North By Northwest (1959)- A Club Discussion

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"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



Got too caught up for Rear Window (might still happen) but since I own this one already, I'll definitely be rewatching and taking notes in the next week or two, tops! Can't wait.
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North By Northwest

My second time watching North By Northwest. I definitely enjoyed it more this time. The slapstick nature didn't bother me as much and I actually found it quite funny. Grant is a magnetic actor. Some personalities draw you into a film all on their own, and Grant is in that category. At this point he only has a couple films I count among favorites but I have never been bored watching him on screen. Saint is very good as well, although not given as much to do as most of Hitch's blondes. This is a movie where I also recognized an awful lot of faces, which is always fun.

Not as much to talk about as far as camera work goes, but I will say this films looks stunning on Blu-ray. Very nice use of color. Unfortunately this film just doesn't draw me into its story and I really hate the Rushmore set piece. Remains lower on the Hitch spectrum for me, still not a bad watch and I will give it a third chance at some point.




for me the best hitchcock film along with psycho and vertigo



I rewatched North By Northwest last year and, while I wasn't that big a fan of it in the past, I was absolutely stunned by its brilliance the second time around. Everything suddenly worked for me. I immediately started regarding it as a Top 5 (maybe even Top 3) Hitchcock film.

It's basically the perfect spy film. It truly does everything right. It has a mad, twisty and complicated plot, the film is full of great eventful setpieces and Cary Grant acts through it all with a great sense of charm and wit. As usual with Hitch, what truly made me reconsider my earlier assessment was the fantastic filmmaking that is displayed. Each scene in the film has a purpose and a certain logical construction behind it. What's so great about Hitch is the fact that his filmmaking is always emotionally or rationally motivated. Almost nothing is ever just there for the sake of it.

My favorite moment is probably the jump cut ending. The whole film is so full of suspense and tension and then this very sudden moment of relaxation weirdly feels like the perfect conclusion. I think it's a pretty underrated moment, because it's truly one of the most ballsy moves of Hitch's career to make this gigantic spy picture end with a jump cut and a dirty metaphore (the equivalent of a cinematic joke, if you will) in order to release the viewers from their escalated fears.
I've always considered Hitchcock's capability of ending films to be one of his lesser developed skills*, but the ending of North By Northwest, in my opinion the best of his career, surely must be one of the greatest of all time!


* Although some of his films certainly do have very good endings, like for instance Rear Window...
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Cobpyth's Movie Log ~ 2019



NBNW is probably my favorite Hitchcock film. I think it is his most fun, entertaining, and thrilling film. It usually doesn't get as much recognition as Psycho or Vertigo, but I think it is leagues better than both of those films.
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NBNW is probably my favorite Hitchcock film. I think it is his most fun, entertaining, and thrilling film. It usually doesn't get as much recognition as Psycho or Vertigo, but I think it is leagues better than both of those films.
It's my second favorite, but it's very high up there for my top 100. Psycho keeps closing the gap, but it's still a fairly sizable margin.




North by Northwest (1959)

I love the composition of that scene in the dust covered corn field. The big empty space, with Cary Grant off to one side, speaks volumes. Though it does not look like something Hitch would normally do.

I always enjoy Hitch's movies I can't think of a Hitch film I've seen that I disliked. I say that because I tend to focus my critique on things that I didn't care for, (but I still like the film).

Right off the bat, I loved the opening title credits and music score...The title credits are important, they set the theme of the movie...and it's feeling. The credits were frantic, fast paced, with diagonal lines...lines everywhere! Like points on the map.

Then the credits dissolve into a diagonal shot of the U.N. building. Very cool! Then the theme of fast, confused movement continues as Cary Grant bustle's down a very crowded New York City street. There's people everywhere! All going somewhere, movement, movement, movement!....That's the theme of the movie...and Hitch brilliantly establishes that in the opening scene.

Instantly the film grabs me and pulls me into it's world. The first 45 minutes where Cary is mistakenly abducted was gripping. The script is very intelligently written through out the entire film. Cary reacted to his kidnappers in the way I would have expected him to. And the plot twist and grows as it's story elements continually broadening the underlying spy theme. Well done.

Cary Grant is perfect for this role. As much as I like Jimmy Stewart, he would have been all wrong here. But the suave and yet irritated Cary worked perfectly here. So did James Mason. Damn is this guy good or what! The more I see of James Mason, the more I like him.

So, I was in bliss here with the movie, until Eva Maria Saint appears. I do like her but I feel the movie stalls when her character appears. She seemed to controlled in her acting, dramatic, but not real like Cary Grant was. She was austere, cold and distant. Yeah, yeah, yeah...I know that was her character, but later in the movie when we learn more about her, she still stays in this same mode. I feel the same way about her in this movie, as I did about Grace Kelly in Rear Window and especially Dial M for Murder.

But wait a minute! I recently watched On the Waterfront and in that Eva Marie Saint was very good. She was believable and very much in the moment. So it's not her, as I know she can act up a storm, which means maybe it's not Grace either....It's the way Hitch handles some of his leading ladies. He seems to actively seek out, blonde arm hanger actresses in many of his 50s-60s movies. They're often the cold, cool, beautiful bitchy type. I've heard Hitch had a thing for that type. It's too bad because I found Eva's character somewhat lacking, and she could have been so much more here.

The last hour is fun/exciting/good, but more on par with Spielberg's Indian Jone type film, with lots of action, and thrills and trick camera shots.




Started this up a couple of hours ago, but I'm not sure if I can finish it today. I gotta revisit Furious 7 today and finish my F&F binge leading up to the new movie - and I only got today because I'm going on vacation...

So YES, I'm holding Vin Diesel and mindless action above Hitchcock and masterful suspense here. I'm sorry...

BUT I may be able to finish the rest of NBNW before I go to bed. We'll see...



Started this up a couple of hours ago, but I'm not sure if I can finish it today. I gotta revisit Furious 7 today and finish my F&F binge leading up to the new movie - and I only got today because I'm going on vacation...

So YES, I'm holding Vin Diesel and mindless action above Hitchcock and masterful suspense here. I'm sorry...

BUT I may be able to finish the rest of NBNW before I go to bed. We'll see...
It's all about family Meds. Get to the Hitch. I try my hardest not to sound like a movie snob because I'm not a good one but I am floored that there are cinephiles who like those movies. The new trailer has to be one of the worst things I have ever watched.



It's all about family Meds. Get to the Hitch. I try my hardest not to sound like a movie snob because I'm not a good one but I am floored that there are cinephiles who like those movies. The new trailer has to be one of the worst things I have ever watched.
We all have one movie or one movie series that we love despite the hate.

Iro enjoys the entire Resident Evil franchise for example...