8 Things You Never Knew About North by Northwest

The internet is abuzz with news of Kim and Kanye’s new baby, North West. Since I’m kind of a nerd and don’t know much about the Kardashians I just keep thinking, “They must really love Alfred Hitchcock movies!”

I’m sure they love to curl up with a good thriller because—celebrities, they’re just like us. North By Northwest is arguably the greatest Hitchcock movie ever made. Why wouldn’t you name your daughter after it?

The 1959 spy thriller is essentially a case of mistaken identity where the wrong man is pursued by agents attempting to smuggle microfilm loaded with government secrets.


  • 8 Things You Never Knew About North By Northwest 1 of 9
  • 1st Film to Use Animated Credits 2 of 9

    North by Northwest was the first film to use kinetic typography in the opening credits designed by the amazing Saul Bass. Kinetic typography is animated words—credits that move across the screen. You see it all the time now and you take it for granted. Shame on you. Let's give North by Northwest its proper due for being the first.

    You know what my kids would say if I told them about the kinetic typography in North by Northwest's opening credits?

    "What are opening credits?"

    Image Source: Flyer Goodness

  • Born of Writer’s Block 3 of 9

    Alfred Hitchcock's official biographer suggests that the story for North by Northwest originated after a spell of writer's block while working on another film with Ernest Lehman. After a couple of weeks, Lehman offered to quit saying he didn't know what to do with the story. Hitchcock told him they got along great together and they would just write something else. Lehman said that he wanted to make the ultimate Hitchcock film. Hitchcock thought for a moment then said he had always wanted to do a chase across Mount Rushmore.

    And the rest is history.

    Hitch available at Amazon for 23.80

  • Best Suit in Film History 4 of 9


    The gray suit worn by Cary Grant throughout almost the entire film was dubbed the best suit in film history by GQ, and the most influential on men's style, stating that it has since been copied for Tom Cruise's character in Collateral and Ben Affleck's character in Paycheck.

    Advertising exec in an impeccable suit? Cary Grant was Mad Men before being Mad Men was a thing.

    Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

  • Hitchcock Picked Out All of Eva Marie Saint’s Clothes 5 of 9

    Eva Marie Saint's wardrobe for the film was originally entirely chosen by MGM. Alfred Hitchcock didn't like the selections so he and Eva Marie Saint went to Bergdorf Goodman in New York to select what she would wear. Sounds like a fun shopping trip. Kind of reminds me of Kanye and Kim, except Alfred Hitchcock holds doors open for ladies.

     Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

  • Crop-Duster Was Originally a Tornado 6 of 9

    Originally Alfred Hitchcock wanted Cary Grant to be chased by a cyclone. In the documentary Destination Hitchcock, co-writer Ernest Lehman remembers wondering, "How could the bad guys conjure up a cyclone?" They reworked it into the iconic scene of Cary Grant being chased by a crop-dusting plane.

    Image Source: The Big Picture

  • Hitchcock insisted on a full-length feature 7 of 9

    North by Northwest was made in a time when big studios ran Hollywood. Alfred Hitchcock was a big enough name and a talented enough genius to buck the studio every now and then. When MGM asked him to cut the movie by 15 minutes so its run time would come in under 2 hours, he flatly refused.

    The movie clocks in at 136 minutes. It's the little victories, you know?

     Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

  • Eva Marie Saint Got Censored 8 of 9

    But Hitchcock did have to make some concessions. Supposedly the censors didn't like one of Eva Marie Saint's lines during a dining car seduction scene and it had to be redubbed because it was too risque. She originally said "I never make love on an empty stomach," but it was changed in post-production to "I never discuss love on an empty stomach." Woo. Woo.

    Oh my lands. What would Kanye have to say about that?

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

  • 100% Approval on Rotten Tomatoes 9 of 9
    Screen Shot 2013-06-21 at 11.52.39 PM

    The critics at Rotten Tomatoes don't agree on much, but they agree on North By Northwest. It has a 100% approval rating based on 62 reviews. 62 reviewers can't be wrong!

    I'm sure that's exactly what Kim and Kanye said about all the critics of their baby girl's name on Twitter, but the opposite.

    See for yourself.

    And see for yourself.

Article Posted 3 years Ago
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