North by Northwest: pure entertainment at its best


If you are a fan of classic cinema - that is, good cinema - there is no doubt that you will enjoy watching North by Northwest, the feature film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and released on the big screen in 1959.

Spies, secret missions, assassinations, plane chases, improvised train escapes, gunfights on Mount Rushmore... The film contains all the necessary elements to guarantee the viewer's constant attention, achieving a wonderful counterpoint between the tension of the plot and the humor of its protagonists. We are talking, therefore, about a script that combines thriller and comedy, fast-paced action and loud laughter. And all this within the elegant and careful aesthetics that characterizes Hitchcock's films.

The story begins with the introduction of Roger O. Thornhill, a publicist whom some spies mistake for a government agent, a certain George Kaplan. From then on it's all entanglements, each one more intricate than the last. The role of Thornill is played by a hilarious Cary Grant, who with his enviable style and light-hearted humor captivates the viewer from the first moment, without any difficulty. The sequence in which he is drunk, and the auction at the hotel, which is undoubtedly hilarious, stand out. Moreover, the initial confusion is compensated by incredible scenes of action and suspense, such as, for example, the seven or eight minutes without dialogue in which the pilot of a light aircraft pursues the protagonist, trying to kill him.

In his hasty escape, Thornill meets the mysterious and seductive Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint), who will become - of course - the culprit of most of the accidents and vicissitudes of the rest of the film. The main villain, the spy Phillip Vandamm (James Mason), and his henchmen will relentlessly pursue the protagonist in a thrilling journey across much of the North American geography (hence the original title).

And all this happens, as we said at the beginning, in an atmosphere of exquisite elegance and style that is manifested, not only in the costumes and dresses, but also in the cars, the buildings, the natural landscapes... even in the most insignificant detail (so that later they say that the most important thing in a film is the plot).

North by Northwest is, in short, a sum of three very important factors - tension, humor and elegance - that make the film a piece of pure entertainment.