Today I have witnessed Cinematic history at it’s best. I was lucky enough to have watched the Alfred Hitchcock classic “North by Northwest” starring Cary Grant. It was made in 1959 (Hitchcock’s next film a year after the great “Vertigo” starring James Stewart & a year before the wonderful “Psycho” starring Janet Leigh).
Right from the word go I was captivated by the diversity of the plot and the humour of the great script as written by the legendary Ernest Lehman. Cary Grant was wonderful as Roger O Thornhill in a classic story of mistaken identity.
Thornhill is a New York advertising executive who (through no fault of his own) is mistaken for an agent of the government by a group of foreign spies. This soon leads to Thornhill going on the run and becoming a fugitive from the spies and the law as it is assumed he has committed murder. On his journey he soon hooks up with the beautiful Eve Kendall (played by Eva Marie Saint) & goes on a series of mis-adventures to find the man that can help prove his innocence. A specific part that comes to mind is the famous “flee from the crop duster” scene.
I was on the edge of my seat throughout the 135 minutes running time and was amazed that the director was able to keep the audience in the palm of his hand like that. I definitely recommend North by Northwest to anyone who is fond of what is basically newer versions like “The Fugitive” & in some ways “Lucky Number Slevin” & basically anyone who can love and appreciate film and the history behind it. I know I am going to purchase this on DVD immediately.