North by Northwest
North by Northwest mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When in James Mason's house in South Dakota, Cary Grant writes a message to Eva Marie Saint on a matchbook from which several matches are missing. When Ms. Saint subsequently reads the message the matchbook is full.

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Continuity mistake: When Eva Marie Saint grabs the statue from James Mason and bolts, the spies chase after her. They had no way of knowing she would do such a thing, and yet they are suddenly equipped with long, heavy-duty flashlights.

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Continuity mistake: The first scene that they show of the train going up the Hudson River is wrong. The hills in the background are much further up the river past Croton NY. When they are eating the train is back down near the wider part of the Hudson around Tarrytown NY.

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Continuity mistake: In the scene where Cary Grant is hanging off Mount Rushmore, and Eva Marie Saint falls and grabs Cary's back pocket, she rips it but in the next scene the pants are un-ripped.

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Continuity mistake: In the scene where Eve writes on the note pad she doesn't write enough. Later you can see much more to the address.

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Continuity mistake: While Thornhill and his mother are investigating Kaplan's hotel room, he decides to try on one of the man's suits from the closet to see if he and Kaplan are similar in stature. He tries on a navy or dark colored suit coat and then holds the pants up against himself to check the length. In the close up of the trousers, they are now a light gray in color. The camera returns to a full shot and, once again, he has the darker trousers in his hands. You can also see the light gray suit in the closet behind him.

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Continuity mistake: In Eva Marie Saint's hotel room, after the crop-dusting, Cary Grant attempts to copy a note she has removed from a pad, by scratching with a pencil point - horizontally. In the close-up of the note, it has been scratched vertically.

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Continuity mistake: While Roger and Eve converse before dinner on the train, Roger's glass mysteriously changes places several times. When shot from behind, he's holding the glass; from the front, it's on the table.

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Continuity mistake: Cary Grant, running through Grand Central Station after fleeing from the UN Building, has brown shoes, then black, then brown.

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Continuity mistake: In the very first scene when the train pulls out of Grand Central Station you can see that the sun is setting. Then when they sit down to eat it's the middle of the day again.

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Continuity mistake: In the last scene before Chicago the train is going through the tunnel at Breakneck Pass north of Cold Spring NY. When they're going back home at the end of the movie theoretically they should be going the same way but they're not. The final tunnel shot in North by Northwest is the Southern Pacific railroad tunnel between Santa Susana and Chatsworth California.

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Continuity mistake: Near the beginning of the film, as Thornhill has arrived at The Plaza and is opening the door of the taxi to exit it; visible through the rear window is a red and white Ford taxi, parked behind Thornhill's taxi. Instantaneously, in the next shot taken from the sidewalk, he is shown completing his exit from the cab. Now however, there is a light colored Dodge taxi cab parked directly behind them.

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Continuity mistake: On the patio outside the restaurant at Mt. Rushmore the professor goes inside first. His shadow falls upward to the right, there is no glare on the upper windows and no building shadow on the ground. Thornhill walks in seconds later and his shadow falls downwards to the left, there is a strong glare on the windows and the building casting a shadow on the ground.

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North by Northwest mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Cary Grant writes a message on a matchbook and Eve Marie Saint reads it, the number of lines in the message changes. He writes 3 lines, she reads 4 lines.

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Continuity mistake: Thornhill and his mother go to Kaplan's hotel room, room 796, to check the place out. There are two telephones in the room and both phones have old-fashioned non-coil cords connecting the phone and the handset. But when Thornhill rings the buzzer to summon the maid you can see that the phone suddenly has a more modern coil handset cord.

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Continuity mistake: When the plane crashes into the truck, the bystanders walking towards the scene have shadows, which change angles as you see the next shot. They took them both in the morning and the afternoon.

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Continuity mistake: When Thornhill and Vandamm are seated in the café at Mount Rushmore, Vandamm clasps his hands together and rests them on the table. In the next shot, he has his hand flat against his body. In the following shot, his hands are back to being clasped.

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paolog

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

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Phoenix

Continuity mistake: In the scene on the train in the dining car, the flower arrangement on the table changes. When the shot is over Cary Grant's shoulder the flowers are pink carnations with four large leaves, but when the shot is over Eve Marie Saint's shoulder it's a smaller display of pink daisies with one leaf.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Phoenix

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

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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.

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HuskyMiller

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.

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HuskyMiller

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.

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Phoenix

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.

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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.

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Continuity mistake: During the crop-duster scene, the sun appears to gyrate around wildly, particularly when Cary Grant runs towards the Magnum Oil truck, forcing it to stop. The sun at this point is low down at this point with the shadow going long to the right (evening). When Cary Grant stands up and the driver tells him to run (after the crop-duster crashes into the truck), the sun has backed up to almost overhead with a very short shadow to the right (mid-day). This scene was apparently shot on the Garces Highway west of Delano, California in the flat Central Valley, a short distance east of Corcoran Road. Garces Highway is almost exactly east-west. All through the crop-duster scene the shadows appear in unexpected orientations from take to take.

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Quotes

[Roger Thornhill's matchbook carries the initials RoT.]
Eve Kendall: What does the O stand for?
Roger Thornhill: Oh, nothing.

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Mistakes

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.

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Trivia

In the scene when Cary Grant is going up the steps to the UN, Alfred Hitchcock shot it from a rug truck across the street. He wasn't allowed to shoot the front of the UN. If you look closely, you can see a security guard in the left corner.

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