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North by Northwest
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North by Northwest (1959) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 47 | slideshow) Videos (see all 3)
North by Northwest -- Cary Grant stars as a Madison Avenue advertising exec who is mistaken for someone else and kidnapped by a group of international spies, headed by James Mason.
North by Northwest -- Alfred Hitchcock gives a tour of the film in this trailer for the Special Edition DVD and Blu-Ray release.
North by Northwest -- Trailer two for this Hitchcock classic


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8.4/10   205,816 votes »
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Ernest Lehman (written by)
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Release Date:
26 September 1959 (Japan) See more »
Alfred Hitchcock takes you.... North by Northwest! See more »
A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Wonderful comedy thriller, not Hitchcock's best but his most sheerly enjoyable See more (499 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Cary Grant ... Roger O. Thornhill

Eva Marie Saint ... Eve Kendall

James Mason ... Phillip Vandamm

Jessie Royce Landis ... Clara Thornhill

Leo G. Carroll ... The Professor
Josephine Hutchinson ... Mrs. Townsend

Philip Ober ... Lester Townsend

Martin Landau ... Leonard

Adam Williams ... Valerian

Edward Platt ... Victor Larrabee

Robert Ellenstein ... Licht

Les Tremayne ... Auctioneer
Philip Coolidge ... Dr. Cross
Patrick McVey ... Sergeant Flamm

Edward Binns ... Captain Junket

Ken Lynch ... Charley - Chicago Policeman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Stanley Adams ... Lieutenant Harding (uncredited)
Andy Albin ... Farmer (uncredited)
Anne Anderson ... Woman (uncredited)
Don Anderson ... Worker (uncredited)
Ernest Anderson ... Porter on Twentieth Century Ltd. (uncredited)

Malcolm Atterbury ... Man at Prairie Crossing (uncredited)
Tol Avery ... State Police Detective (uncredited)
Sam Bagley ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Frank Baker ... Man at Auction (uncredited)
Baynes Barron ... Taxi Driver #2 (uncredited)
Brandon Beach ... Man at Auction (uncredited)
John Beradino ... Sergeant Emile Klinger (uncredited)
Stephen Bolster ... Man with Camera (uncredited)
Steve Carruthers ... Man at Auction (uncredited)
Taggart Casey ... Shaving Man (uncredited)
Bill Catching ... Auction Attendant (uncredited)
Bob Coe ... Cropduster Pilot (uncredited)
David A. Cox ... Police Officer on Horse (uncredited)
Walter Coy ... U.S. Intelligence Agency Official (uncredited)
Jimmy Cross ... Taxi Driver #1 (uncredited)
Lucille Curtis ... Woman (uncredited)
Patricia Cutts ... Hospital Patient (uncredited)
Jack Daly ... Train Steward (uncredited)
John Damler ... Police Lieutenant (uncredited)
Lawrence Dobkin ... U.S. Intelligence Agency Official (uncredited)
Alphonso DuBois ... Man at United Nations Building (uncredited)
Tommy Farrell ... Eddie - Elevator Starter (uncredited)
Jesslyn Fax ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Adolph Faylauer ... Bald Bidder (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Hotel Lounge Patron (uncredited)
Josephine Forsberg ... Friendly Passenger (uncredited)
Sally Fraser ... Second United Nations Receptionist (uncredited)
Paul Genge ... Lieutenant Hagerman (uncredited)

Ned Glass ... Ticket Seller (uncredited)
James Gonzalez ... Man at Auction (uncredited)
Tom Greenway ... Silent State Police Detective (uncredited)
Robert Haines ... Man at United Nations Building (uncredited)
Stuart Hall ... Train Passenger (uncredited)
Len Hendry ... Police Lieutenant (uncredited)

