North by Northwest - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

North by Northwest Reviews

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½ June 14, 2017
This is a fantastic spy thriller, and the action scenes are extremely well done. It's an ambitious film that was very successfully executed. However, it felt a little long to me, but I think that's my personal preference towards most action movies.
½ June 4, 2017
Il film che apparentemente presenta la minore dose di stile del famoso regista britannico. Hitchcock dirige il film in modo molto semplice e lineare per raccontare una storia dalla sceneggiatura molto intelligente e sorprendentemente complicata. Il punto di forza del film sono appunto i personaggi e il modo in cui vengono fatti interagire tra di loro e l'ambiente che li circonda, con enormi equivoci che ci portano anche nella sfera comica. Il film solleva un numero elevato di temi importanti su cui riflettere, che però non riescono ad emergere con una singola visione. Si tratta di un grande film, che pone le basi per i più moderni spy movie, ma secondo me è lontano dall'essere il migliore del famoso regista.
½ June 1, 2017
WHAT I LIKED: It's very easy when reviewing a classic such as this to simply gush about its contribution to cinema, but even when you view 'North by Northwest' as a film in its own right, it's still one of the greatest around. Why? Well it does something rather rare in balancing genuine tension and excitement, with real charm and whit to make for a far more rounded experience than many subsequent films have managed to bring. Yes for one the story facilitates this brilliantly, but there's no doubt that Hitchcock provides plenty of genius suspense with his innovative scenes and techniques, whilst he also brings buckets of humour and enjoyment thanks to a well-directed portrayal? from Cary Grant and another brilliant script from Ernest Lehman. As a result it genuinely captures both sides of that coin simultaneously, and thankfully creates a thing of incredible life and engaging excitement.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: The plot does get a little caught up with itself at times
VERDICT: A classic for all the right reasons; 'North by Northwest' is a piece of cinematic gold that stands on its own just as confidently as it does in its place in cinema history.
May 9, 2017
The great milestone in the thriller\spy genre, beautifully shot and realized picture from the maestro himself. Cary Grant is a solid and appropriate choice for the role of a man with mistaken identity. Direction is flawless, cinematography is beyond limits, it's a colorful noir all right. Eva Marie Saint is a candy of this movie in the role of a cool and sexy femme fatale.
April 13, 2017
There's a reason why it's a classic.
April 9, 2017
One of the top 5 Hitch movies. Grant is never better than this one. The cast is perfect and the entire story is pure fun. Works for nearly all audiences. Being back at Rushmore reminds me of this great film. Or at a crossroads near a cornfield...
April 9, 2017
Where can I begin? I can't say enough about how in awe I was of this masterpiece. Despite 50 years that having passed, Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece is just as thrilling and visually stunning as it was when first released. Featuring stellar performances all round and especially from Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint, North By Northwest holds all the elements of a great movie. It's timeless, savvy and thoroughly entertains.
April 5, 2017
A mistaken identity, a suave demeanor, and none-too-subtle sexual innuendos reluctantly transform an ad agent into a secret agent in this pre-Psycho Hitchcock classic that culminates into the most ultra-American action sequence ever--throwing Russian spies off George Washington's Rushmore facade. Take, that, Michael Bay. that's how you 'Merica. OH YEAH!
April 2, 2017
10 out of 10:

I could say so much about how good this movie is. From the gripping story, intense action, great acting, and full of suspense, North by Northwest surly remains one of Hitchcock's best.
April 2, 2017
So amazing. Could never be replicated.
March 21, 2017
Looks great but is a confused, less than shallow film.

They had great cameras in those days, and from this comes the best points
about this film - the cameras and how they were used. Very atmospheric,
the cinematography is very well done and the visual editing very good.

It's possibly better today at home in its excellent transfer to
digital. (I rented the streaming film in SD, which was great quality on
a computer monitor which is not large.)

For me, though, that's nearly as far as it goes. The acting has a lot
to commend it at times, and Cary Grant pulls off well what is very
demanding - trying to tie the script's lack of conviction and film
genre identity together.

