North by Northwest

North by Northwest
North by Northwest

Poster by Saul Bass.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Produced by Alfred Hitchcock (uncredited)
Herbert Coleman
Written by Ernest Lehman
Starring Cary Grant
Eva Marie Saint
James Mason
Leo G. Carroll
Martin Landau
Music by Bernard Herrmann
Cinematography Robert Burks
Editing by George Tomasini
Studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (theatrical)
Warner Home Video (DVD)
Release date(s) July 28, 1959 (1959-07-28)
Running time 136 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget US$4 million
Box office $13,275,000

North by Northwest is a 1959 American thriller 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.

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]

The title refers not to a compass position, but Thornhill's flight north to Rapid City on Northwest Airlines. See the full discussion below.



Roger Thornhill, a twice-divorced Madison Avenue advertising executive (Cary Grant), is mistaken for "George Kaplan" when he summons a hotel bellhop who is paging Kaplan, and is kidnapped by Valerian (Adam Williams) and Licht (Robert Ellenstein). The two 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 actually foreign spy 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.

Thornhill is forced to drink bourbon in an attempt to stage a fatal road accident. However, he pushes one thug out of the car and drives off. After a perilous drive, he is arrested for drunk driving. He is unable to get the police, the judge, or even his mother (Jessie Royce Landis) to believe what happened to him, especially when a woman at Townsend's residence says he got drunk at her dinner party; she also remarks that Lester Townsend is a United Nations diplomat.

Thornhill and his mother go to Kaplan's hotel room, but cannot find anyone there who has seen him. While in the room, Thornhill answers the phone; it is one of Vandamm's henchmen. Narrowly avoiding recapture, Thornhill takes a taxi to the General Assembly building of the United Nations, where Townsend is due to deliver a speech. Thornhill meets Townsend face to face and is surprised to find that the diplomat is not the man who interrogated him, and Townsend expresses surprise that anybody else has been living in his house. Before they can talk any more, Valerian throws a knife, striking Townsend in the back. He falls forward, dead, into Thornhill's arms. Without thinking, Thornhill removes the knife, making it appear to onlookers that he is the killer. He flees.

Thornhill (Grant) on the run, attempting to travel incognito.

Knowing that Kaplan has a reservation at a Chicago hotel the next day, Thornhill sneaks onto the 20th Century Limited. On board, he meets Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint), who hides Thornhill from policemen searching the train. She asks about his personalized matchbooks with the initials ROT; he says the O stands for nothing. They flirt, but are interrupted by police officers boarding the train. Unbeknownst to Thornhill, Eve is working with Vandamm and Leonard, who are in another compartment. Upon arriving in Chicago, Thornhill borrows a porter's uniform and carries Eve's luggage through the crowd, eluding police. Eve (who is revealed to be Vandamm's lover) lies to Thornhill, telling him she has arranged a meeting with Kaplan. She gives him directions to the place.

Thornhill (Grant) stopping a truck while being attacked by the crop-duster plane

Thornhill travels by bus to an isolated crossroads, with flat countryside all around and only scarce traffic. Another man is dropped off at the bus stop, but turns out to be unconnected to Thornhill; the man leaves on a bus after observing that a nearby biplane is "dusting crops where there ain't no crops." Moments later, the plane turns toward Thornhill. To his terror, it dives at him, passing him at an altitude of only a few feet, forcing him to throw himself to the ground; immediately after that, someone on the plane opens fire on Thornhill with an automatic weapon, just missing him. This process is repeated several times. Thornhill flees to the cover of a cornfield, but the plane dusts it with pesticide, forcing him out. Desperate, Thornhill steps in front of a speeding gasoline tank truck, making it stop. The plane crashes into the tank truck and explodes. When passing drivers stop to see what is going on, Thornhill steals a pickup truck and drives back to Chicago.

Thornhill returns to the hotel, where he is surprised to learn that Kaplan had already checked out when Eve claimed to have spoken to him. Suspicious, he goes to Eve's room to question her. She lets him get cleaned up as she leaves. From the impression of a message written on a notepad, Thornhill learns her destination: an art auction. There, he finds Vandamm, Leonard, and Eve. Vandamm purchases a pre-Columbian Tarascan statue and departs. Thornhill tries to follow, only to find all exits covered by Vandamm's men. He escapes from them by placing nonsensical bids, making such a nuisance of himself that the police have to be called to remove him.

