I must admit I’m only marginally familiar with most of Hitchcock’s work, but what I know, I like. The mixture of suspense and dark humor is something I like in movies, especially the blend that is present in this particular film.
“North by Northwest” fits squarely into the standard Hitchcock vein. It’s chock-full of spies, suspense, femme fatales, and tense dialogue. With just a little bit of back-story and some unique shooting and editing methods, a very grand portrait is painted out of a very small amount of basic substance. I love when a story is created in this way, especially when it’s done in a very convincing manner.
A simple case of mistaken identity evolves into a suspenseful cold war thriller. Multiple watchings are a must. This is definitely helped by great dialogue.
Cary Grant is wonderful as the central character, a simple but resourceful advertising executive swept up into a whirlwind adventure. He is supported well enough by Eva Marie Saint and James Mason to make the plot move along at a good pace.
Unique perspectives provide eye candy for audiences. There are also plenty of cool techniques used to portray the grand scale that the plot assumes to. The plane scene was extremely well-paced and shot.
The soundtrack is great and the sound is very well recorded. The dialogue really pops as well, making the viewer pay more attention to what is being said on screen.
It’s always amazing to me when an older film is able to compete with and, in some cases, outdo modern movies of the same genre.
Good for an afternoon or evening when you need a well-made and intelligent film to view.