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North by Northwest (Deluxe Series) [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Leo G. Carroll, Martin Landau
  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Producers: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Cda
  • DVD Release Date: 16 Sep 2002
  • Run Time: 136 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006IXBF
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 252,860 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

A masterful mix of comedy and suspense from Alfred Hitchcock. Advertising executive Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) is lunching in a restaurant with his mother when he mistakenly answers a page for one George Kaplan. He soon finds himself on the run across the country, being pursued by enemies of the government who are convinced that he is a secret agent. He finds a friend in Eve Kendall (Eve Marie Saint), who helps conceal him during a perilous train journey, but soon discovers that she is not all she seems.

From Amazon.co.uk

A strong candidate for possibly the most entertaining and enjoyable film ever made by a Hollywood studio, North by Northwest is positioned between the much heavier and more profoundly disturbing Vertigo (1958) and the stark horror of Psycho (1960). In the corpus of Alfred Hitchcock films it shows the director at his most effervescent in a romantic comedy-thriller that also features one of the definitive Cary Grant performances. Which is not to say that this is just "Hitchcock Lite". It's a classic Hitchcock Wrong Man scenario: Grant is Roger O Thornhill (initials ROT), an advertising executive who is mistaken by enemy spies for a US undercover agent named George Kaplan. Convinced these sinister fellows (James Mason as the boss and Martin Landau as his henchman) are trying to kill him, Roger flees and meets a sexy Stranger on a Train (Eva Marie Saint), with whom he engages in one of the longest, most convolutedly choreographed kisses in screen history. And of course there are the famous set pieces: the stabbing at the United Nations, the crop-duster plane attack in the cornfield (where a pedestrian has no place to hide) and the cliffhanger finale atop the stone faces of Mount Rushmore. With its sparkling Ernest Lehman script and that pulse-quickening Bernard Herrmann score, what more could a filmgoer possibly desire? --Jim Emerson, Amazon.com

On the DVD: This wide-screen print of the movie looks remarkably fresh, preserving the vivid depth of the original's VistaVision cinematography. The main extra feature is a new and entertaining 40-minute documentary hosted by Eva Marie Saint in which most of the surviving cast and crew give their insights into the making of the picture (we learn for example that canny Cary Grant charged 15 cents per autograph). Screenwriter Ernest Lehman provides an audio commentary and on a separate audio-only track Bernard Herrmann's masterful score can be heard in its entirety. There's also a stills gallery and trailers. --Mark Walker --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

102 of 109 people found the following review helpful By Mark Barry HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Nov 2009
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
*** THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE BLU RAY REISSUES ***

As you watch the credits of Hitch's 1959 masterpiece "North By Northwest" roll up on the screen in all their resplendent VistaVision Technicolor glory - the shiny, cold and aloof glass panelling of a New York skyscraper acts as their backdrop.

It's a brilliant touch - because combined with Bernard Herrmann's staccato score - it ratchets up the tension - and also subliminally suggests to the viewer that some poor John Doe is about to get rightly and royally screwed by big business and big Government - or both. And of course - mistaken for a UN diplomat called George Caplin - our hapless hero George Thornhill (played by Cary Grant) - does just that. Then when the opening credits end and Cary exits the lift with his secretary (Doreen Lang) all suited-n-booted and looking dapper enough to lick - another element kicks in - the extraordinary picture quality...

State-of-the art frame-by-frame Lowry Digital restoration has taken place here and the result is that the print is just BEAUTIFUL. I raved in a UK Listmania list some 3 years ago about how good the DVD looked - well this BLU RAY is way better - and at times just jaw-dropping to look at. Icing on the cake is that this 50th Anniversary BLU RAY reissue (Nov 2009) also adds on some superlative new features which are just as good as the film itself.

