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Overall Rating
4.68

Awesome79.8%
Worth A Look: 14.14%
Average: 2.02%
Pretty Bad: 2.02%
Total Crap: 2.02%

5 reviews, 69 user ratings


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North by Northwest
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by Chef ADogg

"Whatever happened to suave men?"
5 stars

It seems, to me, that there are no smooth characters in movies these days—we have come to the point where the suave character is parodied, as in "Austin Powers." 007 is no longer his lady-killing self—Pierce Brosnan, with all his after-shave commercial glory can’t even come close to matching Sean Connery, the real McCoy now stuck in dumbass action flicks like "The Rock."

It’s nice to have movies about suave spies. A spy, of course, must always be suave—it’s a rule of spy fiction. Spies in their very essence are smooth beyond smooth; they’re not even human. They’re like good looking robots who get chicks and carry tin cigarette cases. It’s so absurd it’s appealing.
Cary Grant is the perfect spy. He is suave in just about every role; his suaveness is only intensified by spydom. He is at once serious and self-deprecating; he is aware of the fact that he is at once ridiculous and cool, and he mocks himself for it. He does not, however, give up his suaveness.
Al Hitchcock is the prime director for a spy flick. A genius behind the camera and a "master of suspense," he elevated spy flicks to an art form. Just think—he who can generate such terror and suspense on a thriller like "Psycho" directing a spy movie, wherein he can film more action sequences and stir black comedy into the mix.
And oh, how very black it is. Anyone who doubts can go watch the marvelous, hysterical "Frenzy," which has the same string of logic running throughout it as "North By Northwest." In each film a man has to clear his name after falsely being accused of a heinous crime. In "Frenzy," our hero was wrongfully identified as the Necktie Strangler.
In "NxNW" Grant is mistaken for a spy by some very dangerous men. One is Vandamn, a mysterious figure. He is looking for someone named Kaplan, and Grant fits the bill. So he sends out two henchmen to kidnap Grant. They then force-feed him an entire bottle of brandy, and then put him in his car.
They start the car and one of them guides it in the direction of a cliff—and you’ll have to watch the movie to see what happens. I can’t tell you what happens because each twist in the film brings a little tremor of joy. The movie is breathtaking and relentless. Hitchcock is at his best when he mixes the suspense with romance, and this is Hitchcock at his best.
The actors are all superb, and they live up to the great script by Ernest Lehman. He gives every character a plethora of witty asides and glib remarks, letting the characters do social dances around each other. Hitchcock lets the plot run and ups the froth quotient in the romance scenes; a Hitchcock relationship hasn’t been this delectable since Laurence Olivier swept Joan Fontaine off her feet in 1940’s "Rebecca."
The movie is often downright hilarious; Grant gets stuck in many funny situations, and then acts suave, making the situations even funnier. Man, suave spies are great. I really like more spies should be like Grant, even though, in the film, Grant is not a spy. It’s the movie’s best joke, and I’ll let you discover it for yourself.

"NxNW" is a flawless production. Every word of every sentence is delivered perfectly, and written perfectly, and every scene is shot exactly right. "North by Northwest" is a prime example of Alfred Hitchcock in full-tilt boogie; he really brings this one off in flying Technicolor (ha ha). A good example of a great film, "NxNW" deserves every drop of praise it has been given and will be given forever after today.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=3057&reviewer=123
originally posted: 12/03/99 14:50:52
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User Comments

