In our last movie 'The Passenger' Jack Nicholson swaps identities with a dead man. In tonight’s film it is mistaken identity that causes Madison Avenue advertising executive Cary Grant to be kidnapped and then pursued across the United States by a nameless conspiracy who want him dead.
Screenwriter Ernest Lehman says he set out to write the ultimate Hitchcock picture and he succeeded in spades.
This elegant, witty, and romantic adventure is one of the finest films in the Hitchcock canon. Cary Grant is at his most debonair and James Mason his most suavely menacing as the pair playing cat and mouse in a variety of iconic American locations including the United Nations building in New York and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.
The action is played out to a thrilling score by Hitchcock’s regular musical collaborator Bernard Herrmann and the cinematography by Robert Burks and editing by George Tomasini are first rate. Add to that Lehman’s urbane, sparkling dialogue, the wonderful production design and costumes and the director Hitchcock at the top of his game. All of the familiar characteristics are there - the ice cool blonde, the innocent man wrongly thought guilty and some stunning cinematic set piece sequences including the famous encounter between our hero and a deadly crop spraying aircraft in the middle of nowhere…
You may have watched North By Northwest on TV but don’t miss the chance to see it on a big screen - it’s a very different experience.