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        North by Northwest (1959)

        3:13 | Trailer

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        A New York City advertising executive goes on the run after being mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies.


        Alfred Hitchcock


        Ernest Lehman
        2,290 ( 574)
        Top Rated Movies #77 | Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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        Cast overview, first billed only:
        Cary Grant ... Roger Thornhill
        Eva Marie Saint ... Eve Kendall
        James Mason ... Phillip Vandamm
        Jessie Royce Landis ... Clara Thornhill
        Leo G. Carroll ... The Professor
        Josephine Hutchinson ... Mrs. Townsend
        Philip Ober ... Lester Townsend
        Martin Landau ... Leonard
        Adam Williams ... Valerian
        Edward Platt ... Victor Larrabee
        Robert Ellenstein ... Licht
        Les Tremayne ... Auctioneer
        Philip Coolidge ... Dr. Cross
        Patrick McVey Patrick McVey ... Sergeant Flamm
        Edward Binns ... Captain Junket


        Madison Avenue advertising man Roger Thornhill finds himself thrust into the world of spies when he is mistaken for a man by the name of George Kaplan. Foreign spy Philip Vandamm and his henchman Leonard try to eliminate him but when Thornhill tries to make sense of the case, he is framed for murder. Now on the run from the police, he manages to board the 20th Century Limited bound for Chicago where he meets a beautiful blond, Eve Kendall, who helps him to evade the authorities. His world is turned upside down yet again when he learns that Eve isn't the innocent bystander he thought she was. Not all is as it seems however, leading to a dramatic rescue and escape at the top of Mt. Rushmore. Written by garykmcd

        Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


        The Master of Suspense presents a 2000-mile chase across America! See more »


        Not Rated | See all certifications »

        Parents Guide:

        View content advisory »





        English | French

        Release Date:

        26 September 1959 (Japan) See more »

        Also Known As:

        Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest See more »


        Box Office


        $3,101,000 (estimated)

        Gross USA:


        Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

        See more on IMDbPro »

        Company Credits

        Show more on IMDbPro »

        Technical Specs


        Sound Mix:

        Mono (Westrex Recording System)| Dolby SR | Dolby Digital


        Color (Technicolor)

        Aspect Ratio:

        1.85 : 1
        See full technical specs »

        Did You Know?


        Edward Platt (Victor Larrabee) is best known for his role as the Chief on Get Smart (1965). One of the main characters on Get Smart (1965) is named Larrabee after his role in this movie. See more »


        In the interior shots of the police car after Thornhill gets removed from the auction, there is no rear view mirror. However, in the external shot at the airport when they get out, there is a mirror. See more »


        [Escaping captivity, Roger Thornhill slips in through the window of a darkened hospital room. Immediately the light is snapped on. A woman patient sits up in the bed, reaching for her glasses]
        Hospital Patient: STOP!
        Roger Thornhill: [stops] Oh. Excuse me.
        [resumes moving towards the door]
        Roger Thornhill: [She has put on her glasses and gets a good look at him]
        Hospital Patient: [plaintively] Stop.
        [Thornhill pauses, turns briefly to warn her off with a raised finger, then rushes out the door]
        See more »

        Crazy Credits

        Right after his credit as director during the opening credits, Alfred Hitchcock is running toward the door of the city bus just as it slams shut on him! See more »

        Alternate Versions

        The print originally had an acknowledgement for the cooperation of the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service. But they requested it be removed after MGM violated the agreement that no violence would take place near the Mt. Rushmore monument. Some prints, however, were released with the acknowledgement still in. See more »


        Referenced in Midsomer Murders: The Flying Club (2014) See more »


        I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face
        Music by Frederick Loewe
        Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
        Portion sung by Cary Grant (as "I've Grown Accustomed to Your Bourbon") as he's being seated behind the wheel of the Mercedes while drunk
        See more »

        Frequently Asked Questions

        See more »

        User Reviews

        Top-notch suspense /adventure film still looks great after 40 years!
        25 December 2000 | by movieman9See all my reviews

        For Christmas this year, I received my first to-own DVD: Hitchcock's classic, NORTH BY NORTHWEST. After over 40 years, this rip-racing adventure-thriller still packs a punch and looks great on widescreen. This movie came along during a renaissance period for the Old Master, between masterpieces like VERTIGO and PSYCHO, but this excursion into the world of suspense is so different from anything else Hitchcock had created up to that point. Never did he challenge our endurance to keep still in our seats for such a long period of time, and yet the film's 135 minutes go by so fast it could only be explained by movie magic itself.

        Cary Grant is one of those actors that a filmgoer either falls in love with or deeply envies. His debonair manner is displayed to the full in this film, even though the peril that his character goes through would cause any normal dude to break into a maddening sweat. The dialogue Roger Thornhill delivers alongside Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint) in this film is sometimes too hilarious to be true, but wouldn't any woman fall for it? (I'm merely guessing here) Ernest Lehman's screenplay is so lighthearted and yet very ominous. With all the traps and pitfalls Grant goes through in this film, you would have to find comedy in it. Grant does and to great appeal. I absolutely love the sequence at the auction when Roger tries to get himself arrested by yelling out flaky bids and accusing the auctioneer of selling junk worth no more than $8. I also admire the scenes with Saint on the train to Chicago; I was tempted to jot down some of his pick-up lines, but then I realized it's just a movie (or is it?)

        Hitchcock was famous throughout his career of setting up death-defying sequences with major landmarks as backdrops. Here, Mount Rushmore will never be looked at the same again afterwards. We may never enter the United Nations again without peering behind our backs for a notorious knife-thrower. And, I dare say, I will never walk alongside a highway where a cropduster could swoop at any minute. I love the line during the Rushmore incident when Grant says his two ex-wives left him because he lived too dull a life. Go figure!

        It has been said that Hitchcock's many films each contain a personal side of the director inside them. The archetypes of the Master of Suspense are here amid the chasing and running across the U.S. The mysterious blonde, played to a tee by Eva Marie Saint, is a common fixture of many Hitchcock jaunts. Saint joins Grace Kelly and Tippi Hedren in this feature. The protagonist is again awkward when faced with the opposite sex, but unusually casual when wrapped up in danger. The hero has an attachment to his mother, continually under his nurturing wing. And of course, the macguffin has fun with us again (government secrets my foot!)

        Whenever I see action-packed epics today like "The Fugitive" or the James Bond series, they all seem to quiver in comparison to this film. It amazes me that Hitchcock is able to hold the audience in the palm of his hand throughout the whole length of the journey. We become Grant as he runs away from the police and the secret agents who have chosen him as their dupe. But throughout the squabble, we sense that Grant is getting off on the whole jaunt, just as we want the chase to continue, not looking at our watches for a minute. However, it's fascinating to note that Roger Thornhill is not a born adventurer, nor is he an archeologist with a flair for escaping impossible situations. We are experiencing the Cary Grant in all of us, running away from an enemy we do not know they are or what they want. Is this symbolism of some kind? I say who cares; just watch the film and have fun!

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