Thornhill tries to remain safely in police custody and identifies himself as a wanted fugitive, but the officers are ordered to take him to Midway Airport instead of a police station. He meets the Professor (Leo G. Carroll), an American spymaster who is after Vandamm. The Professor reveals that George Kaplan does not exist: he was invented to distract Vandamm from the real government agent — Eve, who was already in a relationship with Vandamm when alerted by the Professor to Vandamm's espionage activity. As Eve's life is now in danger, Thornhill agrees to help the Professor in order to protect her.

They fly to Rapid City, South Dakota, where Thornhill (now pretending to be Kaplan) meets Eve and Vandamm in a crowded cafeteria at the base of Mount Rushmore. He offers to let Vandamm leave the country in exchange for Eve, but is turned down. When he tries to keep her from leaving, Eve shoots Thornhill and flees. He is taken away in an ambulance. At a secluded spot, however, he emerges unharmed, having been shot with blanks. To his dismay, he learns that, having proven her loyalty and made herself a fugitive, Eve will accompany Vandamm out of the country that night. To keep him from interfering further, Thornhill is locked in a hospital room.

Thornhill manages to escape and goes to Vandamm's mountainside home, slipping inside undetected. He learns that the Tarascan statue contains secrets on microfilm. While Eve is out of the room, Leonard fires the gun she used at Vandamm, demonstrating how the shooting was faked. Vandamm decides to throw Eve out of the airplane when they are flying over water. Thornhill manages to warn her by writing a note inside one of his ROT matchbooks and dropping it where she can find it.

On the way to the airplane, Eve grabs the statue and joins Thornhill. Leonard and Valerian chase them across the top of the Mount Rushmore monument. Valerian lunges at the pair, but falls to his death. Eve slips and clings desperately to the steep mountainside. Thornhill grabs her hand, while precariously holding on with his other hand. Leonard appears and treads on his hand. They are saved when the Professor has a police marksman shoot Leonard, who falls to his death, and Vandamm is arrested.

The scene transitions from Thornhill pulling Eve up to safety on Mount Rushmore to him pulling her, now his wife, onto an upper bunk on a train. The final shot shows their train speeding into a tunnel.


North by Northwest movie trailer screenshot (35).jpg

Alfred Hitchcock's cameo is a signature occurrence in most of his films. In North by Northwest he can be seen missing a bus at the end of the opening credits.

Landis, who played Thornhill's mother, was in reality the same age as Cary Grant. She also played his future mother-in-law in To Catch a Thief.

James Stewart was the original choice to play Thornhill,[citation needed] but as Hitchcock and Lehman developed the script, Hitchcock decided that Thornhill was more a Cary Grant type. Hitchcock was planning to reunite with Stewart during his next (ultimately unproduced) film, The Blind Man.

MGM wanted Cyd Charisse for the role played by Eva Marie Saint. Hitchcock stood by his choice.[4]


North by Northwest movie trailer screenshot (38).jpg

John Russell Taylor's official biography of Hitchcock, Hitch: The Life and Times of Alfred Hitchcock (1978), suggests that the story originated after a spell of writer's block during the scripting of another movie project:

Alfred Hitchcock had agreed to do a film for MGM, and they had chosen an adaptation of the novel The Wreck of the Mary Deare by Hammond Innes. Composer Bernard Herrmann had recommended that Hitchcock work with his friend Ernest Lehman. After a couple of weeks, Lehman offered to quit saying he didn't know what to do with the story. Hitchcock told him they got along great together and they would just write something else. Lehman said that he wanted to make the ultimate Hitchcock film. Hitchcock thought for a moment then said he had always wanted to do a chase across Mount Rushmore.

Lehman and Hitchcock spitballed more ideas: a murder at the United Nations Headquarters; a murder at a car plant in Detroit; a final showdown in Alaska. Eventually they settled on the U.N. murder for the opening and the chase across Mount Rushmore for the climax.

For the central idea, Hitchcock remembered something an American journalist had told him about spies creating a fake agent as a decoy. Perhaps their hero could be mistaken for this fictitious agent and end up on the run. They bought the idea from the journalist for $10,000.

