Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Fugative

Hitchcock Suplement

North by Northwest is the most glaring omission in my Hitchcock boxed set, though I'm happy to say that it does anchor the second box set, which otherwise consistes mostly of lesser-known Hitch films. So anyway I bought my own copy of North by Northwest to make up for its absence from the first set. This movie is really essental for film literacy, a lot of iconic moments in there, such as the famed crop duster attack on Cary Grant (pictured).

Anyway so far as story goes North by Northwest is largely a cold war update of Hitchs WWII era thriller Sabatour, though more heavily stylized. Both films end with confrontations atop famous monuments, the Statue of Liberty in Sabatour and Mt. Rushmore in Northwest. Roger Thornhill (Grant) is a Madison Avenue execuative mistaken for a federal agent, one who turns out to not really exist. After being framed for a muder he didn't commit, Thronhill goes cross country looking for the real agent, all the while attempting to avoid both the police, and a murderus gang of mercanary spys headed by a Mr. Phillip Vandamm (James Mason). Roger is helped along by the lovely Ms. Eve Kendall (played by the lovely Eva Marie Saint), and later by a government agent known only as 'the Professor' (Leo G. Carrol). A young Martin Landau plays Vandamms creepy assistant 'Leonard'.

David Mamet did his own take on the whole North by Northwest man on the run thing, with a well executed little film from the late 90's called The Spanish Prisoner, which features Steve Martin as its main villian.


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