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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gorgeous blu-ray, great extras
North by Northwest has always been my favourite Hitchcock flic, and seeing it on blu-ray is like seeing it as a new movie. The background detail is beautiful & this film looks gorgeous on blu-ray. Additionally, included in this 50th anniversary edition are these fantastic documentaries: The Master's Touch: Hitchcock's Signature Style, Cary Grant: A Class Apart, North...
Published on Nov. 12 2009 by Cheryl

3.0 out of 5 stars Beware the average transfer!!!!!!!!!!!
For those of you who are Hitchcock fanatics, pleased with only the most complete and perfect versions of his films, keep looking. This movie is as great as it ever was, but the DVD treatment here is pretty bad. The picture and sound elements need some major help. The extras are nice, but you are paying for the FILM after all aren't you!? So move right along and keep your...
Published on Nov. 12 2002 by Andy Williamson

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gorgeous blu-ray, great extras, Nov. 12 2009
Cheryl - See all my reviews
North by Northwest has always been my favourite Hitchcock flic, and seeing it on blu-ray is like seeing it as a new movie. The background detail is beautiful & this film looks gorgeous on blu-ray. Additionally, included in this 50th anniversary edition are these fantastic documentaries: The Master's Touch: Hitchcock's Signature Style, Cary Grant: A Class Apart, North by Northwest: One for the Ages, & Destination Hitchcock: The Making of North by Northwest. And more extras include: an audio commentary by writer Ernest Lehman, trailers, stills gallery, & music only audio track, as well as a 44 page in-case booklet. (Surprisingly with all the extras trading off disc space, the compressed audio is still fairly good.) Fans of this fun and suspenseful film, will no doubt appreciate the enhanced picture quality and bonus materials of the blu-ray (like me).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Who is George Kaplan?, Nov. 26 2006
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
This has become a classic Alfred Hitchcock film, with film score by Bernard Herrmann. If the story is not remembered or commented on, everyone is familiar with the scene where Grant is getting attacked by a crop duster while standing in the middle of nowhere "North by Northwest".

Roger O. Thornhill <R.O.T> (Cary Grant), mild mannered advertising executive, raises his hand at the wrong time to send a telegram. The page boy is paging George Kaplan so Roger is mistaken for Kaplan (a shorter man with dandruff) and the fun begins. Turns out that Townsend/ Vandamm (James Mason) the bad guy is being dogged by Kaplan so Vandamm must do away with Kaplan.

Meanwhile back at the train Roger meats a cutie Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint) that is apparently set on helping him.

I will not go into details as surprise and plot twisting is part of the suspense.

Will Roger get the girl?

Will Vandamm get Roger?

What is this all about?

Who is George Kaplan?
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5.0 out of 5 stars My Favourite Movie of All Time..., Oct. 29 2006
James Bow "Writer, The Unwritten Girl" (Kitchener, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: North By Northwest (DVD)
I know there are better movies out there, and I've seen them. However, whenever I'm asked what my favourite movie of all time is, I always come back to North by Northwest.

North by Northwest is the classic Alfred Hitchcock tale starring Cary Grant as Roger O. Thornhill, mistaken by enemy spies (led by James Mason) for a deep cover CIA agent. Thornhill, a run-of-the-mill advertising executive, finds his safe world swept out from under him. Running for his life not only from the spies but from American authorities who think he's a murderer, Thornhill races across America, barely able to keep his wits as he searches for the real CIA agent. He finds romance with Eve Marie Saint, a woman who might not be all that she seems.

I guess if you're going to choose a favourite movie, you can't do much better than something Hitchcock directed, can you? And North by Northwest is ranked up there with Psycho, Vertigo, The Birds and Rear Window, but I like North by Northwest more. Possibly because it's less about the scare and more about the romp. While Richard Thornhill is thrown out of his depth, I enjoy seeing how quickly he learns to swim. Cary Grant adds a suave air to him that's both comical and affirming. You don't get the sense that Richard Thornhill is in any real danger (unlike the entire cast of Psycho or The Birds), but that in no way detracts from the fun. It's like watching James Bond, (with the added benefit that Cary Grant is not James Bond) knowing that he's going to win, and enjoying how he does it.

