“You gentlemen aren’t REALLY trying to kill my son, are you?”
Alfred Hitchcock’s movie North by Northwest (1959) is one of his greatest, with three Academy Award nominations to prove it. Roger O. Thornhill, played entertainingly with suave by Cary Grant, is an advertising executive in New York, who by chance is mistaken for a man named George Kaplan by a group of spies led by Phillip Vandamm (James Mason) with his right hand man, Leonard (Martin Landau).
With the help of pretty Eve Kendall, brilliantly performed by Eva Marie Saint, Roger Thornhill ends up being pursued across the country, but who can he really trust? The professor, actor Leo G. Carroll, is a man of government who allows the events to unfold for the greater good. Carroll has been in more Hitchcock movies than any other actor. Another casting worth noticing is role of the mother, Clara Thornhill, played by Jessie Royce Landis though she only had seven years on her “son”, Cary Grant.
The movie takes us to places like the then-new United Nations building which is photographed originally, to another quite interesting building, the house on top of Mount Rushmore. After finding Frank Lloyd Wright to be too expensive to work with, just like the people making The Fountainhead in 1949 did, MGM constructed a Lloyd Wright-inspired house for the movie as the villain’s lair.
The famous crop dusting scene where Grant is being chased by a plane is nothing less than cinema history.
Funny fact: Eva Marie Saint also plays the role of Martha Kent in Superman Returns (2006).