Monday, June 15, 2009

Summer of Hitchcock: North by Northwest

North by Northwest
I thought it would be fun to start with North by Northwest for Summer of Hitchcock because it's just such a fun and popular film, not too scary. It's actually been several years since I'd watched it, so I enjoyed watching it again.

North by Northwest is the story of Roger Thornhill a successful advertising executive who gets caught up by mistake into a case of mistaken identity and finds himself fighting for his life and the life of a beautiful woman he meets on the train.

What I like about North by Northwest is that it is action packed, full of intrigue, and downright humorous. I laughed out loud several times while watching due to the quick wit of the characters, particularly Roger Thornhill. Yet I was also never bored, because the plot moves at a brisk pace we are often wondering what will happen next, and like Roger, we don't always know what actually is happening.

Roger Thornhill himself is an interesting character. He works in advertising which naturally means we'd think him to be focused on helping others get what they think they need. His initials spell out ROT, and his relationships all seem quite superficial. In fact, in the very beginning when his secretary accuses him of lying, he says, "In the world of advertising there is no such thing as a lie, Maggie. There is only the expedient exaggeration." And perhaps that is what the whole film is based upon, the "non-lies" of others he soon finds himself caught in.

I found the entire abduction scene to be so amusing, almost as nauseating as I found the later seduction scene on the train.

My favorite sequence was probably the scene where Roger is running from the plane. I mean how crazy was that?

I did a bit of reading of critial analysis of the film which says that North by Northwest is a the story of a man's struggle for identity. I can certainly see how this would be so, but does he find himself? Or does he just marry another pretty girl he knew for 24 hours???


Where's Alfred?
Alfred Hitchcock famously made cameos in his films...spotted him in the very beginning of this one!

Overall, I really enjoyed this one, and can't wait to watch Dial M for Murder this week!



Sandy Nawrot said...

I sure wish I weren't gone most of the summer or I'd join you. I haven't seen this movie, but LOVE Rear Window and Vertigo. I was just saying the other day that I need to watch more Hitch movies. Who knows? The guy directed like 50 movies...maybe you'll still be at it when I get back!

Nicole said...

As many times as I saw his initials it just didn't click with me that it was spelling anything. It was a fun movie. I had a few trepidation at the length, especially since it was an old movie, but it turned out okay. I thin it being abut the search for identity is a bit of a stretch for me. I don't now that he learned anything or is more comfortable with who he is. He does have wife number 3 now, so I guess that's something

heidenkind said...

I love Dial M for Murder. I'm not sure if I've even seen North by Northwest... I probably have, because I'm a huge Hitchcock fan, but it's not ringing any bells. =/

Rebecca :) said...

I liked this movie. You quoted one of my favorite lines from the film, "expedient exaggeration". Now, when you get to The Birds...that is a scary movie. I saw it about 8 or 9 years ago and I was terrified of birds after that. Reminds me now of that crazy black bird in San Francisco or wherever it is that keeps attacking pedestrians.

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