Alfred Hitchcock ... Man Who Misses Bus (uncredited)
Stuart Holmes ... Hotel Lounge Patron (uncredited)
Hideo Inamura ... Man at United Nations Building (uncredited)
Eugene Jackson ... Security Guard at Auction (uncredited)
Bobby Johnson ... Waiter (uncredited)
Dick Johnstone ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Sid Kane ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp ... Man Leaving Office Building (uncredited)
Madge Kennedy ... Mrs. Finlay (uncredited)
Colin Kenny ... Man at Auction (uncredited)
Doreen Lang ... Maggie - Roger's Secretary (uncredited)
Larry Leverett ... Man in Phone Booth (uncredited)
Carl M. Leviness ... Man at United Nations Building (uncredited)
Alexander Lockwood ... Judge Anson B. Flynn (uncredited)
Frank Marlowe ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Nora Marlowe ... Anna - Housekeeper (uncredited)
Tom Marshall ... Police Officer in Chicago (uncredited)
Thomas Martin ... Train Passenger (uncredited)
James McCallion ... Plaza Valet (uncredited)
Maura McGiveney ... Attendant (uncredited)
Carl Milletaire ... Hotel Clerk (uncredited)
Hans Moebus ... Man at United Nations Building (uncredited)
Howard Negley ... Conductor on Twentieth Century, Ltd. (uncredited)
Monty O'Grady ... Man at United Nations Building (uncredited)
Murray Pollack ... Worker (uncredited)
Charles Postal ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Maudie Prickett ... Elsie - Maid (uncredited)
Hugh Pryor ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Ralph Reed ... Bellhop (uncredited)
John Roy ... Train Passenger (uncredited)
Cosmo Sardo ... Worker (uncredited)
Jeffrey Sayre ... Hotel Lounge Patron / Man at Mt. Rushmore Cafeteria (uncredited)
Scott Seaton ... Man at Auction (uncredited)
Harry Seymour ... Victor - Captain of Waiters (uncredited)

Robert Shayne ... Larry Wade (uncredited)
Doris Singh ... First United Nations Receptionist (uncredited)
Jeremy Slate ... Policeman at Grand Central Station (uncredited)
Olan Soule ... Assistant Auctioneer (uncredited)
Helen Spring ... Bidder (uncredited)
Harvey Stephens ... Stockbroker (uncredited)
Bert Stevens ... Man at United Nations Building (uncredited)
Harry Strang ... Assistant Conductor (uncredited)
Paul Togawa ... Man at United Nations Building (uncredited)
Arthur Tovey ... Man at Auction (uncredited)
Dale Van Sickel ... Ranger (uncredited)
Ray Weaver ... Policeman at Grand Central Station (uncredited)
Susan Whitney ... Attendant (uncredited)

Frank Wilcox ... Herman Weitner (uncredited)

Lloyd Williams ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Robert Williams ... Patrolman Waggoner (uncredited)
Paula Winslowe ... Woman at Auction (uncredited)
Wilson Wood ... Photographer at United Nations (uncredited)

Carleton Young ... Fanning Nelson (uncredited)
Ernesto Zambrano ... Man at Auction (uncredited)

Directed by
Alfred Hitchcock 
Writing credits
Ernest Lehman (written by)

Produced by
Herbert Coleman .... associate producer
Alfred Hitchcock .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Bernard Herrmann 
Cinematography by
Robert Burks (director of photography)
Film Editing by
George Tomasini 
Casting by
Leonard Murphy (uncredited)
Production Design by
Robert F. Boyle  (as Robert Boyle)
Art Direction by
William A. Horning 
Merrill Pye 
Set Decoration by
Henry Grace (set decorations)
Frank R. McKelvy (set decorations) (as Frank McKelvey)
Makeup Department
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair styles
William Tuttle .... makeup artist
Peggy Shannon .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Stanley Smith .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Ruby Rosenberg .... unit manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert Saunders .... assistant director
Mickey McCardle .... assistant director (uncredited)
Tim Whelan Jr. .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Matty Azzarone .... leadman (uncredited)
Harry Edwards .... props (uncredited)
Henry Greutert .... sculptor (uncredited)
Mentor Huebner .... storyboard artist (uncredited)
John Ricardo .... second props (uncredited)
Sound Department
Franklin Milton .... recording supervisor
Tom Hadley .... boom operator (uncredited)
Van Allen James .... supervising sound editor (uncredited)
Bert Mott .... boom operator (uncredited)
Tom Overton .... boom operator (uncredited)
Howard Voss .... sound mixer (uncredited)
Charles Wallace .... sound mixer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
A. Arnold Gillespie .... special effects
Lee LeBlanc .... special effects
Doug Hubbard .... special effects (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Cliff Shirpser .... optical matte camera operator (uncredited)
Matthew Yuricich .... matte artist (uncredited)
Ray Austin .... stunts (uncredited)
Bill Catching .... stunts (uncredited)
Leonard P. Geer .... stunts (uncredited)
Sol Gorss .... stunt double: Cary Grant (uncredited)
Robert F. Hoy .... stunts (uncredited)
Paul Stader .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
Dale Van Sickel .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Kenny Bell .... still photographer (uncredited)
Howard Bradner .... grip (uncredited)
Howard Cashion .... camera mechanic (uncredited)
Bobby Greene .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Michael P. Joyce .... camera loader (uncredited)
Michael P. Joyce .... camera operator: crop-dusting sequence (uncredited)
James V. King .... camera operator: crop-dusting sequence (uncredited)
Bud McNeil .... best boy (uncredited)
Bill Shaw .... gaffer (uncredited)
Tom Smith .... grip (uncredited)
Leonard J. South .... camera operator (uncredited)
Felix Trimboli .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Paul Weddell .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Casting Department
Larry Leverett .... extras casting coordinator (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Harry Kress .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Charles K. Hagedon .... color consultant
Edward K. Milkis .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Bernard Herrmann .... conductor (uncredited)
Bernard Herrmann .... music arranger (uncredited)
Bernard Herrmann .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Saul Bass .... titles designed by
Robert Foss .... location auditor (uncredited)
Peggy Robertson .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest" - UK (complete title), USA (complete title)
See more »
136 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System) | Dolby SR | Dolby Digital
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Australia:G (1959-1998) | Brazil:14 | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Canada:14 (Nova Scotia) (2000) | Finland:K-16 | France:U | Germany:12 (DVD rating) | Iceland:L | Ireland:PG | Japan:G (2009) | Netherlands:12 (2008 re-release) | Netherlands:AL (DVD rating) | Netherlands:12 (re-rating) | Norway:16 | Peru:14 | Portugal:M/12 | South Korea:12 | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (re-release) (re-rating) (1995) (2006) | UK:PG (video rating) (1986) (1993) (2001) (2004) | USA:Approved (MPAA rating: certificate #19156) | USA:TV-G (TV rating) | West Germany:16 (original rating) | West Germany:12 (re-rating)

