Time: 136 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction, Best Film Editing and Best Original Screenplay.
If you read enough of my reviews, you'll come to realize that I'm a huge fan of Hitchcock. That's not to say that I, or anyone else for that matter, think all of his films are wonderful. Even he made some real stinkers. However, he was always trying to push the envelope and deliver an experience the audience has never seen before. It's that constant struggle for surprise that makes him one of the great directors. NORTH BY NORTHWEST is based on so simple a premise it could happen to any of us. Roger Thornhill, a slightly cocky advertising executive (like there's any other kind), is sitting in a restaurant with clients when he realizes he has to make a phone call. He raises his hand to summon a page, just after the page calls out the name George Kaplan. The page walks over thinking Thornhill is Kaplan. He's not the only one.
When Roger leaves, two "gentlemen" escort him to their car and whisk him away due to misguided information. His bad timing propels him into a fight for his identity and his life. He desperately tries to explain to the gentlemen and their boss that he's not George Kaplan, but Roger Thornhill, a Manhattan ad man. They don't buy this story and try to extract the information they want to know. When Roger sticks to his story, they become even more convinced he's their man and attempt to do away with him for good. Roger's luck holds out, but when he tries to convince the police of his bizarre encounter they don't believe him. Even his own mother, thinks he's got rocks in his head. Since his kidnappers leave no trace whatsoever, his story is pretty hard to back up. Determined to prove what he experienced was real, he assumes the identity of Kaplan and gets embroiled even deeper into the mystery. The government, who's been using the name George Kaplan as an alias for years, decides to see how far he can get. They know they're playing with his life, but if they stop him, it will jeopardize their entire case. To get him off their trail, his kidnappers frame him for murder.