North by Northwest (1959)

“North by Northwest” (1959)


James “Hitch/Grant” Bond

I think it’s fantastic the attitude some artists have towards their activity. I speak about those who, in a lifetime of creation go after several objectives, several different ideas, many times undefined and blurred in the beginning, and when they are able to focus them with precision, and create important stuff from there, they move along to explore new ideas leaving a lot of other artists taking their conclusions about what has happened. Hitchcock suffered influences, obviously, but what he allowed to happen after him place him among the most memorable inventors in the history of cinema. So, Hitchcock was influent through several of his works:

. Rope – and following it the very notable “Dial M for Murder” and the absolute masterpiece “Rear Window”; this was where he exploited to maximum potential his camera eye, so influent in years to come, i really love this phase

. Vertigo – the work where Hitch reflects on the role the actor can have and the over layering of roles (role inside role, actor inside the actor, and the way the observer deals with it) as well as the way a set can influence an action or a mood just by existing

. North by Northwest – the first James Bond movie, Hitch and Grant are the parents of the character in cinema, it’s interesting how, years later, Hitch would use Connery, the first entitled Bond actor, in his late “Marnie”.

I am a fan of James Bond, he was part of my childhood and adolescence, and he still has a place in my imagination, however, from a cinematic point of view, this last “revolution” is, to me, the less interesting. Nevertheless, what a great film this is. Hitchcock introduced here with a cinematic quality never seen before it the chase movie theme, where every next day is undefined in location and actions, where sexual issues always show up embedded in a beautiful woman with uncertain objectives (That Hitch’s blond!). Cary Grant was already the first Bond before Fleming created the character so, in a way, this film is probably the first Hitch did in which what really matters is style. The story is filled with problems and incoherences, doesn’t make sense in many points… but that happens to 90% of the movies (specially action ones). Herrmann achieves here one of his most subtle and good soundtracks for Hitchcock, and everything has an irresistible good taste, even if filled with “Hitchcockian” clichés (the iconic place for the important action moment, in this case Rushmore, Hitch showing up at the beginning, the blond woman…)

Many times, loving a director’s work or not has to do with personal issues, in that sense, i really love the work of Hitchcock, but apart from that, all the enormous merits he ad ought to be recognized and, to my point of view, this is one of his (in this case not so brilliant) achievements.

My evaluation: 4/5 its watchability has to do, i suppose, with its pace and rhythm

This comment on IMDb


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