Film & Water #61 – North by Northwest



Rob welcomes Lecturer, Dept. of Popular Culture from Bowling Green State University Chuck Coletta to discuss Alfred Hitchcock's 1957 classic NORTH BY NORTHWEST, starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, and Martin Landau!

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6 responses to “Film & Water #61 – North by Northwest

  1. Rob, thanks for having me on the show. It was very easy to talk with you as you moved along to the various points of interest. One bit of trivia I forgot to mention: Eva Marie Saint gave birth to her second child only 3 weeks before she shot the Mt. Rushmore sequence!

  2. One of my favorite Hitchcock movies and definitely a classic.

    As mentioned, in this one almost no one is exactly who they appear to be. That kicks the usual ‘wrong man’ Hitchcock plot up a notch.

  3. My first ever Hitchcock movie, and probably still my favorite (though I wouldn’t argue his best, just the one I’m most ready to pop in again and rewatch.) Actually this was also the first Cary Grant movie I ever say too, so double bonus there. This is Hitchcock doing “don’t think too hard about it” dumb fun, and it’s still at least 60% smarter than most movies that go out of their way to try and be clever.

    It’s funny, I saw this at a young enough age that most of the sexual innuendo went over my head, but my eventual biggest mind-blow came when I found out Martin Landau played him as gay. I’d always liked the dynamic between him and Mason but that added a whole new level that made me kind of wish there was a companion film just about the two of them. And what is there to say about James Mason? There’s a reason that Eddie Izzard uses his voice whenever he does an impression of God.

  4. Taking a lot of its cues from Hitch’s much earlier Saboteur (from the mistaken identity to danging off an American tourist attraction), this is just about the biggest mainstream entertainment the famous director ever made. It’s got lots of action, a crackingly witty script, and a hot and heavy romance (for 1959, it’s positively scandalous). It’s not quite as suspenseful as you’d expect from the Master of Suspense, however, and to me, Cary Grant is such an affected actor, that I can’t quite say I loved it.

    Or perhaps I was distracted by Martin Landau who was obviously perpetrating a sting on the villain on behalf of the IMF ;-).

    My favorite Hitchcock films are in the horror-thriller genre, not the spy thriller stuff, but in the latter genre, I’d say I rate Saboteur, The Man Who Knew Too Much and even Torn Curtain higher.
    Probably one I’d like more and more on each viewing, but the first run-through left me wanting just a touch more. Your enthusiasm for it may have provided it.

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