And I like the fact that North by Northwest is part travelogue, as Richard Thornhill is literally taken aboard planes, trains and automobiles, making you feel like an accidental tourist as you watch him struggle to the bottom of the mystery. The movie never settles down, giving you a diversity of set pieces along with its diversity of settings. My favourite moment comes outside Chicago where Thornhill has been told to meet the government agent at a bus stop on a rural highway. It's a moment where the movie slows down. Hitchcock wonderfully conveys suspense through isolation as we're left alone with Cary Grant, with the wind blowing through the cornfields, and the sound of an occasional passing car. Then someone shows up, waits by the other side of the road, and Hitchcock captures the scene, Grant on one side, road on the middle, country man on the right, the long horizon stretching in the background in a tremendous wide shot. And we wait for something to happen. That's a magic moment. To my mind, it is the best movie visual I've ever seen.

It all culminates in (surely you all know this by now) a wonderful climactic scene with Grant and Saint Marie dangling from the faces of Mount Rushmore. Hitchcock directs with his usual aplomb, Grant is his usual slick self, Eve Saint Marie is sexy and James (I really do sound like God) Mason is suitably, suavely evil.

It may be a popcorn flick, but they don't come better than this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE this movie!, July 15 2004
Kerry S. Hale "Kerry S. Hale" (Hughes, AR United States) - See all my reviews
This movie is not only Hitchcock's best (just a tad behind 'Vertigo', in my opinion), but is one of the best movies ever made. Movies rarely have it all (story, acting, visuals, music, wit, action, suspense, 'hipness', and sexiness), but this movie has it all in spades.
Some of my favorite things about this movie:
1. Eva Marie Saint - Stunning...absolutely stunning. Everybody always thinks about Grace Kelly or Kim Novak in association with Hitchcock, but, for my money, Eva Marie Saint is the most drop-dead gorgeous of any leading lady.
2. The settings - The United Nations interior scenes are mouth wateringly rich. It really makes you want to go back in time to when everything 'modern' was new and exciting. We take so much for granted these days. The Cropduster scene is exciting and vastly more inventive than action movies being made today. Van Damm's House is the epitome of the promise that modern organic architecture once held. The scenes at Van Damm's house are even more amazing when you consider that the exterior settings are entirely fabricated, in a pre-CGI effects sort of way. They are more convincing than CGI scenes of today. Amazing.
This is one movie I never get tired of. Buy it and you won't be sorry.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greatest Thrillers of All Time, June 28 2004
classicmoviefan (Rancho Mirage, CA) - See all my reviews
This is arguably Cary Grants best film. Couple that with a terrific cast, dynamite story, immortal one-liners, some great scenes in actual locations, and classic Hitchcock editing and you have a shoe-in on any "best of all time list". This movie was made in 1958 and although it was current in it's day, it now is just as current as a period film set in 1958, keeping in mind of the political climate and cold war attitudes of the time. The costumes are very natural, having been bought in actual New York stores, and the set designs are beautifully designed. The set decoration is also first rate.
This DVD is a superb transfer. The color looks perfectly natural, the sound is full, low noise stereo and the widescreen is anamorphic. There is hardly any flaw in the print. Amazing. The menu is also animated to match the Saul Bass opening title and is wonderful. The "making of" film (30 minutes long) is superb and hosted by beautiful leading lady "Eve Marie Saint".