2/15/15 john north by shitwest 1 stars
6/24/12 Josie Cotton is a goddess Top-natch thriller! 5 stars
11/27/11 joshuaprater1979 One of the best ever! 5 stars
6/01/08 PAUL SHORTT EXCELLENT COMEDY THRILLER THAT BRILLIANTLY EXPLORES THE NOTION OF BOTH TRUTH AND IDENTITY 5 stars
1/28/08 proper amateur film critic Brilliant chase comedy-thriller 5 stars
12/15/07 Pamela White suspense and drama this is a keeper 5 stars
9/05/07 R.W. Welch How to make a movie in one easy lesson. Hitchcock's slickest work. 5 stars
8/06/07 Lee Wen David My fav Grant's movies alongside AATR 5 stars
7/22/07 gr117 <3 My 2nd favorite Hitchcock and one of my overall faves. 5 stars
4/24/07 MP Bartley Urbane, witty and thrilling - if slightly drawn out 4 stars
4/11/07 zenshark One of the greatest films in general. 5 stars
3/20/07 action movie fan still stunning-top notch hitchcock-crop duster scene is excellent 5 stars
1/08/07 Tim This movie has an outstanding quality in both the common viewer point and the cinematic one 5 stars
10/02/06 Joycelyn I think it was very interesting for its time 4 stars
9/12/06 Gino Renner This movie was OK. It is not an up to date film but it still keeps you interested. 3 stars
4/01/06 kerry fuck hitchcock 1 stars
2/23/06 Marlon Brando This is a great movie. Alfred Hitchcock had fun making this film. First-rate suspense! 5 stars
9/14/05 Blutarsky The master's most entertaining film, bar none. 5 stars
9/02/05 Zack full of twist from the master of suspense 5 stars
7/25/05 Eric Rollins Grant can't act straight but luckily Hitchcock is awesome director. 4 stars
5/02/05 dwarzel Excellent, right up until the idiotic last scene 4 stars
4/19/05 Indrid Cold Very quaint by today's standards. Obviously it was stunning at the time. 4 stars
3/03/05 dbx Classic, some amazing scenes, beautiful house at the end, but not at all hitchcock's best. 4 stars
7/12/04 Daveman Typifies Hitchcock's oeuvre, an unpredictable labyrinth of suspense and surprise twists. 5 stars
7/01/04 Leonard Rees One of the all time greats 5 stars
5/01/04 Read it, Seen it, Done it Hitchcock at his best, Cary Grant has never been better 5 stars
4/06/04 Gray brillent but jumps a little weird in the end 5 stars
4/01/04 sansho Sensuous, witty, gripping; possibly the most entertaining film of all 5 stars
3/27/04 ann berry A classic by any standards for suspnese and entertainment 5 stars
3/15/04 ashley GREAT cinematography 5 stars
1/27/04 Ultron A solid, but always overated movie. 4 stars
1/24/04 CC Classic 4 stars
1/22/04 Aleksandar a great movie 5 stars
1/21/04 Betty White Awesome. 5 stars
12/11/03 john with all the praise I find it a bit overrated - still good though and a sensational score! 4 stars
11/22/03 ross hendrick the greatest suspense film ever made 5 stars
8/29/03 Dae_RaeAustin Set the standards for Indiana Jones And James Bond movies 5 stars
8/07/03 Putski Okay Hitchcock Film 2 stars
4/07/03 Shadaan Felfeli This film gave birth to the Bond films 5 stars
4/07/03 John Coop Outstanding 5 stars
12/26/02 christian a genuine classic 5 stars
7/26/02 Bluto Cary Grants best performance, Great from beginning to end. 5 stars
4/26/02 Charles Tatum Dull and overrated; Hitchcock screwed up often 3 stars
2/20/02 Xaver Mr. Grant, we miss you. LOVE that tunnel scene. 5 stars
2/17/02 Clarance eah... 2 stars
1/05/02 Magnum Craphole It's a good Hitchcock political thriller, with more humor than usual. 5 stars
12/19/01 Hum perfect 5 stars
12/10/01 Andrew Carden Really Good Film...but Lacks Momentus Work. 4 stars
12/09/01 Keith GREAT MOVIE! Grant is hilarious in the drunken car chase. 5 stars
11/26/01 The Bomb 69 I hate old movies but this one made me a believer!!! 5 stars
10/19/01 Sandra Shevey This is my favourite film of all time. To me, it is the perfect film. 5 stars
9/23/01 Larry Smith Saw on the BIG screen! Great Hitchcock with Cary Grant and James Mason! 5 stars
8/07/01 Mr. Hat "North By Northwest" is Hitchcock's 2nd best. "To Catch A Thief" is still the best. 5 stars
8/07/01 E-Funk Hitch's COOLEST. Cary Grant is swave and funny...a good time at the movies. 5 stars
8/03/01 shankster Sets the standard for plot, acting, script, even humor. Cinematic perfection. 5 stars
7/03/01 Boomshanka I found it a great film, but I guess it lacked something for me personally. Worth seeing. 4 stars
6/23/01 taj Suspense flicks don't get much better than this... 5 stars
6/23/01 Senor Suave Great flick on all levels. 5 stars
6/07/01 D. Bower This is one of my favorite Hitchcock films 4 stars
5/31/01 Podgous A great story from the KING. 5 stars
3/05/01 ongoldenblonde stand the test of time 5 stars
2/23/01 Tyrone THIS is Hitchcock's masterpiece 5 stars
11/15/00 salvo toscano Can a film with no plot be a great film. This hitch's summa definitely is! 5 stars
7/21/00 AA Suspenseful, exciting, funny - Classic Hitchcock. Great fun! 5 stars
6/03/00 Bob Wombat This really is one of the coolest films ever made. Perfect. 5 stars
2/29/00 Bozo Not my fave Hitch by a mile, but his worse is better than (almost) anyone's best 4 stars
1/07/00 hum james mason is cool in this to. 4 stars
11/29/99 Mic My favourite Hitchcock. Exhilarating and funny. 5 stars
11/05/99 Anthony Ellis One of the best movies ever. Loads of fun! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  17-Jul-1959 (NR)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  N/A


Directed by
  Alfred Hitchcock

Written by
  Ernest Lehman

Cast
  Cary Grant
  Eva Marie Saint
  James Mason
  Jessie Royce Landis



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