Even though it's one of Hitchcock's most memorable and iconic films. It doesn't quite do it for me. It's playful and visually magnificent but it just doesn't have as much depth to it story wise or character wise as some of Hitchcock's finest films such as Psycho; Strangers on a Train, Vertigo and Marnie.
It might contain one of Hitchcock’s greatest moments in the crop duster scene, but this is style wildly blown out of proportion in his filmography. There are pacing issues and meanderings. It’s still pretty damn good at times, but it probably isn’t a top five Hitchcock film.
Hitchcock was (and remains) the master of suspense and a peerless handler of dark wit, and this film is some of his best work in either category. Ernest Lehman's script isn't just brilliant in its own right (with one fantastic twist after another, and providing a fountain of unforgettable lines); it also manages to encompass all of Hitchcock's themes into one tight package. It's an excellent blend of art and fun!
The only scene which is giving the opportunity to breathe in the movie was the moment of car waiting scene.The rest was very fast and it was quite artificial scenario that is full of logical errors. according to its own period , technical details were great.
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.
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.
A James Bond movie, not just for its subject matter, but for its propensity for spectacle over substance. The iconic scene with the plane, which makes no narrative sense whatsoever, is uniquely representative of this. But I applaud the movie for what it is, instead of what it is not.
I admire this movie at a distance, since it's a model for genres (action, spy thrillers) that I don't especially like, and whose elements Hitchcock does very well without really transcending. There are of course many moments of brilliance (especially the 'confrontation' near the end between James Mason and Martin Landau). But I far, far prefer the genre invention Hitchcock would concoct after this one: Psycho.
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.
Hitchcock didn't have a soul. He wasn't a director but an engineer of cinema. Could no doubt assemble a piece and was highly skilled with the underlying harmony and structure (see this), yet his films simply don't elicit any of the untranslatable feelings we experience when watching the works of the real directors. His cinema is never witty or charming, it is brutally masochistic and impersonal.