North by Northwest

Revealing mistake: When Thornhill is going up the driveway of the house near Mount Rushmore, there are shadows, even though it is night-time! These shadows are far too strong to be moon shadows and there is no source of artificial light that could be making them.

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Audio problem: Before the famous attack by a crop spraying aircraft, Cary Grant is set down in the middle of nowhere from a Greyhound Scenicruiser. Another bus, a Flxible BR-29, also stops briefly. The soundtrack of the Scenicruiser's engine is re-used for the Flxible.

Factual error: The date shown on the newspaper after Cary Grant is accused of stabbing the diplomat at the U.N. is Nov. 25, 1958. The subsequent outdoor scenes clearly show leaves on the trees and people dressed for warmer weather.

Plot hole: The villains try to kill Cary Grant by getting him drunk and sending him off a cliff in a white Mercedes. He manages to get back on the road and they follow him in a Cadillac limousine. Cary passes a parked police car which gives chase. He brakes to avoid a bicyclist and the police car rear-ends the Mercedes. Immediately a blue 1941 Ford rear-ends the police car. Where did it come from? It would have to have been ahead of the Cadillac and very close to the police car to do so, but it doesn't appear until the moment of impact.

Revealing mistake: Thornhill & the "Professor" have a chat on the airport tarmack, in which it's revealed to Thornhill that Eve is a secret agent and in danger. At that moment the camera dollies in on Thornhill for dramatic effect. As it does, the distant airplane in the background gets closer very nearly as fast as does actor Cary Grant, revealing that the background in this scene is, in fact, a rear projection on a screen just beyond the actor. (01:40:15)

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.

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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Deliberate mistake: One of Eva Marie Saint's lines in the dining car seduction scene was re-dubbed. 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." It is said that the censors felt the original version was too risqué.

THGhost

Other mistake: The second bus in the scene before the crop duster has no license plate.

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: 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.

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.

Audio problem: Near the end of the movie when Cary Grant says, "Come along Mrs. Thornhill." If you read lips he's actually saying, "That's it." (02:15:45)

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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.

Visible crew/equipment: When Cary Grant and his film-mother enter the elevator at the Plaza this is filmed through a glass-door and you can see the reflection of a crewmember in a white shirt who is crouching below or next to the camera.

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

Revealing mistake: Right after Eve "shoots" Roger and meets up with him and The Professor, some of the trees wobble as the ambulance drives past them. (01:46:20)

THGhost

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

More quotes from North by Northwest

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.

More trivia for North by Northwest

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