Here's the full list:
1. Commentary by Ernest Lehman (Original Script-Writer)
2. New 2009 Documentary "The Master's Touch: Hitchcock's Signature Style"
(over 50 minutes - featuring comments from directors Martin Scorsese, Curtis Hanson, Frances Lawrence, Guillermo del Toro and many more)
3.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. Lamdin on 1 April 2005
Format: DVD
I have to admit, this is probably my very favourite film - bar none. The story line is tight, the action fast and well paced, Cary Grant is well, Cary Grant, and James Mason and his sidekick Martin Landau make splendid "baddies". Apparently the title role was a choice between Cary Grant and another Hithcock favourite, James Stewart, but Hitch rightly picked Cary Grant for this light hearted, faster paced action role.
This film does not attract the same critical acclaim as some of Hitchcocks other work - like Vertigo for instance - perhaps because it is a straightforward action/thriller. Not for a minute does the pace let up as Cary Grant, mistaken for a secret agent, is pursued across the USA, working his way from one famous location to another by different transport. One scene stands out and is beloved of film commentators - the "crop duster" scene, which starts with a crane shot, looking over a dustbowl, into which a Greyhound drives, and leaves Cary Grant alone to meet the mysterious Lester Townsend.
A documentary narrated by Eva Marie Saint (another Hitchcock blonde) provides insight into the making of the film.
My only criticism of the disc would be that to my untrained eye on my standard TV, the picture quality doesn't seem quite as sharp as I'd expected, and the colours have a slightly unreal hue about them, which was presumably due to the type of film stock used back then in 1959.
A great, great picture - one that every film fan should see at least once.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Tim R. Haveron Jones on 20 Mar 2002
Format: DVD
Anyone who thinks that the DVD format is only any good for new releases with eye-popping effects should buy this - an excellent DVD treatment of one of the most entertaining movies of all time.
It may be over forty years old, but it certainly doesn't look it - from the gorgeous opening titles through to the climax of the movie, this is a sumptuous transfer.
The extras - including a whimsical Ernest Lehman commentary - are above average among classic Hollywood movies.
All in all, I would challenge anyone to find a better value DVD anywhere. A must-have for anyone with the remotest interest in movies.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By James on 9 Mar 2010
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Blu-ray all zone

Ratio of the feature film:
1.78:1

Languages of the feature film:
Dolby True HD 5.1: English
Dolby 1.0: French, German, Italian, Castilian Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese
Dolby 2.0: Isolated Score Track by Bernard Hermann

Subtitles for all the videos:
English, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Castilian Spanish, Latin Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese

Verdict:
An outstanding picture and sound for this master-piece which was perfectly well restored.
A true pleasure to watch this film again in such fantastic conditions.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By E. Smith TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Nov 2009
Format: Blu-ray
I won't try to compete with the big excellent, detailed review here, but if you're wondering if you should splash out on buying the Blu-ray whilst owning the DVD, I would say - definitely. If you don't already own the DVD, then don't hesitate with the Blu-ray.

I love seeing older films in colour and in the best possible format, and this one must be very close to the top of the tree in terms of picture quality. Everything looks vibrant and you almost feel part of 1950s America.

Just buy it, lie back and enjoy. You won't regret it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. O'Leary on 4 Jan 2010
Format: Blu-ray
There's not much point in commenting on this 50 year old classic except to say that it may be Cary Grant's finest hour (what! no Oscar again?), is certainly one of Alfred Hitchcock's finest efforts, and obviously cinematic perfection from the moment Saul Bass's superb title sequence hits the screen right through to the thrilling Mount Rushmore finale.

What's more important is how good a job Warner Brothers have done in bringing Hitchcock to Blu-Ray for the first time, and I can happily report that this first of hopefully many Hitchcock releases is very satisfying indeed.

There's a stack of new docs and features for a start off. The full length Cary Grant Biography is the best I've ever seen, and this alone makes the disk essential for any fan. There's also two other new (and again quite lengthy) docs discussing the film's influence and Hitchcock's career, with a fair bit of input from some current directors (although apart from William Friedkin and Guillermo del Toro they're a little "B" list). For completion, the disk also includes the Eva Marie Saint hosted "making of" from the original DVD release (actually the second best of the docs after the Cary Grant Bio). That was enough to keep me occupied for a whole afternoon (I've not heard the commentaries yet).

There appears to be a lot of enthusiasm for the image quality in the other reviews here, and rightly so, but I believe it to be merely excellent rather than perfect.
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