North by Northwest (1959)
IMDB Rating 8.5/10 136 min - Rated 15 Adventure | Thriller
Stars: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason Director: Alfred Hitchcock
An advertising executive, Roger O. Thornhill (Grant), is mistaken for a government agent by a gang of spies and is pursued across the US, while being helped by the beautiful Eve Kendall (Saint). One of Hitchcock’s best-loved classics, North by Northwest is a mistaken-identity caper movie in which the master of suspense puts the ever-suave Cary Grant through his paces (it would be the fourth and final collaboration between the actor and the director) as a man on the run in a mystifying game of cat-and-mouse. Or perhaps that should be crop-duster and quarry). The film features two of cinema’s most famous set-pieces: the chase scene in which Grant is terrorised by a biplane that harries him across empty fields; and the equally famous, but less mysteriously unsettling, climatic scene in which Grant and Saint are chased across the monumental presidential sculptures of Mount Rushmore. In between the pursuit sequences the two leads engage in frisky thrust-and-parry dialogue as though they’d somehow wandered out of a romantic comedy into a big-budget thriller and can’t quite get their bearings. For all its set-piece action, North by Northwest is Hitchcock in light, likeable mode. The fearsome and intimate malevolence of Psycho was only a year away.