North By Northwest concludes the series of movies made by Alfred Hitchcock with his friend, none other than Cary Grant. Roger Thornhill, Cary, is an advertising company executive, who is confrunted with a mistaken identity situation. He is assumed to be George Kaplan, a government agent set up to divert a bunch of villains ruled by Vandamm, James Mason. In the Hitchcockian tradition, Thornhill must prove his innocence and he finds himself on a cross-country chase for his life.
He is forced to drive while drunk in an extraordinary car race. Then there is the aeroplane chase in a crop field in broad daylight (Hitchcock’s idea to avoid clichés), one of the greatest scenes in the movie, carefully and gradually built up to maximize the suspense, using the silence and only the ambient noise of the aeroplane approaching. This is a technique masterfully crafted by the director. And there is the real FBI agent infiltrated in Vandamm’s team, beautiful Eve Kendall, Eva Marie Saint, who plays hard to get in order to bring Roger Thornhill closer to his possible defeat.
Action, great dialogue and acting, humour, complex suspense elements, style (Cary’s Kilgour suit was voted as one of the best suits in the film history and Eva’s outfits were chosen by Eva herself from Bergdorf Goodman, instructed by Hitch after he had disliked the ones created by MGM for her character) and an oustanding score by Bernard Herrmann. This is, in my opinion, the greatest action thriller directed by Hitchcock.
North by Northwest il are ca personaj central pe ironicul manager al unei agentii de publicitate, Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant), confruntat cu un caz de identitate gresita. Thornhill trebuie sa-si dovedeasca nevinovatia si se afla in curand intr-o cursa pe viata si pe moarte, intr-o succesiune de scene pline de suspans, printre care faimoasa scena in care este atacat de un avion in mijlocul zilei intr-un camp deschis. A fost ideea lui Hitchcock de a evita cliseele: in loc sa fie atacat intr-un spatiu intunecat si inchis, de ce sa nu fie atacat intr-un spatiu luminos si deschis? Arta sa de a construi gradual momentele de suspans, folosindu-se de cele mai simple elemente si de o tehnica excelenta, nu poate fi intrecuta de nimeni. Actiune, dialog si interpretari excelente, suspans, umor, stil si o coloana sonora extraordinara a lui Bernard Herrmann. Este, dupa parerea mea, cel mai bun thriller marca Alfred Hitchcock.