Tag Archives: Martin Landau

One of Mr. A’s fav film classics: North by Northwest

in North by Northwest, 1959

Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint. Image via Wikipedia

English: Sign near Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota,...

Cover of "North by Northwest"

Cover of North by Northwest

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore (Photo credit: edebell)

Always delighted to discover a connection with the Toothsome One. When I read a while back in an article that one of his favorite movies was the Hitchcock classic North by Northwest, I was chuffed.

That’s because NbN is also a personal fav of the mister and I.

I am a big Hitchcock fan anyway, and North by Northwest might be the Hitch movie I like the best.

There’s suspense, intrigue, considerable humor, romance and a nail-biting denouement on the faces of Mount Rushmore. There’s the handsome and charismatic Cary Grant in the lead, the inimitable James Mason as the chief baddie and lovely Eva Marie Saint as a classic Hitchcock blonde—cool and calm, but with hints of passion bubbling beneath it all.

Grant plays a “Mad Man,” a successful New York advertising executive named Roger Thornhill. Thornhill is mistaken for a government agent by a ring of international spies and ends up being chased across the country with both the goodies and the baddies in pursuit. Saint is the beautiful and mysterious blonde who comes to his aid.

One of the most exciting and iconic sequences takes place in a Midwestern cornfield with Grant trying to avoid being killed by an unfriendly crop duster.

A personal connection I have with the movie is that part of it is set in Rapid City, S.D. and the afore-mentioned Mount Rushmore.

We lived in Rapid City for several years when we first married. I have visited the hotel featured in several scenes and I’ve been to Mt. Rushmore a number of times—a very impressive sight, I have to say, not matter how often I visited. In fact, from our own backyard, we could see the faint outline of those famous faces. In the summertime when they held the lighting ceremonies, we enjoyed watching the headlights of the cars as they came winding down the mountain.

Of course, they use a Hollywood set for the famous scene set at Mt. Rushmore. But it’s fun imagining Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and a dastardly Martin Landau in one of his first movie roles crawling around on Washington’s eyebrows or Lincoln’s nose.

This 1959 production clocks in at 131 minutes of time well spent. Mr. Armitage and I highly recommend it. Now, if I could just manage to have a screening of this classic with a nice bag of hot buttered popcorn shared with a certain TDHBEW . . .