Comments on watching and making films.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

North By Northwest

NOTE: This post is a review of a Hitchcock film that was seen projected on 35mm at the Belcourt Theater in Nashville, TN, as part of their Alfred Hitchcock: Master of Suspense Series. These movies were not watched on DVD, but in a theater, projected on film.

Cary Grant returns to Hitchcock's universe as Roger Thornhill in North By Northwest. When Thornhill is caught up in a case of mistaken identity, his life is threatened, and he's forced into being a pawn for both sides of a game he never asked to play. Working against him is a man named Vandamm (James Mason), who is convinced that Thornhill is an operative, sent to spy on him. Thornhill ends up traveling from New York City to Mount Rushmore, with various stops along the way (and an assassination attempts), trying to solve the mystery of George Kaplan, the agent that Vandamm thinks Thornhill is.

There's zero you can complain about with North By Northwest, which feels like one of Hitchcock's best realized films. His scope runs across America, and he knows how to use major locals between the east coast and South Dakota to their maximum effect. The film is gorgeous, in all of its Technicolor-ish style, and Grant never ceases to be the man that, at least the male audience, wants to be. Mason is devilish, but real, and Eva Marie Saint plays the cool double cross VERY well. You never really know what side she's on.

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