TV Cream

Films: N is for...

North By Northwest

“Good ever-ning.” Ah, Alfie! The highbrow’s lowbrow, as hilariously studied by many a French film scholar, his every MacGuffin and mise-en-scene pulled apart and dryly pondered over until the cows come home. Does such an avowedly populist entertainer deserve this sarcophagus of academic respectability? Not when he makes films as fresh, exhilarating, spectacular and witty as this well-loved Cary-Grant-in-perpetual-peril white-knuckler. It’s a lavishly-tooled blast from start to finish, pure and simple, which must be why it beat out close contenders Psycho (too overexposed) and Vertigo (great, but a bit over-egged) in our survey. And it’s been said many times, but you’ll never see a finer tie-up of loose ends than the thirty-second ending montage.

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  1. Matt Patton

    December 31, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    It IS unadulterated genius, it was also released in 1959, not 1954. Hitchcock’s 1954 films were DIAL ‘M’ FOR MURDER and REAR WINDOW.

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