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USA 1959
Directed by
Alfred Hitchcock
136 minutes
Rated G

3 stars

North By Northwest

There is plenty to like in Hitchcock's  playful, genre-bending Cold War thriller which forms a kind of stylistic and thematic triumvirate along with Rear Window, 1954, and Vertigo, 1958. It is also one of the director's most iconic films, a laborious and now quite-dated plot notwithstanding. There's the famous crop duster and Mt Rushmore scenes, Bernard Herrmann's score, entertaining banter between Grant and Saint courtesy of Ernest Lehman's script (but also some very unconvincing smooching) and memorable production design by Robert Doyle.

Cary Grant, in his fourth and final performance for Hitchcock, is in typical Cary Grant mode as a Brooks Brother Madison Avenue advertising executive who's abducted by the charmingly malevolent James Mason whilst Eva Marie Saint (who had won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar  for her role as Edie Doyle in On The Waterfront, 1954, but doesn't get a lot to do here) plays the femme fatale who helps him find out why.

Martin Landau has an early incarnation as a baddie.




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