Archive for February 12th, 2009


by Allan Fish

(USA 1959 136m) DVD1/2

War is hell, even when it’s a cold one

p/d  Alfred Hitchcock  w  Ernest Lehman  ph  Robert Burks  ed  George Tomasini  m  Bernard Herrmann  art  William A.Horning, Merrill Pye, Robert Boyle  tit  Saul Bass

Cary Grant (Roger Thornhill/George Kaplan), Eva Marie Saint (Eve Kendall), James Mason (Philip Van Damm), Leo G.Carroll (Professor), Martin Landau (Leonard), Jessie Royce Landis (Clara Thornhill), Adam Williams (Valerian), Josephine Hutchinson (Handsome woman), Philip Ober (Lester Townsend), Les Tremayne (auctioneer),

The title of Hitchcock’s seminal masterpiece comes from Hamlet (“I am but mad north-northwest“), but it owes absolutely nothing else to Shakespeare.  Rather it owes its existence to the director himself, or rather his whole earlier output.  Drawing from his earlier works from The 39 Steps to Saboteur and from The Secret Agent to Foreign Correspondent, this is the magnum opus of his ‘innocent on the run’ thrillers, a perfect summation of Hitch’s career to that date.  Yet it is something else besides; a satire of – and homage to – the impeccable imperturbability of Cary Grant.  His grey suit may get dirtied frequently, but he is never less than the epitome of charming style.  (more…)

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