Lehman would sometimes repeat this story himself, as in the documentary Destination Hitchcock that accompanied the 2001 DVD release of the film. In his 2000 book Which Lie Did I Tell?, screenwriter William Goldman, commenting on the film, insists that it was Lehman who created North by Northwest and that many of Hitchcock's ideas were not used. Hitchcock had the idea of the hero being stranded in the middle of nowhere, but suggested the villains try to kill him with a tornado.[5] Lehman responded, "but they're trying to kill him. How are they going to work up a cyclone?" Then, as he told an interviewer; "I just can't tell you who said what to whom, but somewhere during that afternoon, the cyclone in the sky became the crop-duster plane."[5]

Cary Grant in North by Northwest

In fact, Hitchcock had been working on the story for nearly nine years prior to meeting Lehman. The "American journalist" who had the idea that influenced the director was Otis C. Guernsey, a respected reporter who was inspired by a true story during World War II when a couple of British secretaries created a fictitious agent and watched as the Germans wasted time following him around. Guernsey turned his idea into a story about an American traveling salesman who travels to the Middle East and is mistaken for a fictitious agent, becoming "saddled with a romantic and dangerous identity." Guernsey admitted that his treatment was full of "corn" and "lacking logic." He urged Hitchcock to do what he liked with the story. Hitchcock bought the sixty pages for $10,000.

Hitchcock often told journalists of an idea he had about Cary Grant hiding out from the villains inside Abraham Lincoln's nose and being given away when he sneezes. He speculated that the film could be called "The Man in Lincoln's Nose" (Lehman's version is that it was "The Man on Lincoln's Nose"[6]) or even "The Man who Sneezed in Lincoln's Nose," though he probably felt the latter was insulting to his adopted America. Hitchcock sat on the idea, waiting for the right screenwriter to develop it. At one stage "The Man in Lincoln's Nose" was touted as a collaboration with John Michael Hayes. When Lehman came on board, the traveling salesman – which had previously been suited to James Stewart – was adapted to a Madison Avenue advertising executive, a position which Lehman had formerly held. In an interview in the book Screenwriters on Screenwriting (1995), Lehman stated that he had already written much of the screenplay before coming up with critical elements of the climax.[citation needed]


The filming of North by Northwest took place between August and December 1958 with the exception of a few re-takes that were shot in April 1959.

This was the only Hitchcock film released by MGM. It is owned by Turner Entertainment – since 1996 a division of Warner Bros. – which owns the pre-1986 MGM library.


At Hitchcock's insistence, the film was made in Paramount's VistaVision widescreen process, making it one of the few VistaVision films made at MGM.

The car chase scene in which Thornhill is drunkenly careening along the edge of cliffs high above the ocean, supposedly on Long Island, was actually shot on the California coast. (Long Island is devoid of precipitous seaside cliffs.)

The United Nations Headquarters is the site of a scene in the film

At the time, the United Nations prohibited film crews from shooting around its New York City headquarters. In an example of guerrilla filmmaking, Hitchcock used a movie camera hidden in a parked van to film Cary Grant and Adam Williams exiting their taxis and entering the building.

The cropduster sequence, meant to take place in northern Indiana, was shot on location on Garces Highway (155) near the towns of Wasco and Delano, north of Bakersfield in Kern County, California (35°45′38.81″N 119°33′41.52″W / 35.7607806°N 119.5615333°W / 35.7607806; -119.5615333).[7] Years later, in a show at the Pompidou Center called "Hitchcock and Art: Fatal Coincidences", an aerial shot of Grant in the cornfield, with a "road cutting straight through the cornrows to the edge of the screen", was said to draw on Léon Spilliaert's "Le Paquebot ou L'Estran", which features "alternating strips of sand and ocean blue bands stretch[ed] to the edge of the canvas."[8]

The aircraft seen flying in the scene is a Naval Aircraft Factory N3N Canary, a World War II Navy pilot trainer sometimes converted for cropdusting.[9] The aircraft that hits the truck and explodes is a wartime Stearman (Boeing Model 75) trainer. Like its N3N lookalike, many were used for agricultural purposes through the 1970s. The plane was piloted by Bob Coe, a local cropduster from Wasco.[10] Hitchcock placed replicas of square Indiana highway signs in the scene. In an extensive list of "1001 Greatest Movie Moments" of all time, the British movie magazine Empire in its August 2009 issue ranked the cropduster scene as the best.[11]

The shootout on Mount Rushmore at the end of the film was filmed on a replica constructed in Hollywood.[citation needed]

Set design

The house at the end of the film was not real. Hitchcock asked the set designers to make the set resemble a house by Frank Lloyd Wright, the most popular architect in America at the time, using the materials, form and interiors associated with him. The set was built in Culver City, where MGM's studios were located.


