North by Northwest (1959)


Possibly Alfred Hitchcock’s best movie…a classic in so many ways.  A clever plot, mysterious characters, and of course leading man Cary Grant…the master of suspense pulls out all of his tricks for this one.  This movie shows the maturity of Alfred Hitchcock as a Director–this movie can toward the end of his career.

This movie is the ultimate thrill ride for a man who has been identified as a spy, but in reality he is just a normal insurance man.  Cary Grant (Roger Thornhill) has to put the pieces together and try stay alive and figure out how to identify and capture the real killers.  So many twists and turns in this one as people aren’t who they really seem to be.

This movie is about Cary Grant, no doubt, but Eva Marie Saint delivers a sensual and hypnotic performance as a willing lover with unclear motives…she plays the role of a mysterious character so well–the sparks fly as they meet on a train and Cary Grant hides in her room.  It all feels suspicious, but Cary Grant doesn’t care…it has a “James Bond” fell to it….get the girl even if danger is lurking.

Some of the most famous scenes in movies come from this film.  Of course the scene with the airplane dusting crops and heading for Cary Grant is a very well-known scene.  Also, the movie features a very unique house, and the ending was filmed on Mt. Rushmore as the “faces” of the presidents providing a very unique escape route.  Also, you will never look at the United Nations building the same…as a murder occurs there.  This movie is one you remember for the uniqueness of it…the people, the historic places, and of course the screenplay which is second to none.

This movie is special because it combines many, many elements together.  First, this movie is a suspense…it keeps you guessing along the way until a thrilling end.  Second, this movie is a comedy…there are some very funny parts of this film.  Third, this movie is a romance…this movie is about the love between two people who hardly know each other.  Fourth, this movie is an adventure…especially the ending!

10 Stars…one of the quintessential movies of the last 100 years. One of the must see films.  When you rank Hitchcock movies this one has the most universal appeal.  It  is in COLOR–it has great acting, a creative plot, and great iconic scenes.

Todd Morgan
About Todd Morgan 56 Articles
Todd is one of nation's top classic movie experts, with a passion and determination to help the younger generation discover some of the truly greatest movies ever made. Todd reviews 2-3 movies every week and also prepares classic movie trivia, lists, writes books, and develops games all on Classic Movies. Contact him at

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