North by northwest

United States, 1959

Film
Image via TMDb

Alfred Hitchcock nominated this literal cliff hanger as the film that most epitomised the elements of his years of making thrillers. Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) is a smug but successful Madison Avenue advertising executive who is plunged into the world of espionage when he his mistaken for mythical agent George Kaplan who US intelligence has created to flush out spies. Matters are further complicated when he meets Eve Kendall (Eva Saint-Marie) who further jeopardises his life while being romantically involved with him. Kidnapped by spies, Thornhill escapes but is then accused of killing a UN diplomat. He is pursued by both spies and the police and desperately flees across country, buzzed by a crop duster plane in one of the films most memorable scenes. His meeting with arch spy James Mason on the Mount Rushmore monument provides the heart-stopping climax as the pair fight it out on the giant sculptures of former US presidents.

Credits

production company

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Duration

02:10:00:00

Production places
United States
Production dates
1959

Appears in

Constellation

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Inspired by Courtney Barnett playing an elevator operator in her hit song of the same name, we look at how they're used on-screen for comedy, drama and suspense, with the small, confined boxes forcing characters to physically confront each other.

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Collection metadata

ACMI Identifier

35157

Language

English

Audience classification

PG

Subject categories

Courtroom, Crime, Espionage & Thrillers

Courtroom, Crime, Espionage & Thrillers → Police films

Courtroom, Crime, Espionage & Thrillers → Suspense

Courtroom, Crime, Espionage & Thrillers → Thrillers

Crime, Espionage, Justice, Police & Prisons → Kidnapping

Feature films

Feature films → Feature films - United States

Sound/audio

Sound

Colour

Colour

Holdings

VHS; Access Print (Section 1)

16mm film; Access Print (Section 1)

Collected

11 times

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Cite this work on Wikipedia

If you would like to cite this item, please use the following template: {{cite web |url=https://acmi.net.au/works/79349--north-by-northwest/ |title=North by northwest |author=Australian Centre for the Moving Image |access-date=30 July 2021 |publisher=Australian Centre for the Moving Image}}