The gray suit worn by Cary Grant throughout almost the entire film has taken on somewhat iconic status. A panel of fashion experts convened by GQ in 2006 called it both the best suit in film history, and the most influential on men's style, stating that it has since been copied for Tom Cruise's character in Collateral and Ben Affleck's character in Paycheck.[12] This sentiment has been echoed by writer Todd McEwen, who called it "gorgeous," and wrote a short story "Cary Grant's Suit" which recounts the film's plot from the viewpoint of the suit.[13] There is some disagreement as to who tailored the suit; according to Vanity Fair magazine, it was Norton & Sons of London,[14] although according to The Independent it was Quintino of Beverly Hills.[15]

Eva Marie Saint's wardrobe for the film was originally entirely chosen by MGM. Hitchcock disliked MGM's selections and the actress and director went to Bergdorf Goodman in New York to select what she would wear.[16]

Editing and post-production

In François Truffaut's book-length interview, Hitchcock/Truffaut (1967), Hitchcock said that MGM wanted North by Northwest cut by 15 minutes so the film's length would run under two hours. Hitchcock had his agent check his contract, learned that he had absolute control over the final cut, and refused.

One of Eva Marie Saint's lines in the dining car seduction scene was redubbed. She originally said "I never make love on an empty stomach," but it was changed in post-production to "I never discuss love on an empty stomach." It is said that the censors felt the original version was too risqué.


The trailer for North by Northwest features Hitchcock presenting himself as the owner of Alfred Hitchcock Travel Agency and telling the viewer he has made a motion picture to advertise these wonderful vacation stops.[17]

The world premiere took place at the San Sebastian International Film Festival.


Time magazine called the film "smoothly troweled and thoroughly entertaining."[18] A. H. Weiler of The New York Times made it a "Critic's Pick" and said it was the "year's most scenic, intriguing and merriest chase"; Weiler complimented the two leads: "Cary Grant, a veteran member of the Hitchcock acting varsity, was never more at home than in this role of the advertising-man-on-the-lam. He handles the grimaces, the surprised look, the quick smile, ... and all the derring-do with professional aplomb and grace, In casting Eva Marie Saint as his romantic vis-à-vis, Mr. Hitchcock has plumbed some talents not shown by the actress heretofore. Although she is seemingly a hard, designing type, she also emerges both the sweet heroine and a glamorous charmer."[19]

During its two-week run at Radio City Music Hall, the film grossed $404,056, setting a record in that theater's non-holiday gross.[20]

Time Out London, reviewing the film nearly a half-century after its initial release, said:[21]

Fifty years on, you could say that Hitchcock’s sleek, wry, paranoid thriller caught the zeitgeist perfectly: Cold War shadiness, secret agents of power, urbane modernism, the ant-like bustle of city life, and a hint of dread behind the sharp suits of affluence. Cary Grant’s Roger Thornhill, the film’s sharply dressed ad exec who is sucked into a vortex of mistaken identity, certainly wouldn’t be out of place in Mad Men. But there’s nothing dated about this perfect storm of talent, from Hitchcock and Grant to writer Ernest Lehman (Sweet Smell of Success), co-stars James Mason and Eva Marie Saint, composer Bernard Herrmann and even designer Saul Bass, whose opening-credits sequence still manages to send a shiver down the spine.

North By Northwest currently holds a 100% "certified fresh" rating on the review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes based on 58 reviews. The site's consensus calls the film "Gripping, suspenseful and visually iconic" and claims it "laid the groundwork for countless action thrillers to follow."[22] The film also ranks at number 98 in Empire magazines list of the 500 Greatest Films of All Time..[23]

Themes and motifs

Hitchcock planned the film as a change of pace after his dark romantic thriller Vertigo a year earlier. In his book-length interview Hitchcock/Truffaut (1967) with François Truffaut, Hitchcock said that he wanted to do "something fun, light-hearted, and generally free of the symbolism permeating his other movies."[24] Writer Ernest Lehman has also mocked those who look for symbolism in the film.[25] Despite its popular appeal, the movie is considered to be a masterpiece for its themes of deception, mistaken identity, and moral relativism in the Cold War era.

