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NORTH BY NORTH WEST (re-issue)

SYNOPSIS:
New York advertising executive Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) is lunching with clients in the Plaza Hotel when a pageboy calls for George Kaplan; Thornhill’s wave at the waiter is mistaken for a reply by two henchmen waiting to kidnap Kaplan, and the adventure begins. Thornhill is dragged across America and seduced by Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint) on a beautiful train ride (he is trying to get away), only to be betrayed. The pursuing villain, Phillip Vandamm (James Mason), is part of the cold war furniture, aided by a closet gay Leonard (Martin Landau), who has taken the secret agency bait – planted by The Professor (Leo G. Carroll) that Kaplan is a master spy, and is trying to get rid of him. But Eve Kendall is a double agent, and Thornhill is a naive innocent. The game is dangerous and ends in a climactic chase at Mt Rushmore, across the heads of America’s first presidents.

"It’s all very well raving about Hitchcock’s taut direction, Hermann’s pointy score, the formidably talented cast –– but what about Ernest Lehman’s script!? Clever, well structured and above all subtle, it is intelligent without being highbrow. There are a miriad things about this film that provide entertainment and involvement, from the quickly drawn but multi-faceted characters to the sheer joy of an exciting thriller well told. This is masterclass stuff, every shot a gem, yet delivered with simplicity and lack of pretension. Dialogue matters; character matters; action matters; and so does fallibility, romance – and humour. There are enough laughs (and smiles, and grins) in North By Northwest to keep a full on comedy bubbling, which makes it a unique experience. Cary Grant uses all his comic and athletic skills, and Eva Marie Saint plays the ultimate femme fatale – in fact, some of the pre-foreplay seduction scenes are positively erotic and far more risqué than you might expect for 1959. It is at once a cool romance and a cool comedy, a hot thriller and a hot adventure. And this newly discovered print is fresh enough to throw you back 30 years. Do it."
Andrew L. Urban

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0
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NORTH BY NORTHWEST (M)
(US) Re-issue

CAST: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Leo G Carroll, Martin Landau, Jessie Royce Landis,

DIRECTOR: Alfred Hitchcock

PRODUCER: Alfred Hitchcock, Herbert Coleman

SCRIPT: Ernest Lehman

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Robert Burks

EDITOR: George Tomasini

MUSIC: Bernard Hermann

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Robert Boyle

RUNNING TIME: 136 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Chapel

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE DATE: July 30, 1998 (Chauvel, Sydney); September (date tba, Astor, Melbourne)







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