North by Northwest - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

North by Northwest Reviews

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December 3, 2016
Another classic Hitch - Grant outing, this time with Eva Marie Saint. On Blu-ray.
½ November 20, 2016
One of Hitchcock's craftiest and most recognizable films, "North By Northwest" is still one of his best.
November 5, 2016
"North by Northwest ', is a spy movie directing by suspense master Alfred Hitchcock, here we have some suspense elements, but they just appear. Ambientando in the first phase of the Cold War, the film tells the story of Roger Tornhill (Cary Grant), who eventually becomes a government argente by chance, and ends up falling in love with another argente, and in the end becomes a hero, yes, hero's journey already existed in the 50s, it is obvious that the script is much more than that, after all we are talking about Hitchcock, we have many twists and turns, many plots and great characters, is a captivating film and that does not make the viewer divert your attention, technically it is also great, nothing amazing, with angula cameras raising and urbanized photograph and a great soundtrack composed by bernard herrmann and also with fine performances, and the highlight for me is the practical effects of the movie are spectacular for their time. Despite all this, "North by Northwest" is not surprising as other Hitchcock films, but we have great technical sets, and a very attractive script. It takes a given in this film.
½ October 23, 2016
One of the best despite its length.
October 22, 2016
A great suspenseful thriller with plenty of action, romance, comedy, and a classic score, starring the great Cary Grant (who should have won an oscar for this, but never won even one) and Eve Marie Saint at her sexiest, with James Mason and Martin Landau as the villains. Directed brilliantly by Alfred Hitchcock (who also never won an oscar), and containing some of the iconic scenes in the history of movies, including one at Mount Rushmore.
October 3, 2016
The phrase "they don't make 'em like they used to" has never had more meaning to me than when I watch this daring feat of extraordinary thrills, wit, and action. Hitchcock, for my money, never set his sights on a story that didn't crest perfection, and the thrilling and, surprisingly, hilarious NORTH BY NORTHWEST is no exception.

This one doesn't quite make the peak (that battle is still being fought by PSYCHO and REAR WINDOW), but this masterpiece is still closer to the most perfect spy film than any other before or since, with the one exception of Coppola's THE CONVERSATION.
½ September 12, 2016
2 hours and 16 minutes doesn't seem nearly long enough to compact this incredibly fast-paced, high octane thriller that takes us from one point to another almost non-stop until the film's awkward but hilarious conclusion.

Cary Grant is the glue to the whole thing, and it's a choppy film that needs a stronghold. Grant's got it - his sly wit, charm, sarcasm, unintentional humor, and willingness to man up when the situation calls for it. His arc goes from helpless businessman to reveler of a conspiracy. I love how he goes from Vandamm's men stopping him "now what's that supposed to be?" to playing up the expectation that he is who they think he is, nonexistent CIA agent George Kaplan.

What an interesting twist, that Kaplan doesn't exist. This case of mistaken identity has us asking many questions, but I never assumed such a deep government conspiracy. We learn this about an hour in, and wait to see if the CIA will interfere, or if Thornhill is a sitting duck.

The screenplay, largely concocted by Hitchcock, carried out by Ernest Lehman, is just plain fun. Hitchcock wasn't a writer, but when he thought of a story he wanted to tell, he got the best in the biz to make it a reality. He had strong pictures in his mind -- an airplane duster chasing Grant, a chase/battle on Mt. Rushmore, a train through a tunnel symbolizing Thornhill has scored.
August 31, 2016
The plot might be a bit flimsy in spots by today's standards but there's no denying the power of Hitchcock, which is still strong here. Influencal, iconic but also with an interesting story and great acting.
½ August 15, 2016
A recent trip to Mt. Rushmore in the U.S. state of South Dakota brought to mind an old classic film I hadn't seen in ages. NORTH BY NORTHWEST has been called by some as master suspense director Alfred Hitchcock's romantic comedy. The film stars Cary Grant as Madison Avenue advertising exec Roger O. Thornhill (think Don Draper with a sense of humour), who finds himself mixed up in a Spy vs. Spy case of mistaken identity. Eva Marie Saint co-stars as Eve Kendall, a sultry industrial designer who isn't all she appears to be. James Mason plays the mysterious Phillip Vandamm, who abducts Thornhill to find out what he knows about him, and Martin Landau plays Vandamm's effeminate henchman, Leonard. The plot climaxes at Mt. Rushmore in a thrilling cat-and-mouse chase on the rock's presidential faces.

Released in 1959, the film still holds plenty of suspense today - the crop dusting scene is classic - but it really is a product of its time. The Cold War was in full swing then, and suspicion was flying in the U.S. about who might be spying for the Russians. In today's world of mobile phones, global news and heightened security, the story's premise seems rather absurd but spying was the hot topic back in the day.

