North by Northwest

North by Northwest ★★★½

Since I joined Letterboxd back in 2012 I've been slowly working my way through legendary director Alfred Hitchcock's canon. Before joining the site I'd only ever seen Psycho. I've found myself more respecting his work and how it laid the groundwork for countless films that would follow than loving it like so many do. I felt exactly the same way after my viewing of North by Northwest. Released in 1959 it's influence on the action/thriller genre is still obvious today.

Cary Grant stars as Roger O. Thornhill, a hapless New York advertising executive caught up in a case of mistaken identity. Roger finds himself pursued across the country by a group of foreign spies as he tries to survive the ordeal.

It was very interesting to see an action/thriller from the 50's. Obviously special effects weren't even close to what they are today back then so you don't see a lot of action films from that time. It was also an interesting change of pace from the other Hitckcock films I've seen that fall more into his trademark mystery/suspense genre. What I liked most about the film was Cary Grant. He always seems to have the same sarcastic sense of humor in his films and I find it very entertaining.

It was weird, North by Northwest kinda felt like a Summer blockbuster type film to me for it's time. I'm not sure if they were calling it that back then, but if there was such a thing in the 50's this would be it. It had more of a pure entertainment feel to it and it was a fun watch. I don't think I could say any of the other Hitchcock films I've seen were fun. It actually seemed like it was out of his comfort zone, but he did a great job regardless.

I wasn't in love with the story, but that's probably due to the fact I saw so many films with similar stories before getting around to this classic that it didn't feel as original as it should have. The story is really good, I just wasn't captivated by it or anything.

Overally this was a fun film that I'm glad I finally got around to seeing. Alfred Hitchcock's influence on the film industry is as strong as any, and I look forward to each film of his I see.

Ron's recommendation: See it.