North by Northwest

Continuity mistake: As Thornhill backs away from murdered Townsend, the knife in his hand changes from point down to point up. (00:38:10)

Phoenix

Continuity mistake: When the aircraft crashes into the tanker, the position of the aircraft, relative to the edge of the road at impact and afterward, changes several times.

Continuity mistake: His suit changes colour as he is running from the aeroplane. First blue, then brown, then back to blue.

Continuity mistake: When Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint are riding in the dinner car on the train, there are several instances where the landscape/view as seen from their window repeats itself. Keep an eye out for a bridge they never get any closer to, and a section of tall iron work near the tracks they keep passing over and over.

HuskyMiller

Continuity mistake: When Cary Grant arrives at the hotel in Chicago, he sees Eva Marie Saint enter an elevator. By looking at the indicator light he sees that she has gotten off on the fourth floor. He would have had to have binoculars to see the elevator indicator light from where he was standing.

Continuity mistake: The top and back of Mount Rushmore looks nothing like they portray it in the final scenes of the film. This is a mountain, and they would need climbing equipment to get to the top of the mountain. Also there are no trees at the top, and the is a vault at the top of the mountain, behind the monuments. This vault was originally planned to be used as a museum, but Congress withdrew funding because of World War II, and the museum was never completed.

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Cary Grant runs out of the hotel and jumps into a waiting cab, the two bad guys giving chase immediately jump in the next cab and should be the very next vehicle right behind Cary Grant's. But when Cary Grant looks behind him through the cab window to see if he's being followed, the bad guy's cab has disappeared. We get a clear line of sight all the way back to the hotel and the car is not there. Instead we see a third cab pulling into the space they just left.

HuskyMiller

Continuity mistake: Cary's position was close to Eva and he almost kissed her, but then his position is farther away when he asks, "Shall I?" Also, in the kissing scene, when Cary is shown he is kissing her near an open door, but then they are against the wall again. (00:53:40)

Lateefa

Continuity mistake: When Cary Grant's character, Roger Thornhill arrives at the UN building in search of George Kaplan we see his shadow fall onto the door of the cab, as if the sun is behind him. But when you look at the pedestrians on the sidewalk, their shadow falls in the opposite direction. Simple mistake to make when using 3 point lighting in a studio environment to produce a rear projection process shot.

Continuity mistake: At Prairie Stop 21, after the second man arrives, shots on Thornhill show that his left arm is bent (the sleeve is folded), but the wide shot on both of them shows his arms at his sides. (01:09:45)

Phoenix

Continuity mistake: When Eva Marie Saint is going out to the aeroplane near the end of the film, it is dark as they walk away from the house, but by the time they reach the plane it is suddenly daylight.

Continuity mistake: When Thornhill is talking to the maid in Kaplan's hotel room, right after she identifies him as Kaplan, his arm changes from bent over his stomach to straight at his side. (00:29:45)

Phoenix

Continuity mistake: When the truck is about to run Thornhill over, skidmarks running along the road appear/disappear randomly between shots.

Sacha Premium member

Continuity mistake: When the plane crashes against the truck its wipers face the left side. A shot later it's facing the right side.

Sacha Premium member

Continuity mistake: When the opening credits roll-in stating that the events are fictitious, there is a shot of a woman in blue exiting a building. When the credits end after Hitchcock's cameo, the same shot is re-used though this time from a couple of seconds earlier.

Sacha Premium member

Continuity mistake: When Thornhill is served a Martini in the train, check the toothpick and you'll see it keeps moving around between shots.

Sacha Premium member

North by Northwest mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Thornhill makes a call at the train station the cord of the phone is curled in the wide angle but straight in the close-up.

Sacha Premium member

Continuity mistake: When the CIA meets, the paper next to the professor changes positions between shots and a matchbox appears and disappears randomly.

Sacha Premium member

Continuity mistake: When Thornhill is at the Plaza with his friends, a man grabs a drink and takes a sip while he places his left hand on the table. A shot later the glass is on the table and his left hand not.

Sacha Premium member

Continuity mistake: Amount of people walking on the street changes drastically between the moment Thornhill is in the cab with his secretary to when he gets out.

Sacha Premium member

North by Northwest mistake picture Video

Revealing mistake: In the shooting scene in the Mount Rushmore cafe, a boy in the background puts his fingers in his ears, because he knows the gun is about to be shot.

More mistakes in North by Northwest

Roger Thornhill: The moment I meet an attractive woman, I have to start pretending I have no desire to make love to her.
Eve Kendall: What makes you think you have to conceal it?
Roger Thornhill: She might find the idea objectionable.
Eve Kendall: Then again, she might not.

More quotes from North by Northwest
More trivia for North by Northwest

Question: Several times in the movie one character is able to ascertain in which hotel room another character is staying simply by asking the front desk for the room number. Was this realistic at the time the movie was made? Today, a hotel would never divulge a guest's room number to a stranger, since such information could potentially be used by burglars and/or predators to gain access to hotel rooms. Was security really that lax in the 1950s?

Answer: Not really. You could (and at some hotels are still able to) keep your room number private or you could not - i.e. you could ask the hotel staff to keep your number secret from strangers, or you could ask them to tell anyone who might ask. Not having seen this movie, I don't know how likely it would be in the situations you speak of that the hotel guest would choose the latter option- it might be a mistake.

Blibbetyblip

Answer: Yes, security was that lax in the 1950s and beyond. People could acquire all kinds of information about individuals from various types of businesses. Not all were so careless, but many were or they naively didn't see a concern. In the late 1980s, I was a student at a university where a non-university person obtained his ex-girlfriend's class schedule simply by requesting it in-person from the registrar's office. Using that information, he was able to locate and fatally shoot her on campus.

raywest Premium member

More questions & answers from North by Northwest

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