Image“And what the devil is all this about? Why was I brought here?”

A tale of spies and deceit. Hitchcock delivers a masterpiece full of suspense, thrills and deception!

North By Northwest is Hitchcock’s forth collaboration with Cary Grant after the successful thriller To Catch a Thief which included Grace Kelly. Grant portrays Roger Thornhill, an ordinary man who is mistaken for a spy by another spy (James Mason) who calls him “George Kaplan” and wants answers. Thornhill, wanting to clear his name, goes on the run, wanting to know why he is involved and meets the helpful but mysterious Eve (Eva Marie Saint).

The film is superb! It offers to the audience various forms of excellent filmmaking, such as the portrayal of innocence by Grant, the enigma by Saint and the treachery by Mason. The cinematography by Robert Burks is also solid and perfect, connoting themes such as isolation and separation. Some of my favourite shots included the high craned shot of Thornhill running out of the U.N. building and the climatic semi long shot of Thornhill and a citizen. The script by Ernest Lehman is excellent, full of chills and thrills throughout the motion picture but at the same time, a lot of light-hearted humour! An example is when Roger is hidden by Eve in a closed up train bed from the law:

Eve Kendall: Patience is a virtue.

Roger Thornhill: So is breathing.

The music scored by Bernard Herrmann is also composed beautifully, connoting suspenseful crescendos and a frightful tone to Roger’s action packed adventure. Certainly, one of the best films Hitchcock made in his long and successful career as the greatest filmmaker of the 20th Century! I highly recommend watching this not only as a fan of Hitchcock, but as a fan of the cinema! Classic, deceiving, thrilling and an amazing example of a film within the 50s era!

5/5

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