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October 13, 2019 | Rome, Italy

North by Northwest

By | 2018-03-21T18:30:25+02:00 December 18th, 2005|Reviews|

4

Date: 1959

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Starring: Cary Grant, James Mason, Eva Marie Saint

It’s not so much Cary Grant’s gradually-alarmed suaveness. Or Eva Marie Saint’s vulnerable sultriness. Or James Mason’s muted villainy. Or the thumping crop-dusting scene. Or even Hitchcock’s consummate organizational skills and punctuating sense of comic timing.

No, it’s how all these pieces are made to lock step in a representation of a long-gone classiness, the rule of politeness in an otherwise coarse storm. Good is sometimes bad; bad has its good side; the middle — in which where misunderstanding lives — is infinite.

Plot: unremarkable Manhattan ad man Roger O. Thornhill is mistaken for a spy named George Kaplan and his life is made to veer out of control by Mason-led forces of darkness. Generous and fine, Hitch sets up a mistaken-identity premise and delivers an exceptionally fine ride, menacing and fun.

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