Did You Know?

According to the book, "Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light", by Patrick McGilligan, Yul Brynner was a first consideration for the role of Phillip Vandamm.See more »
Continuity: When Thornhill is looking through the telescope at Mount Rushmore, during the first and last shorts, the Professor is sitting on the far side of the bench, but on the close-ups, he is sitting very close to Thornhill.See more »
Roger Thornhill:[to Eve] Who are you kidding? You have no feelings to hurt.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Dark Side of the Moon (2002) (TV)See more »
I've Grown Accustomed to Her FaceSee more »


Where is Hitchcock's cameo in this movie?
What route does Thornhill follow as he travels north by northwest?
Who is George Kaplan, and why do Valerian and Licht want him?
See more »
122 out of 168 people found the following review useful.
Wonderful comedy thriller, not Hitchcock's best but his most sheerly enjoyable, 30 September 2004
Author: DrLenera

North By Northwest is not an artistic masterpiece like Rear Window and Vertigo, but it is probably the most purely entertaining picture Hitchcock ever made. It's essentially a rehash of many of his earlier films, with a plot partially derived from The Thirty Nine Steps and the very similar Saboteur, while there are borrowings from Foreign Correspondent and Notorious, among others. However, it is all done with such style and confidence that it doesn't matter if it's essentially just a greatest hits package.

Very few other films of this kind attain the near perfect tone of this one, precariously balanced between seriousness and silliness. Sometimes this film manages the very difficult trick of being both suspenseful and comical at the same time, as in the auction house scene, or the wonderful scene in the lift when the hero's mother turns to two heavies in a lift looking menacingly at the hero and says "you gentlemen are not REALLY trying to kill my son, are you?".

Of course the famous crop dusting plane scene and the Mount Rushmore chase are terrific. The former is really more notable for the amount of time taken to build up to the action than the action itself, while the technical work on the latter still looks pretty good. In a totally different vein is the astonishingly frank seduction sequence on the train. Hitchcock takes his time here as with many of the other scenes, but the film is so crammed with memorable passages that one hardly notices it's 136 mins long.

Ernest Lehman's script is full of wonderful lines, many of them delivered so well by chief villain James Mason that at times we almost want to root for him. "Has any one ever told you tend to overplay your various roles Mr seems to me you fellows could stand a little less training from the FBI and a little more from the Actor's Studio". Cary Grant is so smooth one almost forgets he's over 50, and of course there's also Bernard Herrmann's vibrant score.

Endlessly enjoyable even with repeated viewings. How many of today's thrillers will be such fun in 25 years time?

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for North by Northwest (1959)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Sexual symbolism of the final shot... barcham_99
Gaffes? Erniesam
Paging Mr. Kaplan mike-osullivan3
Really would like to understand what is so special about this film marax-4
The cropduster scene georgijeg1
North by Northwest should be included to AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs benz20130829
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