North by Northwest

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North by Northwest is a 1959 American suspense film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and James Mason, and featuring Leo G. Carroll and Martin Landau. The screenplay was written by Ernest Lehman, who wanted to write "the Hitchcock picture to end all Hitchcock pictures".[1]

North by Northwest is a tale of mistaken identity, with an innocent man pursued across the United States by agents of a mysterious organization who want to stop his interference in their plans to smuggle out microfilm containing government secrets (a classic MacGuffin).

Author and journalist Nick Clooney praised Lehman's original story and sophisticated dialogue, calling the film "certainly Alfred Hitchcock's most stylish thriller, if not his best".[2]

This is one of several Hitchcock movies with a music score by Bernard Herrmann and features a memorable opening title sequence by graphic designer Saul Bass. This film is generally cited as the first to feature extended use of kinetic typography in its opening credits.[3]

Contents

Plot

A Madison Avenue advertising executive, Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant), is mistaken for a Mr. George Kaplan when he summons a hotel bellhop who is paging Kaplan, and is kidnapped by Valerian (Adam Williams) and Licht (Robert Ellenstein). They take him to the house of Lester Townsend on Long Island. There he is interrogated by a man he assumes to be Townsend, but who is really Phillip Vandamm (James Mason). Thornhill repeatedly denies he is Kaplan, but Vandamm refuses to believe his men picked up the wrong man. He orders his right-hand man Leonard (Martin Landau) to get rid of him.

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