Analysis of Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest

Nicely printed on the poster of this film are the words: THE MASTER OF SUSPENSE WEAVES HIS GREATEST TALE. And true to these phrases, Alfred Hitchcock doesn’t disappoint. North by Northwest (1959) is full of suspense and is amongst the most entertaining flicks ever made. Although it is shockingly outclassed by his other classics, similar to Rear Window and Vertigo, this film is Hitchcock’s chef-d’oeuvre. It is somewhat unhappy that it does not get the popularity it deserves.

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Hitchcock paired up with the debonair actor Cary Grant for their fourth installment and proved their collaboration is doubtless certainly one of the greatest in movie history. Their earlier collaborations include: To Catch a Thief (1955), Notorious (1946) and Suspicion (1941). He further sought the services of Oscar winning Eva Marie Saints and enlisted this movie to the femme fatale film style, which additional added aptitude to the already sensible script.
North by Northwest Synopsis

Borrowing closely from the spy era of the cold warfare, the main theme of the movie is mistaken id.

Roger Thornhill (Carry Grant), the protagonist of the movie is a sophisticated and profitable advertising executive with a weak spot of pleasing girls and submitting to his mother’s will. However, his life shortly transforms from dinner dates at cocktail bars to one of perilous adventures throughout the nation when he is mistaken for a spy often known as George Kaplan. He is kidnapped from a bar by two thugs who take him to Mr. Townsend’s mansion.

Thornhill is each shocked and frightened by the entire ordeal, although he tries to conceal his feelings by being sarcastic.

Unable to get something meaningful from him, Townsend (Vandamm) orders his males to execute him professionally. The plan is to intoxicate him, homicide him and then stage it as an accident. The plan does not work as Thornhill escapes away with a automobile, despite being drunk. His narrative of being kidnapped just isn’t believed by each the police and his mom. Things don’t go properly for Thornhill when “Mrs. Townsend” flips the script on him when she is interrogated about Thornhill’s alleged kidnapping.

Unable to convince his mom and the police, Thornhill decides to research everything by himself. He is caught snooping round Kaplan’s condo by Philip Vandamm’s goons and subsequently chased to the United Nations constructing. While there, he’s framed for the murder of the true Townsend. Now a fugitive of both the FBI and Vandamm’s crime syndicate, Thornhill flees to Chicago via a train. It is on this train journey that he meets the beautiful Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint). What transpires between the two is an aura of seduction that lands Thornhill into Kendall’s room to escape the police.

Later, he learns that Kendall isn’t who she says she is when she units him up in an isolated bus cease to fulfill Kaplan. This results in one of most intriguing and suspense stuffed scene in the entire film. Thornhill is attacked by a crop duster aircraft in the course of nowhere with nowhere to hide. As the film builds up to the climax, we be taught that Kendall is actually an undercover agent who has infiltrated Vandamm’s felony group. Agent George Kaplan doesn’t exist. He is simply a decoy to distract Vandamm from understanding the real traitor within the organization, as earlier revealed by the professor.

Vandamm nonetheless learns of her real identity. Unbeknownst to Kendall of her blown cover, she doesn’t know she is being led into a entice by the mafia lord. It is up to Thornhill to save her. Although the movie has a cliché ending of a hero rescuing a damsel in misery and within the process successful her coronary heart, Hitchcock doesn’t delve a lot into the subject of romance. The film shortly involves a detailed after the 2 successfully escape the thugs at Mount Rushmore. The closing scene is between Thornhill and Kendall in an higher berth of a train. As is characteristic of Hitchcock, he leaves us in suspense in regards to the new couple.

Fun Facts in regards to the Movie

Most of the film was filmed in the studio, aside from a few real locations that Hitchcock most popular to shoot brief segments of. There was the United Nations constructing in New York, where the protagonist is secretly filmed with a hidden camera as he enters the building. The UN lobby was a remake. The other locations are the Grand Central Station additionally in New York and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. Real pictures are only carried out on the park’s exterior. The actors are actually crawling on a remake of the presidential faces.

Another thrilling reality is in regards to the film’s title. What does it actually mean? It has no relation in any way with the theme of the film. Just like the movie itself, the title is shrouded in mystery that solely Hitchcock and his peers know what’s going on. There had been three titles that were adopted at varied stages of the script: Breathless, The Man on Lincoln’s Nose and In a Northwesterly Direction. These titles had been nonetheless discarded by the director and he settled for the rather mystical North by Northwest.

The latter title however offers us a glimpse of what the current title means. It must be a direction. He travels north by a method of transport referred to as northwest. Tracing the hero’s adventurous journey, we see that he strikes from New York to Chicago and then he flies north by northwest airlines to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. This is obviously a northwesterly route. This is essentially the most probable explanation for Hitchcock’s basic flick.


  1. North by Northwest (1959) – The Alfred Hitchcock Wiki
  2. Essay about North by Northwest, by Alfred Hitchcock | Bartleby
  3. 13 Monumental Facts About ‘North by Northwest’ | Mental Floss

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