold War America. As played by the superb Grant, he's a glib, increasingly befuddled man who perfectly represents the film's breezy yet cautionary tone, a playboy and a mama's boy in one charming yet vaguely troubled package. His true identity, Hitchcock seems to be saying, is as open to question as the one he is forced to assume. For her part, Saint put her stamp on the Icy Sex Goddess role as Eve, allowing just the right measure of vulnerability to melt through the character's freeze-dried exterior. She provided an able foil for Grant, easily matching his own brand of suave charm with her own. Their pairing was one of the most delightful in Hitchcock's films, elegant yet with a delicate tinge of frenzy. Elegant frenzy could describe the film as a whole: stylish and taut, North by Northwest is Hitchcock at his gleeful best. --- Rebecca Flint

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