“North by Northwest”, a film directed by Sir Alfred in 1959, is my favorite Hitchcock, definitely.
Every single shot is of rare perfection, and the elegance and humor that run through this anthology movie make it a gem.
Let’s recap: Roger Thornhill (played by Cary Grant) is kidnapped in New York by mistake by kidnappers who take him for a certain George Kaplan.
He manages to escape and sets off in pursuit of the truth, in order to prove his innocence – since following a drunken episode, the police suspect him of murder.
The title of the film “North by Northwest” perfectly illustrates Roger Thornhill’s journey to uncover the truth as he travels from New York to Mount Rushmore, via Chicago. During his journey, Roger Thornhill meets a very sophisticated and even more mysterious blond woman, Eve Kendall (the divine Eva Marie Saint).
What do I like best about this movie? Well, everything.
Alfred Hitchcock takes up one of his favorite themes, that of the ordinary guy caught in the whirlwind of an intrigue and who must prove his innocence.
The screenplay is by Ernest Lehman, who wanted to write “the Hitchcock picture to end all Hitchcock pictures” (and in my humble opinion, he succeded).
Some scenes are memorable – I think of course of the scene where Roger Thornhill is being chased in the fields by a crop duster plane, I also think of the scene on Mount Rushmore.
The suspense is total since we are as lost as Roger Thornhill who is always called George Kaplan. However, this suspense is brilliantly balanced by the comic tempo of a somewhat above-the-ground Cary Grant. His Roger Thornhill is a good-natured, phlegmatic and relaxed bachelor, but even though he comes across as the perfect gentleman, he is still afflicted with an intrusive mother.
The thugs are chilling: I think of the cold Machiavellianism of Philip Vandamm, masterfully interpreted by James Mason, or the piercing blue gaze of Leonard, to which Martin Landau lends his face.
Eva Marie Saint is the epitome of elegance and perfectly interprets this icy beauty, this femme fatale who plays double – even triple – game. For once, it is not Edith Head was not in charge of the movie’s costumes, the outfits worn by Eva Marie Saint having been purchased.
I’m wearing here a vintage little black dress which irresistibly reminds me of that dress Eve Kendall wears when she shoots Roger Thornhill.
Vintage dress, gloves and bibi hat – Dior belt – Bvlgari handbag – Prada heels – Face A Face sunglasses