On today’s episode, I talked with an old-school friend of mine, Mike Bardzilowski who picked 1959’s North by Northwest starring Cary Grant, and New Jersey’s own, Eva Marie Saint. While our generation generally knows Alfred Hitchcock’s horror pictures like Psycho, and The Birds at this point in Hitchcock’s career he was known as the master of suspense, from his intrigue based melodramas and psychological thrillers filled with heavy metaphors and themes.
He was on one of the most prolific runs ever for a director in Hollywood, he made Dial M for Murder, Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, The Man Who Knew Too Much (his own remake) and Vertigo in 1958. Hitchcock wanted to take a break from that kind of filmmaking to make something fun. He had an idea for a master spy mistaken identity story, and always wanted to make a chase scene on the top of Mount Rushmore, but he and writer Ernest Lehman needed to fill in the rest and that’s how North by Northwest was born.
North by Northwest follows the story of Roger O. Thornhill, or ROT for short, a fast and loose lipped ad-man that accidentally ends up being kidnapped by a group of spies that think he’s someone else, he luckily escapes their grasp, but not for too long as he is soon set up for the murder of a UN official, leading to a life of dodging both US authorities and communist agent until he runs into Eve Kendall, an elegant blonde that might have more to her than meets the eye. So sit back, relax, and…DUCK!
You can find North by Northwest here