The central theme is that of theatre and play-acting, wherein everyone is playing a part, no one is who they seem, and identity is in flux. This is reflected by Thornhill's line: "The only performance that will satisfy you is when I play dead." Significantly (and ironically), Thornhill is a successful advertising executive, a man who makes his living by distorting reality and deceiving the public. In the role of Thornhill, Grant was distressed with the way the plot seemed to wander aimlessly, and he actually approached Hitchcock to complain about the script. "I can't make heads or tails of it," he said (unwittingly quoting a line that Thornhill utters in the film).[citation needed]

The title North by Northwest is often seen as having been taken from a line (I am only mad north by northwest. When the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.) in Hamlet, a work also concerned with the shifty nature of reality.[26] Hitchcock noted this in an interview with Peter Bogdanovich in 1963. Lehman states that he used a working title for the film of "In a Northwesterly Direction," because the film's action was to begin in New York and climax in Alaska.[6] Then the head of the story department at MGM suggested "North by Northwest," but this was still to be a working title.[6] Other titles were considered, including "The Man on Lincoln's Nose," but "North by Northwest" was kept because, according to Lehman, "We never did find a [better] title."[6] The Northwest Airlines reference in the film plays on the title. The title is not an actual compass direction, the two closest directions being northwest by north (NWbN) and north-northwest (NNW), with the latter traditionally taken as the title's intended meaning.

The plot of this film involves what Alfred Hitchcock calls a "MacGuffin", a physical object that everyone in the film is chasing but which has no deep relationship to the plot. Late in North by Northwest, it emerges that the spies are attempting to smuggle microfilm containing government secrets out of the country. They have been trying to kill Thornhill, whom they believe to be the agent on their trail, "George Kaplan." Indeed, the fictitious Kaplan himself could be the "MacGuffin" of the film as Thornhill, as well as the villains, spend most of the movie vainly trying to track him down.[citation needed]

Sign near Mt. Rushmore

There are similarities between this movie and Hitchcock's earlier film Saboteur (1942), whose final scene atop the Statue of Liberty foreshadows the Mount Rushmore scene in the later film. North by Northwest is part of a long line of "wrong man" films by Hitchcock, in which the protagonist is mistaken for the criminals, then hunts them down while running from both criminals and police.[citation needed] Films with these plot elements include The 39 Steps (1935), Young and Innocent (1937), Saboteur (1942), To Catch a Thief (1955), and Frenzy (1972).

North by Northwest has been referred to as "the first James Bond film"[27] due to its similarities with splashily colorful settings, secret agents, and an elegant, daring, wisecracking leading man opposite a sinister yet strangely charming villain. Based on the strength of North by Northwest, Hitchcock was seriously considered to direct the first conceived Bond film by Ivar Bryce (co-owner of Xanadu Productions), Ian Fleming, and Kevin McClory. Hitchcock read the script that would eventually become Thunderball and was interested in directing it. Later the team shared doubts about Hitchcock's involvement because of his minimum salary requirement and the amount of control over the picture they would have to give up. Hitchcock ultimately passed on the Bond film to direct Psycho.[citation needed]

The film's final shot – that of the train speeding into a tunnel during a romantic assignation onboard – is a famous bit of self-conscious Freudian symbolism reflecting Hitchcock's mischievous sense of humor. In the book Hitchcock / Truffaut (p. 107-108), Hitchcock called it a "phallic symbol... probably one of the most impudent shots I ever made."

Home media

North by Northwest was released on the Blu-Ray Disc format in the United States on November 3, 2009 by Warner Bros. with a 1080p/VC-1.[28][29] This release is a special 50th anniversary edition. A 50th anniversary edition on DVD was also released by Warner Bros.[30]


North by Northwest was nominated for three Academy Awards for Film Editing (George Tomasini), Art Direction (William A. Horning, Robert F. Boyle, Merrill Pye, Henry Grace, Frank McKelvy), and Original Screenplay (Ernest Lehman).[31] All three Oscars went instead to Ben-Hur. The film also won, for Lehman, a 1960 Edgar Award for Best Motion Picture Screenplay. In 1995, North by Northwest was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

In June 2008, the AFI revealed its "Ten top Ten" – the best ten films in ten "classic" American film genres – after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community. North by Northwest was acknowledged as the seventh best film in the mystery genre.[32]

