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2024 A to Z Challenge

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Monday, April 17, 2023

N is For North By Northwest

 A to Z Challenge

A Month At The Movies

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter N

Hello and welcome back to A Month at the Movies,  my contribution to the A to Z challenge for 2023.

This year I am copying from a myriad of other A to Z  challengers by reprinting the same synopsis about my theme with every letter.  You can skip over this part if you want to.  

I love movies and have decided to share with you a movie each day that I have enjoyed to one degree or another.  With each entry, I'll give a brief synopsis of the film, share a positive and negative review from Rotten Tomatoes ( a website, I didn't use much at all until preparing for the challenge), discuss its resiliency (the theme of the A to Z challenge this year), and other tidbits like whether the film may appear in my top 100 film list, which I have been revamping this year. I think that's enough in the way of introduction, considering you'll be reading it (hopefully) 12 more times this month.

Film: North By Northwest (1959)
Director: Alfred Hitchcock<

By Ante Brkan - Dr. Macro, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14857139

Alfred Hitchcock is one of my favorite movie directors.  So, it's no surprise that one of his efforts has ended up here in the challenge this month.  If you are not familiar with North by Northwest, here is Hitchcock, himself to introduce it for you.  

Positive Tomato: It is consistently entertaining, its excitement pointed by but never interrupted by the jokes... But it is on Mr. Grant's own performance, intent, resourceful, witty, as always beautifully timed, that a large part of the pleasure depends. Dilys Powell - Sunday Times (UK) 

Negative Tomato: Hitchcock  apparently hopes that his fans will laugh off the glaring lack of dramatic nourishment in this concoction on viewing the hilarious and impossible situations In which he throws the long-suffering Grant. John Vosburgh - Miami Herald


By Mike Quinn, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45941549

This painting depicting a scene in North by Northwest is part of a mural in the Leytonstone (The section of London where Hitchcock was born.) Tube station

As an homage to the scene where the airplane is spraying bullets at a frenzied Grant, I will now spray you, the reader, with bullet points about the film its director, and some of the cast.
  • The above  painting depicting the aforementioned scene  is part of a mural in the Leytonstone (The section of London where Hitchcock was born.) Tube station.

  • Alfred Hitchcock featured the motif of the "wrong man" in several of his films.  
  • Hitchcock and Grant collaborated on 4 films from 1941- 1959. North by Northwest was the last of these films. 
  • North by Northwest was Hitchcock's 2nd highest-grossing film 2nd only to Psycho.  It was Cary Grant's highest-grossing film.
  • Leo G. Carrol (who was in 6 Hitchcock films) plays the head of a secret international counterespionage and law-enforcement agency in the film and essentially plays the same type of role in the 1960s television phenomenon The Man From U.N.C.L.E. 
Resiliency: Hitchcock directed 53 films in 51 years.  Grant was in over 70 movies in a 35-year span.

Top 100: I do not have a ready answer when asked what my favorite Hitchcock film is.  I sometimes think it might be this one.  If that turns out to be the case, I won't have any Alfred Hitchcock movies in my top 100.  That's not a slight against this film.  It's an enjoyable well written, superbly acted thrill ride of a movie that sits on my D.V.D. shelf more than a top 100 film should.

A to Z Connection: This is the second Cary Grant film in the Challenge. Arsenic and Old Lace led off the alphabetical review of films, and North by Northwest gets us started on the 2nd half of the alphabet. 


Beth Lapin said...

Not one I've watched. Thanks for your post.


Janet said...

Love Hitchcock. Rear Window is my fave.
Janet’s Smiles

Red said...

I always say my favorite Hitchcock is Rear Window, but Psycho is so much more than a bloody shower scene, it's warming in my ranks.
I'm only now finding time to get out and visit blogs. Sorry for the long delay! I have used your "flash flood fiction" prompt, not for N=Noah (I did Nineveh), but actually, way back in F, for Flash Flood. Thanks for the suggestion!
Doesn't Speak Klingon

Birgit said...

I love this film. I love Jesse Royce Landis who plays his mom and wished she was in more scenes. I love James Mason who is so evil in his ways. The little bits that one doesn’t notice on the first or even the 5th time watching is that his initials spell ROT…like he is rotting in his life until he meets Eva Marie Saint. Martin Landau was told by Hitchcock to go to the same tailor as Grant. Where Grant was in the same suit for most of the film and had to look more raggedy, Landau looked great which irritated Grant who loved to always look his best. Landau felt uncomfortable about this but he did what Hitch told him to do.

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