Finally, the score by Bernard Hermann adds to the high tension of the action. The orchestration and performance on this film is one of the very best of all time. I can't recommend this film enough for action, solid story and terrific action besides just being completely entertaining.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the very good adventure/spy films, June 2 2004
Joseph H Pierre "Joe Pierre" (Salem, OR USA) - See all my reviews
Format: Color
Studio: Warner Home Video
Video Release Date: August 29, 2000
Cary Grant ... Roger O. Thornhill
Eva Marie Saint ... Eve Kendall
James Mason ... Phillip Vandamm
Jessie Royce Landis ... Clara Thornhill
Leo G. Carroll ... The Professor
Josephine Hutchinson ... Handsome Woman (Vandamm's sister, aka 'Mrs. Townsend')
Philip Ober ... Lester Townsend
Martin Landau ... Leonard
Adam Williams ... Valerian
Edward Platt ... Victor Larrabee (Thornhill's attorney)
Robert Ellenstein ... Licht
Les Tremayne ... Auctioneer
Philip Coolidge ... Dr. Cross
Patrick McVey ... Chicago police sergeant
Ed Binns ... Capt. Junket (Nassau County detective)
Ken Lynch ... Charley (Chicago policeman)
Jack Daly ... Steward
John Damler ... Lieutenant
Ernest Anderson ... Porter on 20th Century
Lawrence Dobkin ... U.S. Intelligence Agency official
Tommy Farrell ... Eddie (elevator operator)
Paul Genge ... Lt. Hagerman
Ned Glass ... Ticket seller
Tom Greenway ... Silent State Police detective
Malcolm Atterbury ... Man at prairie crossing
Norm Hefron ... Radio announcer
Len Hendry ... Lieutenant
Alfred Hitchcock ... Man who misses bus
Tol Avery ... State Police detective
Bobby Johnson ... Waiter
Sid Kane
Kenner G. Kemp ... Man leaving office building
Stanley Adams ... Lt. Harding, Nassau County Detective
Bill Lloyd ... Extra
Alexander Lockwood ... Judge Anson B. Flynn
Baynes Barron ... Taxi driver #2
Frank Marlowe ... Taxi driver (Dakota)
Tom Marshall ... Police Officer in Chicago
James McCallion ... Plaza valet
Carl Milletaire ... Hotel clerk
Howard Negley ... Conductor on 20th Century
Charles Postal
Hugh Pryor
John Beradino ... Sgt. Emile Klinger
Ralph Reed ... Bellhop
Jeffrey Sayre ... Man at Mt. Rushmore cafeteria
Harry Seymour ... Victor, Captain of Waiters
Robert Shayne ... Larry Wade
Jeremy Slate ... Policeman at Grand Central Station
Olan Soule ... Assistant auctioneer
Harvey Stephens ... Stockbroker
Bert Stevens ... Man at United Nations Building
Harry Strang ... Assistant conductor
Dale Van Sickel ... Ranger
Stephen Bolster ... Man with camera
Ray Weaver ... Policeman at Grand Central Station
Frank Wilcox ... Weitner
Robert Williams ... Patrolman Waggoner
Wilson Wood ... Photographer at UN
Carleton Young ... Fanning Nelson
Andy Albin ... Farmer
Taggart Casey ... Shaving man
Bill Catching ... Attendant
Walter Coy ... U.S. Intelligence Agency official
Jimmy Cross ... Taxi driver #1
Madge Kennedy ... Housewife
Doreen Lang ... Maggie (Thornhill's secretary)
Nora Marlowe ... Anna (housekeeper)
Maura McGiveney ... Attendant
Maudie Prickett ... Elsie (Plaza maid)
Sara Berner ... Telephone operator
Doris Singh ... Indian girl (UN receptionist)
Helen Spring ... Bidder
Susan Whitney ... Attendant
Lucille Curtis ... Woman
Patricia Cutts ... Bit part
Anne Anderson ... Woman
Jesslyn Fax ... Woman
Josephine Forsberg ... Friendly Passenger
Sally Fraser ... Hospital patient who tries to stop Roger Thornhill
A good cast, with veteran actors and a compelling story. A young advertising executive (Grant) gets caught up in a case of mistaken identity, and is forced to go on the run with his life threatened in the process. The police are after him, and a spy (Mason)and his friends are trying to kill him.

