North by Northwest is another film from the great director Alfred Hitchcock, and in this movie, he doesn’t disappoint. Long before seeing this, I used to think that this movie was a James Bond movie, and the opening title was visually pretty cool so one wouldn’t be blamed for making that mistake. This film is a lot like Vertigo in the sense that it’s about an innocent person dragged into a dramatic situation he had no part in. The story is about Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) and his kidnapping that created his sudden identity crisis leading to him being convicted of drunk driving, lying to a judge, and eventually even murder. He evades authority across the country and meets Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint) who isn’t who she seems to be at first. You never quite understand the reason for Roger’s kidnapping, but either way, you feel bad for him as he was just misunderstood for the entire first half of the movie. many of the sets looked very modern and you likely wouldn’t be surprised if the sets were used in a newer movie. This movie was more humorous than Hitchcock’s other movies but the jokes don’t ever seem out of place and they fit into the plot and characters well, as in, a certain joke would make sense with the certain character who said it. There are also a whole bunch of great shots such as the scene with the cop duster plane chasing Roger just as one example. The soundtrack by Bernard Herrmann, a Hitchcock favorite, was great, as expected from such a respected music producer in the film industry. This isn’t my favorite Hitchcock film, but it is definitely up there. This film is superb.
Vertigo is personally my favorite film from Alfred Hitchcock, as it is with many other people. It’s a romantic thriller crime mystery movie. It can be so many categories at once, and yet, the movie perfects all of them. The movie starts with the origin of John “Scottie” Ferguson’s (James Stewart) fear of heights, and eventual diagnosis of vertigo. An officer falls and dies while trying to help Scottie up from the edge of a roof. John tries to rid of his vertigo head on yet fails at his attempts and instead, collapses into his ex-fiancée, Midge Wood’s (Barbara Bel Geddes) arms. Scottie is offered an assignment from an old college friend, Gavin Elster (Tom Helmore), to follow his wife because of her suspicious behavior in the past few days, Gavin believes she is possessed, at first skeptical, John accepts the offer. There are then scenes of John following Gavin’s wife, Madeleine (Kim Novak), and they provide confusing scenarios and actions by Madeleine that confuse the audience just as much as they seem to confuse Scottie. Hitchcock has a use of colors which provide a state of madness and confusion that perfectly reflect Scottie’s state of mind. Hitchcock also uses color in this film to provide beautiful shots such as the one in the picture here, even without much lighting, you can still invision her expression. James Stewart, a Hitchcock favorite, does a great job in his acting of making you feel pretty bad for Scottie. He was just a nice, honest man dragged into a dramatic headache that would have left him scarred for the rest of his life. The twist around the ending was so unexpected that it would even have M. Night Shyamalan shocked, but the twist makes everything make sense in the film and it changes your perspective of the film completely on a second viewing. This film is a complete masterpiece.