North by Northwest
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this Hitchcock classic includes suspenseful scenes such as a forced drunken car chase on windy roads and a crop duster chase with shooting and an explosion. Typical of the era, there's drinking of hard liquor and smoking, with a seductive lighting-up featured in one scene. More seductive elements include forward sexual banter and some kissing -- the clothes stay on but there's a mention that the main characters slept together in their train car. It's also worth noting that the main character undergoes a big transformation, from fast-talking and unscrupulous ad exec to a man who risks his own life to find out the truth that will exonerate him.
What's the story?
Cary Grant stars as Roger Thornhill, an advertising executive who is mistaken for a spy named George Kaplan. When his life is turned upside down, Thornhill decides the only way to get his life back is to track down the real Kaplan himself.
Is it any good?
Cary Grant is superb as Thornhill. The character demands large tonal shifts, from mama's boy to suave sophisticate, from terrified man on the run to indignant pawn of the government, and Grant pulls it all off convincingly. Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint) is a perfect foil for Thornhill's man under pressure. She's cool and mysterious, leaving Thornhill unsure of whether to trust her for much of their time together.
NORTH BY NORTHWEST is consistently light and comic. Some sort of silly comment or joke relieves even the tensest scene. Sure to entertain viewers with even the most diverse of tastes, the film is a true cinematic pleasure with an impressive pedigree.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the lasting appeal of Hitchcock movies. What makes this film a classic? What are some techniques that he uses that you've seen used in other movies?
Talk about who Roger Thornhill is at the beginning and the end of this movie. Has the experience made him a better person? What is the underlying message of the movie?