North by Northwest

The Top 63 Marathon, part 32

Title: North by Northwest
Year: 1959
Length: 131 minutes
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writer: Ernest Lehman
Starring: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason
Music: Bernard Herrmann
Distinctions: Oscar nominations for Best Original Screenplay, Best Art Direction/Set Decoration (color) and Best Editing; currently #35 on the IMDb’s Top 250

My reaction
Synopsis: an ad agent is mistaken for a secret agent
How I saw it: on video (rented from Netflix), yesterday
Concept: Indifferent.
Story: Indifferent.  Ridiculous, predictable and plot-holey.
Characters: Indifferent.
Dialog: Good.
Pacing: Good.
Cinematography: Great.
Special effects/design: Indifferent.
Acting: Indifferent.
Music: Great.
Subjective Rating: 7/10 (Good). I was entertained. But if it weren’t for Hitchcock’s visuals, Herrmann’s not-John-Adams score, and the general absence of cars flipping end-over-end through the air, it would be indistinguishable from every mediocre action movie from the 80’s and 90’s.
Objective Rating: 2.7/4 (Good).


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