Tuesday, November 12, 2019

North By Northwest

Yes, I finally get to see more Hitchcock films.

North By Northwest is a really good movie, I had a terrific time with it and I do recommend it if you have the time. The story follows an advertisment agent who gets mistaken for another type of agent in the field of espionage, who soon digs deeper and deeper into finding the real agent who everyone keeps mistaking him for. What follows is a very good thriller adventure story with great actors and a more light Hitchcock story. I feel Hitchcock did a great job with this movie, he wanted to just make a very entertaining movie that wasn't as dark or heavy as his other films, and it's very apparent early on. The dialogue is spot on with particular love going to Cary Grant who is already a fantastic lead but now given such sharp dialogue with a perpetual snarky twist makes him endlessly enjoyable to watch. James Mason returns once more as the villain, and while he is more in the background and not seen doing much his acting is still spot on. I felt Eva Marie Saint was the perfect addition to Cary Grant, both being very direct and charming and she kind of kept me guessing as to which side she was on for a little while. One surprising cast member I didn't recognize was Martin Landau, in the earliest role I've yet to see him in, as a henchman for the villain and I honestly loved him, at first I thought it was David Carradine until I looked it up, and man does he have a great physicality and threatning persona in this! Now I will say there isn't much of a mystery or even a twist to the plot, everything is very cut and dry and doesn't take much inference on the audience's part, the film explains the agent and you can tell immediately who's the good guys and who are the bad guys. And I honestly don't have a problem with that, this is more the movie you just sit back and enjoy for the performances and the set pieces. The film looks great at times, even when you know it's a painted backdrop it's such a beautiful painted backdrop you just don't really mind. Everyone brings up the crop dusting plane scene, and yes it was very good and held tension nicely, but the ending felt abrupt and I personally liked the version or perhaps homage of that scene in From Russia With Love better. Speaking of which, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if elements of this film influenced the James Bond series, seeing as how this movie came out 3 years before Dr. No while the book series by Ian Fleming was going on for about 6 years by the time this movie came out. It's interesting to think of such a famous and loved spy thriller that was made before the mega franchise that is James Bond was even created. Regardless, I very much enjoyed this movie and wouldn't at all mind picking up a copy on video in the future, and I'm sure you'll dig it too. A solid 8/10 from me, and I'll be back tomorrow with our first James Stewart film.

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