There are some good twists in the plot, and some great shots of South Dakota's famous monument, carved out of Mount Rushmore by Gutzon Borglund with dynamite. Lots of suspense, entertaining adventure (airplane shots) in the corn fields of Iowa (apparently). Eva Marie Saint provides a good love interest.

A very entertaining film about cold war spies, well acted, plotted, and directed. Easy five stars.

Joseph (Joe) Pierre

author of Handguns and Freedom...their care and maintenance
and other books
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Hitchcock Film!!!, April 16 2004
This movie starts with a bang and doesn't let you go until the very end. This is another great, timeless, movie that Hitchcock so brilliantly put together. Considered by some, Hitchcock's greatest work, Cary Grant is brilliant in the film as a man stuck with a bad case of mistaken identity (Don't you hate it when that happens). This movie has so many twists and turns, you don't know what you're going to get yourself into next.
Filmed in different locations throughout the country, the story takes the audience on a ride of comedy, mystery, and suspense. Cinematography doesn't get any better than this film. Several scenes use wonderful camera angles and cuts to enhance the feeling of suspense.
The movie also has some very memorable characters, such as Cary Grant's character, Thornhill, Eva St. Marie's Eva Kendall, and my favorite, the evil Leonard played by Martin Landau (He is so creepy in this). From opening to the ending scene, this movie will hold you all the way. So sit back and enjoy the ride.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Best Spy Movies Ever Made, April 13 2004
anthony nasti (Brooklyn, NY United States) - See all my reviews
Alfred Hitchcock's knack for suspense was never represented better than it was in 1959's "North By Northwest". With a strong cast, a sparkling script and possibly the greatest film sequence ivolving an airplane, this one is definitely a keeper.
Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant in his final Hitchcock movie)is a New York businessman with the most boring life in the world. That all changes when he is mistaken for a spy named George Kaplan and kidnapped bya much of gun - toting henchmen working for a delightfully devillish James Mason. He esacpes, and is soon framed for murder at the UN. He avoids the law by travelling cross - country on a train, during which he meets a sexy stranger (Eva Marie Saint). They soon decide to get to the bottom of what's going on. From nearly being killed by a cropduster to the sequence at the stitlt house those chilling final moments on Mount Rushmore, every moment keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Great dvd. Extras include making - of documentary, theatrical trailer, commentary by screenwriter Ernie Lehman, and a photo gallery.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 7 parking tickets, Feb. 24 2004
By A Customer
Some strange, witless, mentally challenged reviewers want this film to be serious, logical, with a believable plot. How Vandam dim dumb can you get? There isn't a single Hitchcock film with a halfway realistic, believable story. Vertigo? Psycho? Strangers on a Train? Notorious? The Man Who Knew Too Much? Laughable. That's not what he's about. He sells entertainment, often with a dollop of Freudianism thrown in. I'm not sure he believed in Freud, either, but in any case in this film the Viennese witchdoctor takes a back seat --- except for the last shot. And the mother, of course. This is just a very funny film, and the jokes, visual and scripted, are great. The set-ups are goofy, hilarious, and they stay that way. Like the secret service committee man says, why does he feel like laughing? It's The Big Lebowski of the 1950s: a man of his time who hasn't grown up gets dislocated out of his normal pointless, aimless existence. Grant even mentions bowling balls. Madison Avenue, for heaven's sake: ROT, and the O stands for nothing. The red-capped station baggage-handler clone scene was stolen by Nabokov a couple of years later for his comic masterpiece, Pale Fire. This is probably Cary Grant's most perfect role.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Shakesphere would approve, Nov. 2 2003
One of Hitch's best and most effortless suspense movies has the benefit of a brilliant, witty script by the late Ernest Lehman and star performances by Cary Grant as the put upon Thornhill (whose initials are R.O.T. a nice representation of what's happened to his world), the sexy Eva Maire Saint, the menacing Martin Landau (in his first film role)and the charming but deadly James Mason.
Grant plays Thornhill an advertising executive who, through a case of mistaken identity (he raises his hand calling for someone to come take a telegram at the exact moment that a telegram is announced for Mr. Kaplan). As a result, he's kidnapped, taken to the country retreat of a diplomat by the name of Vandamm. Vandamm (Mason)believes that undercover agent Kaplan has too much information about his spy ring and plans.
He has his men get Thornhill drunk and they put him behind the wheel so he can have a fatal auto accident. Fortunately, Thornhill survives. He's determined to find out who Kaplan is and what Vandamm really wants. From there Thornhill's life spirals out of control as Vandamm tries to have him killed during the famous cropdusting sequence and convince his lover Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint)to become involved with him and, later, betray him. There's so many twists and turns in this hairraising classic that you have to see the film to appreciate the beauty of the direction, writing and performances.
This new spruced up digital transfer looks terrific. Warner evidently had the film digitally restored (not quite as painstaking as the restoration for Vertigo, Rear Window and Lawrence of Arabia but considerably less expensive)so that the colors are closer to the original release prints from 1959. The soundtrack has been beautifully remixed for 5.1 Dolby Digital. While the soundtrack can't completely take advantage of the remix, it sounds terrific. There's also a really good feaurette on the making of the film featuring Landau, Saint, Lehman and Patricia Hitchcock.
The inclusion of Ernest Lehman's nicely detailed audio commentary is a nice extra as well although it's clear that some of the same comments show up again in the documentary. Bernard Herrmann's marvelous music score is isolated on one track so that music fans can hear the original score in all its glory.
North by Northwest was the next to last in a string of classics directed by Hitch during the 60's (Hitch only made one movie in the 60's that comes close to his best films and that's the brilliant, dark The Birds). After a string of great movies and box office smashes including Rear Window, To Catch A Thief, Vertigo, The Trouble With Harry, Strangers On A Train and other lesser known works, North By Northwest was a brilliant conclusion to a decade that showed enormous growth in Hitch's directing ability and style. Psycho which would come out the following year would continue Hitch's groundbreaking approach to cinema as well but North by Northwest was the last of Hitch's complex thrillers to capture the public's attention.
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North By Northwest
North By Northwest by Alfred Hitchcock (DVD - 2005)
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