North by Northwest

No. No, Mother, I have not been drinking. No. No. These two men, they poured a whole bottle of bourbon into me. No, they didn't give me a chaser.

A review by Mike Shea   Movie Rating: ( * * * * · )    DVD Rating: ( * * * * · )

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Alfrid Hitchcock kicks ass. While most directors spend huge amounts of time worrying about how they are going to get Ice-T into a jungle fighting a big snake, Hitchcock was weaving spells of comedy and suspense that had you wondering if life would ever be the same after you were through watching. North by Northwest is probably one of his best films. Our hero, Roger Thornhill (Roger Moore is in the bond films. He stumbles and bumbles through the intricate weavings of a spy novel, always misunderstanding the situation and following his dick into clutches of hell. Don't misunderstand me, this is the way the character is supposed to be. While he always seems to have the perfectly tuned line, with just a hint of sarcasm and a lot of class, he is actually the perfect buffoon. One excellent subtlety is the fact that no woman can help but fall in love with him. One scene in particular, probably my favorite scene, has him shaking off a woman just after breaking into her apartment! Man, I wish I had that kind of power. I suppose the idea behind this movie is the trek across America, following a long line of clues, but frankly I just enjoyed watching Cary Grant stumbling through Indiana in a $300 suit. There is quite a lot of detail in the plot, with spy's and double agents abound. All the suspense of a typical Hitchcock movie is there.

The DVD has a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and an audio commentary track. The picture is 16x9 enhanced and frankly, this is a movie I would have given a break to had it not been. Older pictures don't really need the same level of treatment that newer releases have, but it is nice when they try.

North by Northwest should be a benchmark for modern day movies. If you can get this much entertainment into two hours, you are above the mark. If not, you better start looking for another snake movie script.