Madison Avenue advertising man Roger Thornhill finds himself thrust into the world of spies when he is mistaken for a man by the name of George Kaplan. Foreign spy Philip Vandamm and his henchman Leonard try to eliminate him but when Thornhill tries to make sense of the case, he is framed for murder. Now on the run from the police, he manages to board the 20th Century Limited bound for Chicago where he meets a beautiful blond, Eve Kendall, who helps him to evade the authorities. His world is turned upside down yet again when he learns that Eve isn't the innocent bystander he thought she was. Not all is as it seems however, leading to a dramatic rescue and escape at the top of Mt. Rushmore.Written by
In numerous interviews, Martin Landau said that he made a decision on his own to play the character of Leonard as gay and in love with Phillip Vandamm (James Mason). In an October 2012 interview with Devin Faraci, Landau said that he was cast in this movie when Sir Alfred Hitchcock "saw me in a play called 'Middle of the Night', Paddy Chayefsky's first Broadway play, with Edward G. Robinson, which I toured with after the Broadway run. He was there opening night. I played a very macho guy, one hundred eighty degrees from Leonard, who I chose to play as a homosexual, very subtly. Because he wanted to get rid of Eva Marie Saint with such a vengeance. James Mason, to the day he died, he became a friend of mine, the most often asked question of James was whether Vandamm, his character, was bisexual. He said, 'No he wasn't, but Landau made a choice, and there's nothing I can do about it.' I actually caused him some grief. Everyone told me not to do that because it was my first big movie and people would think I was gay. I'm an actor. I said it wasn't going to be my last movie, and it certainly wasn't. I've never played a character like that since. I also felt it was something people would know or not know. It was very subtle. I thought, 'in Boise, Idaho they might not notice.'" Landau also said that after he made the decision to play Leonard as gay, Hitchcock and Screenwriter Ernest Lehman were very supportive of the idea. "Ernie Lehman added a line which was not in the script. 'Call it my woman's intuition' was not in the original script. It was a very daring line for the 1950s. Men didn't say things like that. Hitchcock loved what I did, and left me alone." See more »
After the plane/truck incident, the shadows change by 180 degrees between shots of the spectator group and Thornhill driving away with the stolen car. See more »
[coming out of the crowded elevator, dictating to his secretary]
If you accept the belief that a high Trendex automatically means a rising sales curve...
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Right after his credit as director during the opening credits, Alfred Hitchcock is running toward the door of the city bus just as it slams shut on him! See more »
The print originally had an acknowledgement for the cooperation of the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service. But they requested it be removed after MGM violated the agreement that no violence would take place near the Mt. Rushmore monument. Some prints, however, were released with the acknowledgement still in. See more »
Alfred Hitchcock top-notch thriller/comedy embroils a a business man in killing and espionage
Thrilling flick with funny moments , nice acting , spectacular outdoors and fun dialogue . The tale is ordinary Hitchcock fare that plays and preys the senses , as a hapless New York advertising executive , Roger Thornhill, (Gary Grant got $450,000 -a substantial amount for the time - plus a percentage of the gross profits ; though Yul Brynner and William Holden was suggested to play him) is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies (James Mason , Martin Landau) and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive . Grant is chased by both : the patrolmen who think he's a killer and a spy ring who think he is a double agent . He is helped by a gorgeous train passenger named Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint , though the studio wanted Cyd Charisse or Sophia Loren for the female lead, and she wanted to do it, but contractual problems resulted in her having to turn it down for the part , but Hitchcock insisted upon Eva Marie Saint) .
Enjoyable mystery movie involves a bewildered ad-man who hold numerous tricks in order to escape from his captors and being chased cross country . Entertaining suspense movie packs humor , intrigue and ordinary Hitch touches . This agreeable and often hilarious picture from master of suspense has a memorable scene after another and was the only film Alfred Hitchcock made for MGM . Alfred Hitchcock's films have become famous for a number of elements and iconography : vertiginous height , innocent men wrongfully accused , blonde bombshells , voyeurism, long non-dialogue sequences , a matter of mistaken identity etc. This film has these particularities ; furthermore contains a fun intrigue , amusing situations and keeps the action at feverish pitch . Hitch was famous for making his actors follow the script to the word, and in this movie the characters use their dialogue taken from an interesting as well as fun screenplay by Ernest Lehman . Alfred Hitchcock's movies were known for featuring famous landmarks such as Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco convent in ¨Vertigo¨ and the Statue of Liberty in ¨Sabotage¨ . Here includes Mount Rushmore images and now-legendary scenes such as crop-dusting plane sequences and the train station scene that was shot in New York City's Grand Central Terminal .
Alfred Hitchcock couldn't get permission to film inside the UN, so footage was made of the interior of the building using a hidden camera, and the rooms were later recreated on a soundstage . Very good support cast such as James Mason , Martin Landau , Josephine Hutchinson , Les Tremayne as auctioneer and Jessie Royce Landis as mummy , though she was only 7 years older than Cary Grant, who plays her son . Features two actors who would go on to head spy agencies in their own 1960s television series. Edward Platt would star as "Chief" in ¨Get Smart¨, and Leo G. Carroll would star in ¨The man from U.N.C.L.E . And of course , Alfred Hitchcock cameo , he arrives at a bus stop during the opening credits but gets there a second too late and the door is closed in his face , he misses the bus.
Colorful and glimmer cinematography in Vistavision by Robert Burks , Alfred's ordinary cameraman , showing nice outdoors . Rousing score by Bernard Herrmann , he arranged his whimsical themes from Fandango music. Bernard and Hitch had a long as well as fruitful professional relationship . Rating : 8.5/10 . Essential and indispensable seeing , being perfectly directed by the master himself . Worthwhile watching , one of all-time amusement . Ranked #7 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Mystery"
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