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4.2
13,186 Ratings

North by Northwest

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
United States, 1959
Thriller, Adventure

Synopsis

After being kidnapped in a case of mistaken identity, a New York City advertising executive finds himself pursued across the United States by mysterious agents who will do anything to prevent him from revealing their secrets.

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North by Northwest Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1960 | 3 nominations including: Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color

San Sebastián International Film Festival

1959 | Winner: Silver Seashell

AFI FEST

2009

What are people saying?

  • Huey McEvoy's rating of the film North by Northwest

    The blueprint for all modern action movies: a dense plot, endless narrative twists, a wisecracking everyman, multiple locations, enormous set pieces, questionable effects, a thunderous score, and a duplicitous blonde. The debt owed to it by the Bond franchise is evident throughout (those final few seconds!) And I swear I heard that 4 note refrain from Monty Norman's Bond theme peppered through Herrmann's score.

  • Howard Orr's rating of the film North by Northwest

    Apparently a big influence on "Last Year In Marienbad", the romance, thrills and humour are undercut by the creepy frisson of an oddly synthetic world; Hitchcock's usual iffy back projection, Grant's weirdly flaccid hands, the virtuoso but eerie and protracted crop duster sequence. Like a machine's flawed impersonation of a perfect film, it's underlying iciness are what make it haunting.

  • ASHES IN THE HOURGLASS's rating of the film North by Northwest

    The more I rewatch it, the less I care for it as a thriller, but the more I love it as a comedy. As a sex comedy, the tongue-in-cheek dialogue is Lubitsch level of delightful and, as an absurd comedy, it paints the image of a modern man thrown into dizzying chaos with those overview shots of Grant running away while being dwarfed by his surroundings that are pure Kafka.

  • Jason's rating of the film North by Northwest

    Ostensibly, it always struck me, a concession to commercial interests following the uncommercial VERTIGO, I now see N BY NW as radical inasmuch as it may be Hitchcock's most brazen engagement w/ artifice. This is almost a pop art movie (I think of Roy Lichtenstein and Campbell's Soup). Even Carey Grant resembles a bronze figurine imbued w/ Satanic motility. And Hitchcock is, of course, a genius of celluloid units.

  • El Biffo's rating of the film North by Northwest

    35mm screening @Pacific Film Archive 13 August '16 Reasonably entertaining, if you like action-adventure thrillers (I don't) and a cut above typical mid-century Hollywood fare, which is a very low bar. Frankly, I prefer European cinema from this era. I wouldn't watch this again, but I appreciate that a lot of craft was put into it. Just doesn't grab me, that's all. I don't think much of Cary Grant, either. 3.5 stars

  • Wee Hunk's rating of the film North by Northwest

    Sorry, Vertigo, this is the best Hitchcock film ever. It is ridiculous, yet sublime, menacing, but tender, lively, yet dark, purple, and clairvoyant. Don't worry Vertigo, because there's tons of fools who still like you the best. But you're just a mirage, aren't you? A cipher to be decoded. This is the real thing, and you just can't stand it.

  • Risya's rating of the film North by Northwest

    Hitchcock gave us so many different elements; romance featuring a glamorous blond and a polished gentlemen in suit against a deadly charming villain, elegant suspense with quite the action adrenaline, who-dun-it twist, spies, and even a bit of comedy. I think this was Hitchcock's most playful/entertaining film. An almost perfect, that is.

  • Scottie Ferguson's rating of the film North by Northwest

    Watching it for the first time in two years, I'm not quite sure why I didn't love it more on my initial viewing. It's possibly Hitchcock's most entertaining film. Also, I love the way this movie looks; not just the cinematography, but there's something about the texture of the art decoration that I find enormously appealing. Was everything really this polished in 50s America??