North by Northwest

Oh, right, I did promise to watch some movies for RIP, didn’t I? And my list does say, “Um. Hitchcock?”, and this is totally suspenseful so first movie DONE.

And it was pretty good! North by Northwest tells the story of this guy Thornhill who gets mistaken for some other guy (who turns out not to exist) and then is almost murdered The Postman Always Rings Twice-style except he turns out to be a pretty awesome drunk driver. Except he gets caught for, you know, drunk driving, and then he’s all “Nonono, someone else poured a giant bottle of bourbon down my throat and then tried to kill me,” and everyone’s like, “Right,” and the attempted murderers totally make him look like a crazy person and then like a murderer and then he’s on the lam and he meets a sexy lady who is sexy and also not actually on his side. Also there are some FBI or whatever people who are like, “Sweet, this guy is solving our nonexistant-dude problem.” But Thornhill is going to prove himself innocent whether anyone likes it or not.

I had some stuff to say on the Twitters (sidenote: it took me way too long to figure out how to do that search) while I was watching the movie, and you can see from the seeming non-sequitur-ness of my comments that it is an odd one. Using murder as a flirting tool? Attempted murder by crop-duster? Annoying an auctioneer to get a police escort out of an auction? Having a chase down Mount Freakin’ Rushmore? I don’t… I just don’t understand.

And I especially don’t understand the ending, which is like (SPOILERS), oh, look, she’s gonna fall down the mountain, oh, just kidding, now they’re on a train and possibly married and OH LOOK AT THAT TRAIN GOING INTO A TUNNEL WHAT COULD THAT POSSIBLY MEAN. The end. That chick is nice and all, but I rather wish she had fallen off the mountain with my beloved Martin Landau, who can stare at me with those eyes all day long.


Anyway, the ending aside, I kind of liked the ridiculousness of the whole movie, which had some wonderfully quotable lines, like “I don’t like the way Teddy Roosevelt is looking at me.” Excellent. And while sometimes the exposition was a little much, I enjoyed the times when I was like, “How did he get out of THAT situation” and then the character would exposit for me. It’s not the most subtle movie ever, but it’s certainly an entertaining time!

Rating: 7/10
(RIP Challenge)

7 thoughts on “North by Northwest

  1. Mary says:

    I… can't fathom why you keep mooning over Martin Landau when Cary Grant was, like, the love of my young life for quite awhile.

    But I'm glad you liked it… I haven't seen it in a very long time, but I imagine some of the things you thought were non sequiturs made perfect sense to me when I was 14 (and oooooooh the train! Sex! Ah! Bad!).

  2. redhead says:

    lol, sounds like fun! I've only seen a few Hitchcock films (Vertigo, The Birds, maybe one other?), and I liked them.

    having attempted to watch the awfulness that is Transformers 2 last night makes me yearn for movies like this.

  3. Alison says:

    Mary. HAVE YOU SEEN THOSE EYES. I am helpless in the stare of those eyes. See also: Benedict Cumberbatch, Cillian Murphy. And who are you to judge, since you seem totally on-board with murder-based flirting? 😛

    Andrea — I am very behind on my Hitchcock. I think this is my third? And yes, you should probably be watching this instead of Transformers!

  4. Steph says:

    I am not a Hitchcock aficionado, so this is a horribly uninformed generalization, but to date, none of the films by Hitchcock I've watched have been remotely scary. They always wind up being kind of campy and unintentionally hilarious/ridiculous.

  5. Alison says:

    Steph — I'm with you on that! Not scary at all. And the acting is often kind of… well. Not great. But the movies are so pretty and have quite good plots, so I'll forgive them!

  6. dooliterature says:

    I love, love, love this movie! And I have to say, I'm more in the Cary Grant camp as well. 😉 Smokin'.
    This movie can be rather ridiculous, I will admit. Also very ridiculous: Strangers on a Train. Love Hitchcock!

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