James Stewart, a Hitchcock regular, wanted to play Roger Thornhill but the director considered the actor, at age 51, to be too old for the part. When Grant was announced as the film's star, many in Hollywood believed that Hitchcock and Stewart must have had a falling out as Grant was 55. Stewart was already committed to do another film and couldn't have done both. Whether that was intentional on Hitchcock's part or not, no one knows for sure. But Cary Grant certainly had a style that James Stewart never had, and the grey-blue glen plaid suit that the actor wore through most of the film has now achieved iconic status. (There were apparently six such suits that Grant wore during the filming - and kept, as per the terms of his contract.)

Even today, it is a matter of debate as to who actually made the suit. Many sources point to Kilgour, French & Stanbury, with Arthur Lyons, the Duke of Windsor's suitmaker, doing the tailoring. However, eagle-eyed film buffs have noticed a label bearing the name "Quintino" inside the jacket. It may be that the Saville Row tailor made the original and the Beverly Hills tailor the copies. In an interview given many years later, Martin Landau said that Hitchcock wanted him to be better dressed than Grant so he took the actor to Grant's tailor - Quintino - to get him kitted out. Grant didn't know this and, when he saw how nice Landau looked in his new suit, Grant sent his personal assistant over to Landau to find out where he got it. According to Landau, the PA told him that only two people in the world make a suit like that - one in Beverly Hills and the other in Hong Kong.

By today's standards, NORTH BY NORTHWEST is sloppy filmmaking with its numerous continuity and factual errors (such as which side of the train Lake Michigan should be on), and wobbly sets. The U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Park Service had barred Hitchcock from filming the chase scene at Mt. Rushmore so a replica was built in California. Today we can see that it was a fake but back then many respected film critics were praising both Hitchcock and MGM for their apparent cinematic coup. Government officials fought back though, and they insisted that the acknowledgement their agency received at the end of the film be removed from all prints, lest audiences think they approved of their perceived desecration of the national monument.

Even though NORTH BY NORTHWEST is a relic of days gone by, it still makes for enjoyable viewing today.
August 9, 2016
North By Northwest contains brilliant dialogue, a tremendous amount of humour, and the expected thrills that are expertly created by the master of suspense, even at the end of his legendary career.
August 9, 2016
Carry Grant is was an okay part for him
August 9, 2016
This must have been an edge of the seat thriller in its time but I found it a tad slow to watch.
July 23, 2016
In the top 5 best Hitchcocks list, North By Northwest changed the action/thriller genre for the subsequent years.
July 1, 2016
It's the cold war. Mystery man Vandamm (James Mason) is a Soviet spy feeding US government secrets to the Soviets. The FBI is hot on his trail with spy Eva Kendall, an agent they are using to find out how he is getting our secrets and what he is using to transport them (spoiler alert: it's microfilm encased in expensive woodcarvings). There's also a fake spy they are using to throw Vandamm off, George Kaplan, a man who doesn't actually exist. Unfortunately, advertising man Roger O. Thornhill, who can talk his way out of any situation, is fortuitously mistaken for Kaplan, and is chased first by Vandamm, then by the Police, across the northern US. With the help of Thornhill, the FBI is able to foil Vandamm's schemes and rescue the girl too.
June 30, 2016
Some Classic Scenes & An All Up a Pretty Happening Flick. Great Ending. Liked It A Lot.
June 12, 2016
Engaging, entertaining, funny. Not your classic Hitchcock but very well.
Antonius Block
Super Reviewer
½ May 27, 2016
Classic Hitchcock tale of the 'wrong man'; a mild-mannered businessman (ultra-suave Cary Grant) is mistaken for a spy and kidnapped at the very beginning, and it's away we go from there. There are so many great and iconic scenes in this film - the crop duster chase of course, and also those at the United Nations and Mount Rushmore. Hitchcock is brilliant and puts tension in scenes at each and every opportunity, as opposed to devolving a great script into silly chase scenes which lesser directors may have done. It feels like a more masterful 007 movie, and James Mason and Martin Landau are both outstanding as villains. I'm not wild about Eva Marie Saint and only feel real chemistry between her and Grant in the line "Shall I climb up and tell you why?" in response to his wondering why she's so good to him, but the final shot of the train speeding into a tunnel was a nice bit of tongue in cheek symbolism from Hitchcock. Despite a long career he was still at the height of his powers, and in the following year would make another masterpiece, Psycho.
½ May 23, 2016
Best Cary Grant movie
April 29, 2016
Contender for the greatest film ever made?
½ April 19, 2016
A Hitchcock classic and an adventurous crime thriller as only he made them. The plot is mysterious - a guy by the name of Roger is claimed to be a government agent and many people want to get a piece of him. He is so into the mystery that he seem confused from his own identity as the story goes on.

It develops so smoothly, never dragged - never rushed. Of course we meet a lovely girl, Eve Kendall - that seduces the viewers. She does it so well that the first time she hits the screen you want her to be included in the very rest of the scenes. So cheeky, so seductive.

Super acting, super score, great shots and some nice little effects. Many memorable and iconic scenes. Clever and groundbreaking compisitions and camera work. It's old, but at times it feel much newer. It must have been way ahead of it's time. It has bit's of everything and few things are not to appreciate here. Some stupid'ish actions are forgotten when the gluing of the piece leaves such a total impression.

9 out of 10 elevator jokes.
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