North by Northwest

North by Northwest

First view - a tiny dorm TV, freshman year of college, 2005/2006, DVD. First Cary Grant film. Didn't really get much out of it.

Second view - my current TV, fresh out of college, 2009, the then-new Blu-ray. Found it more beautiful, but still didn't see it as anywhere near as interesting as people made it out to be.

Third view - said TV, well into the work force, 2017, the now-old-but-still-outstanding Blu-ray. Utterly enchanted from the opening credits onward. Back in college, a classmate suggested the film was so implausible that it had to be a story Cary Grant was telling Eva Marie Saint during the long train ride on which we find them at the end. Whether you feel this stands up or not, of all the Hitchcock films that do not depend on some bending of the psychosis, this is one of the more unreal. Bernard Hermann's score in particular never lets us feel at ease no matter how breezy Grant may make the romance. And the constant, truly insane reversals of plot and methods of killing Grant suggest a logic in the film that is not that of our world. I'm obviously accustomed to seeing a great deal of Hitchcock in De Palma, but this was the first time I saw so much De Palma in Hitchcock.