Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on August 19, 2013
I have always liked this film. Hitchcock's script is deliciously written with Grant's character Roger O. Thornhill being mistaken for an undercover agent named George Kaplan. Given Thornhill's position as an executive one would think that the sinister James Mason and his equally sinister aide Martin Landau would check into Thornhill's claim that he is not George Kaplan, but I guess they figured "bird in hand"... Jessie Royce Landis role as Grant's mother is lovely and amazing given that she and Grant were about the same age at the time this film was made. I am not sure which scene I find most breathtaking and heart stopping - when Grant is chased by a crop duster plane on open fields or when he is trying to make his way across and upon Mount Rushmore with Eva Marie Saint. I have been to Mount Rushmore and know that I would not want to make an attempt to climb it and especially at night. I confess that I am surprised that the National Parks Service would allow anyone to climb Mount Rushmore, but this scene adds hugely to the suspense. The musical score adds to the atmosphere of the cat and mouse game being played. I own a copy of this film on DVD, but it wasn't until the 1990's that I finally could place part of the score. I kept thinking that part of the musical score had been reused for another film. Then when I purchased a copy of "V" {the first miniseries} I made the connection. The part of the score used in the crop dusting scene was reused in part of this science fiction miniseries and was just as suspenseful as in "North By Northwest". This film is one of Hitchcock's greatest achievements in movie making. I have to admit that his "Rear Window" is my most favorite of Hitchcock's films, but "North By Northwest is next in line. Grant manages to inject his own zany humor when he talks about his various ex-wives who depend upon his earnings and when he is trying to convince the police that he was not drunk, but taken to a big house only to discover that the staff at the big house has changed and no one remembers seeing Grant. I have always wondered if the police were in on this deal or if the 'respectable' people at the house were so convincing that it was thought that Grant had been drunk instead of drugged. The scenes between Grant and Eva Marie Saint on the train are delightful. This is a film that calls for the phone being turned off, the door bell ignored and home made popcorn.
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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
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