North by Northwest must be the most contrived of all spy films.

It also fails as a typical Hitchcock entertainment piece, I think
because the subject is always on the verge of real seriousness. But the
film can never devote itself to such seriousness in the way that
classic spy films do and in the way these subjects really deserve
actually.

Too far away from Sunday apple pie movie land to be endearing, too
bitty, flimsy, theatrical and unsatisfying to be effective in basic thriller terms, and too unserious and kid glove hewn to be worth its salt amongst the lexicon of classic spy films.

North by Northwest was a probably an impressive showpiece for
cinematography and the potential of atmosphere and brilliance in the
track from camera to cinema screen. But, like a beautiful damsel agent
who flirts but is getting paid for her rehearsed attempts to win you,
the film has little else of merit beyond its looks and moves.
March 18, 2017
Alfred Hitchcock was at the top of his game at the end of the 1950s (he made Vertigo, this film, and then Psycho and The Birds). You can see his themes very clearly - this is a mistaken identity picture and, similar to The Wrong Man (1956), a picture in which a man is wanted for a crime that he didn't commit (running from both the police and the villains). Cary Grant is that man and in his later years he has transmogrified under Hitch's watch from a somewhat sinister character (Suspicion, 1941) to an ambiguous one (Notorious, 1946; To Catch a Thief, 1955) to a lovable buffoon caught in a complex web that he can't begin to understand (NxNW). Complexity is necessary because the film is also an espionage flick and the MacGuffin is some microfilm that chief baddie James Mason is seeking to take out of the country. Hitch builds very carefully on his earlier work - instead of the hero being chased up the Statue of Liberty (Saboteur, 1942), we find him strung out on Mount Rushmore's iconic faces. Hitch injects a fair dose of humour and along with the usual air of artificiality (studio sets, art direction), this distracts from the true horror of Grant's position. Having seen the film multiple times adds to this problem - you really need to work hard to imagine what it would be like to be suddenly kidnapped by thugs and accused of being someone else, a presumed spy. Why Grant (or Roger O. Thornhill, I mean) allows himself to be lured/confused by Eva Marie Saint's femme fatale is hard to say but perhaps any friendly face in a storm is a likely choice by someone in his confused state. This is a minor quibble because Hitch's goal here seems to be less an investigation of deeper serious themes (as in The Wrong Man or Vertigo, 1958) and more a demonstration of the way that film craft can be used to create a masterful thriller. He succeeds!
March 11, 2017
This movie has everything, even Don and Betty Draper. Maybe some of the best banter and chemistry I've seen with Cary Grant. Those set pieces! That ending!
March 11, 2017
I've seen a lot of movies from The Master of Suspense, but North by Northwest outdoes them all. It's a great movie, that gets you captivated and delivers an exceptional performance by Cary Grant, who just takes the show. It also delivers some very sophisticated and impressive camera angles for the time, and the flick is very beautifully shot in technicolor, all with suspense and amazement. Recommended !!
March 8, 2017
They simply don't make them like this anymore. Spectacular
February 15, 2017
Sorry but the idea of trying to murder someone by luring them out to the middle of nowhere and running him down with a biplane seems rather stupid to me.
January 28, 2017
Excellent, escapist Hitchcock film with Cary Grant as the wrongly accused man who gets more than he bargains for when he falls for the wrong kind of girl. Great use of locations as per usual for Hitchcock. The Mount Rushmore finale is the stuff classic films are made of.
January 25, 2017
One of the best action thrillers ever made.
January 5, 2017
Not only is the movie as a whole really great, that airplane sequence is amazing.
½ January 1, 2017
Cary Grant is an ordinary man, Roger Thornhill, who unwillingly finds himself tangled up in murderous espionage. It's an entertaining and thrilling film with mystery, suspense, action, adventure, romance and comedy. It has everything, including a wild ending. (First and only viewing - 5/22/2010)
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