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North By Northwest

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,404 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Mistaken For A Spy, Manhattan Adman Cary Grant Escapeskidnapping, Dodges A Murder Frameup, Confronts A Crop-Dustingairplane And Holds On To The Face Of Mount Rushmore.

Special Features

  • Destination Hitchcock: The Making of North by Northwest, with host Eva Marie Saint, Martin Landau, screenwriter Ernest Lehman, Patricia Hitchcock and others
  • Music-only track:  Music-only audio track showcasing Bernard Herrman's score  
  • Stills gallery  
  • Hitchcock trailer gallery  
  • Widescreen anamorphic and full-screen formats

Product Details

  • Actors: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Martin Landau, Leo G. Carroll
  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD, Full Screen, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
  • DVD Release Date: September 7, 2004
  • Run Time: 136 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,404 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002IQEHI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,123 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "North By Northwest" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
One of the best of Hitchcock (although as far as his films go, Hitch probably has the best track record of any director living or dead). This film is basically the original "Fugitive" and follows pretty closely the plot to his "The 39 Steps" from 1935 - a man is mistaken for a CIA agent and is caught in a "deadly game of cat and mouse," as it were. I LOVE the music and the visuals that start out the film - it makes me wish I had been alive to see it in a movie theater in the 50's. And although this film is over 2 hours long, there's no way you can be bored - the suspense is so intense you'll be chewing your nails the whole time (I did the first time I saw it). Cary Grant is excellent as always, James Mason plays one of the most sinister of Hitchcock's villains (I would LOVE to have this guy's voice) and Eva Marie Saint looks gorgeous and plays her part well. I also enjoyed seeing Martin Landau in an early role as one of James Mason's henchmen and Jessie Royce Landis (the mother from "To Catch a Thief") as Grant's mother (although both were very near the same age at the time). And I love any film score by Bernard Herrmann - this guy should have had a mantle covered with awards, but as luck would have it, most of his scores went not only un-awarded but un-nominated (as this one did). By all means, if you don't own it, pick it up today - and by the way, good job for FINALLY releasing it on DVD, MGM.
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Format: DVD
With this film, Alfred Hitchcock set out to top himself and get back on top after the failure of VERTIGO; he did just that. NORTH BY NORTHWEST is automatically a classic with the acting by Cary Grant (his fourth and final film with Hitchcock), Eva Maria Saint, James Mason, Leo G. Carroll (another one of Hithcock's favorites), and young Martin Landau (in his film debut), the amazing set pieces (the UN murder, the cropduster sequence, and the climax atop Mt. Rushmore), Bernard Hermann's music score, and the classic work of the camera by the Master of Suspense. But this DVD's extras really add to the film. It includes a documentary hosted by Saint ("Destination Hitchcock," not "The Man in Lincoln's Nose" as listed on this site), an audio commentary by screenwriter Ernest Lehman, two theatrical trailers (a standard trailer and one featuring Hitchcock), a TV Spot, an isolated music audio track and the film itself remastered in Dolby 5.1 Audio and 1.66:1 widescreen anamorphic format. The only problem is it comes in a snap case like all Warners DVDs, not allowing a booklet with production notes. But this DVD is a must buy, especially if you're a fan of Hitch. It's also a note of interest for 007 fans (like myself). This film brought about spy thrillers and you should compare the cropduster sequence in this film to the helicopter sequence in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE.
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Format: VHS Tape
Forget about the numerous improbabilities (e.g. that death by cropduster is an effective way to get rid of one's enemies; that a good place for foreign agents to have a hide-out is right on top of Mt. Rushmore; that Jessie Royce Landis is old enough to be Cary Grant's mother, etc.)--and just enjoy this ride. I've seen this movie several times and tend to forget the details between viewings--which allows me to be surprised all over again. And surprise is what North by Northwest is all about.
Casting James Mason and a young but very creepy Martin Landau as the villains was sheer genius. Eva Marie Saint is the icy blonde in this one and suggests a fair amount of fire beneath that ice. Grant, already in his mid-50s, was obviously meant to be younger (mid-40s at the most), but you'll find yourself suspending disbelief about that and everything else and just allowing yourself to get caught up in this extremely entertaining film. There is no better example of Hitchcock's cinematic mastery. Aside from the aforementioned crop duster pursuit (scarier than any low-flying plane scene in any WWII movie), there's the classic Rushmore sequence, and, of course, the tunnel bit at the end which delighted would-be Freudian critics with its (daring for the time?) symbolism. It's as witty as it is adventurous, with a wonderful Ernest Lehman script, excellent cinematography by Robert Burks and a great score by Bernard Herrmann. A classic...but then, you probably don't need me to tell you that.
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Format: DVD
"North by Northwest" (1959) was the fourth and final collaboration between director Alfred Hitchcock and actor Cary Grant. Both men were at their artistic zenith when they made this superb comic thriller, which screenwriter Ernest Lehman promised would be "the Hitchcock picture to end all Hitchcock pictures." Lehman's script incorporates some brilliant setpieces that the Master of Suspense was unable to work into his previous films, such as the famous crop-dusting chase and the surreal Mount Rushmore climax. However, the highlight remains the Chicago auction sequence. Grant's screwball humor and dark charm make him the ideal Hitchcock leading man - complemented by excellent performances from Eva Marie Saint, James Mason and Martin Landau. "North by Northwest" was Hitchcock's sole effort for MGM and he makes the most of the studio gloss. It's a top-notch production in terms of set design and matte work. In fact, author Ian Fleming considered "North by Northwest" to be the stylistic prototype for the James Bond series and wanted Hitchcock to direct the first 007 production (he turned down the offer). To fully appreciate this classic film, it should be seen in the letterbox format that Hitchcock intended. One of the all-time greats.
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