“Continental” style suits of 1959: Cary Grant in North by Northwest. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This is an evergreen Hitchcock movie and really famous for the crop- duster– plane- chasing- Cary Grant- scene. Cary Grant standing alone on a highway in his grey suit near a sign saying Indiana 41 in a vast panorama of uncultivated fields except one patch of tall corn stalks. As Hitchcock explains the audience expects Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) to be attacked by unknown people here. He (Hitchcock)wanted something out of the ordinary; something which would not fall into the category of cliché. A cliché for this scene according to him being a dark night, the hero standing under a lamp –post, footage of a black cat walking across the screen and then a long black car and rat-tat-tat the attempted gunning down of the hero.
No he did not want to do that. His scene is panoramic with wide open spaces. Where would the attack come from? A black car does approach on the highway but does not stop and just whizzes past Cary Grant. So where does the attack come from. The air-the crop -duster plane. The scene was prominently used on posters. This is I feel the primary reason for the movie’s fame.
Watch and decide.
There is no cacophonous crescendo music. Just real time sound. That makes it all the more exciting. There is the banter between Cary Grant and the stranger. This movie gave birth to the genre of thriller movies.