North by Northwest

North by Northwest ★★★★½

"In the world of advertising, there's no such thing as a lie. There's only expedient exaggeration."

Last night, I was about to hit 200 watches for the year and I decided for the 200th (because it's unlikely I'll make 300) that I needed to watch something special. I weighed up a few different options and finally settled on this Hitchcock classic. I knew I'd been saving this for a reason.

I think I'll start with Cary Grant. I've always known who he is and that he'd done a lot of movies and I assumed (wrongly) that I must have seen some of them along the way. But as soon as the movie started I thought, he's not like I remember...so I must have been getting him confused with another actor. Anyway, I thought he was an absolute charm and really quite fantastic. Just looking through his filmography now, I'm happy to see that I already have several of his movies on my immediate watchlist.
Eva Marie Saint was quite the charm as well. My favourite bit of dialogue in the whole movie was when they were sitting in the dining car on the train:
"The moment I meet an attractive woman, I have to start pretending I have no desire to make love to her."
"What makes you think you have to conceal it?"
"She might find the idea objectionable."
"Then again, she might not."
The first line the Grant delivered made me squeal with delight, that's seriously gotta be one of the best pick up lines ever. But her response...I started slow clapping. I'm always shocked when they have such provocative women in older movies, its fantastic! She was awesome.

I think the thing I liked most about North by Northwest was that it kept me guessing the whole way. (This part is spoilery if you've not seen it) First I thought the bad guys were playing him and they knew he wasn't Caplan, then I thought he was Caplan and he didn't know he was Caplan and then I thought maybe Caplan doesn't even exist...there was a lot of me second guessing myself and I really enjoyed that.

I can't do a review of North by Northwest without mentioning the amazing cinematography as well. There were a couple of shots that made me gasp at how stunning they were. Hitchcock really was a visionary wasn't he. I'm glad I didn't feel let down by this one, like I did by Rear Window (which I will give a second chance at some point), but it had renewed my faith in Hitch :-) so I look forward to seeing more! I think I might start building a ranked list of Hitch movies too!

P.S for those wondering why I only gave 4.5 stars after such praise, half a star was lost on the ending, it felt a bit rushed and I felt a bit ripped off haha.