American Film Institute recognition[32]


The movie title is reported to have been the influence for the name of the popular annual live music festival South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, started in 1987, with the name idea coming from Louis Black, editor and co-founder of the local alternative weekly The Austin Chronicle as a play on the Hitchcock movie title.[33]

The Family Guy episode "North By North Quahog" not only parodies the film's title but also recreates a few of the film's iconic scenes including the biplane attack and the chase across Mt Rushmore.[34]


  1. ^ Jaynes, Barbara Grant; Trachtenberg, Robert (2004). "Cary Grant: A Class Apart". Burbank, California: Turner Classic Movies. 
  2. ^ Clooney, Nick (November 2002). The Movies That Changed Us: Reflections on the Screen. New York: Atria Books, a trademark of Simon & Schuster. p. 85. ISBN 0-7434-1043-2. 
  3. ^ The Kinetic Typography Engine
  4. ^ Spoto, Donald (1999). The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock. Da Capo. pp. 405. ISBN 030680932X. 
  5. ^ a b John Brady, "The craft of the screenwriter", 1981. Page 202
  6. ^ a b c d John Brady, "The craft of the screenwriter", 1981. Page 201
  7. ^ "North by Northwest Cropdusting scene". Google. 2009-08-29. 
  8. ^ "The Fine Art of Fear". Time Pacific. Time. July 31, 2001. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  9. ^ The Yellow Peril: N3N, Laverne Hoestenbach, "The Dispatch", Winter 1992
  10. ^ The Bakersfield Californian, Wasco man had Hitchcock movie role, 11/Oct/2007
  11. ^ "1001 Greatest Movie Moments". Empire (London, England): 89–113.  The cropduster scene was ranked number one with a full-page explanation and stills from the movie.
  12. ^ Reuters (October 16, 2006). "Cary Grant’s gray suit tops movie clothing list. GQ rates the most chic men’s clothing on film". MSNBC. 
  13. ^ Cary Grant's Suit, Todd McEwen, Granta, Summer 2006
  14. ^ It’s the Hitch in Hitchcock, Jim Windolf, Vanity Fair, March 2008
  15. ^ Fashion: Suits they are a-changin, Glenn Waldron, The Independent, January 28, 2008
  16. ^ Stated in the film's "Making of".
  17. ^ DVD Extras- Original Trailer
  18. ^ "Cinema: The New Pictures". Time. August 17, 1959.,8816,937893,00.html. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  19. ^ A. H. Weiler (August 7, 1959). "Hitchcock Takes Suspenseful Cook's Tour: North by Northwest Opens at Music Hall". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  20. ^ "Box Office: For the Books". Time. August 31, 1959.,8816,864921,00.html. Retrieved 2010-08-25. "Manhattan's Radio City Music Hall, riding the crest of the boom, reported its own record, a two-week non-holiday gross of $404,056, for Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest, well over the total of runner-up High Society." 
  21. ^ Dave Calhoun (June 18–24, 2008). "North by Northwest (1959)". Time Out. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  22. ^ North by Northwest (1959) Reviews at Rotten Tomatoes
  23. ^ "The 500 Greatest Movies Of All Time". Empire. Bauer Media Group. Archived from the original on August 17, 2011. Retrieved August 17, 2011. 
  24. ^ Hitchcock was not above inserting a Freudian joke as the last shot (which, notably, made it past contemporary censors).
  25. ^ John Brady (1981). The craft of the screenwriter. p. 199/200. ISBN 0671252305. 
  26. ^ The line reads: "I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly / I know a hawk from a handsaw" (Act II, Scene ii). Hamlet thus hints to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, his friends, that his madness is only an act to protect himself while he gathers information on his father's murder.
  27. ^ "Looking For 007 – Predecessors, Antecedents, and Inspirations". DVD Savant. Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  28. ^ "Release date from". Retrieved 30 July 2010. 
  29. ^ "Blu-ray and DVD details from". 
  30. ^ "DVD details from IMDb". Retrieved 30 July 2010. 
  31. ^ "NY Times: North by Northwest". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-23. 
  32. ^ a b "AFI's 10 Top 10". American Film Institute. 2008-06-17. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  33. ^ SXSW stays course, continues growth, Alex Geiser, The Daily Texan, March 18, 2010
  34. ^

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