The great Alfred Hitchcock‘s North By Northwest is one of the finest films ever made. Expertly crafted, the thriller is a brilliant exercise in tension, humour and romance.
Starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason and Martin Landau, Hitchcock’s film plays like a James Bond movie – before Bond movies even existed – due to its style, wit, action and glamour. A case of mistaken identity, Cary Grant has never been better than he is as Roger Thornhill, the New York ad man who is confused with the mysterious George Kaplan.
North By Northwest is loaded with stand-out moments. Even the brilliant opening credits by Saul Bass and Bernard Hermann‘s masterful score are works of art. The iconic scenes are the crop-duster chase sequence and the Mount Rushmore set finale.
The 1959 release was the fourth and final film that Hitchcock and Grant made together – the previous films were Suspicion (1941), Notorious (1946) and To Catch A Thief (1955).
North By Northwest was nominated for three Academy Awards – Best Film Editing, Best Art Direction – Set Decoration, Color and Best Original Screenplay at the 32nd Academy Awards – it failed to pick up any awards. In 1995 it was was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant’.
Budgeted at $4.3 million, North By Northwest grossed $13.27 million following its release in 1959.