North by Northwest

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

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)

????

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.

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: 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

Factual error: In the drunk driving scene when Thornhill was on his way to New York City from the Townsend mansion, there are no high cliff roads along the ocean in any route he may have taken. There are some cliffs in the Montauk area but that's over 100 miles away in the opposite direction and there are no high winding roads.

Factual error: The 20th Century Limited train, where Grant and Saint first meet, is supposed to be heading west in the afternoon, past the Great Lakes which should be on the right side of the train, but the lakes are visible through the windows on the left, so the views were shot heading east, and the supposed lowering late afternoon sun would in fact be the sun soon after sunrise.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The fact that you can see the far shore of the "Great lake" tells me this isn't Ontario, Erie, or Michigan. I always assumed it must be the Finger Lakes, but I'm not familiar with the topography there. Just an assumption based on the knowing the Great Lakes and knowing that's not what was out the window.

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

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

Audio problem: When Thornhill and Kendall reunite after the shooting, they are obviously on a soundstage and not on location in the wilderness. There is absolutely no background noise, which is impossible in the outdoors: leaves rustling, birds calling, water trickling, wind gusting, etc. prevent the complete silence depicted by the movie. The quality of the actors' voices also sounds like indoors rather than an open space. (01:46:30)

Phoenix

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

Visible crew/equipment: Right before Thornhill gets shot by Eve, he's talking to Vandamm at the table. The camera moves backward. You can see its shadow on Thornhill's arm.

manthabeat 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

More quotes from North by Northwest

Trivia: Cary Grant was born on January 18th, 1904, and the actress playing his mother, Jessie Royce Landis, was born on November 25th, 1896, making her just seven years older than Cary. According to commentary on the DVD, it was thought that casting Landis as Cary Grant's mother would make Cary look young enough to be a believable love interest for Eva Marie Saint.

More trivia for North by Northwest

Chosen answer: The original title for the movie was "In a Northwesterly Direction", as it was originally detailing the flight of a man from New York to Alaska, according to writer Earnest Lehman. According to Alfred Hitchcock, however, he took the title from a line in Hamlet, another work of fiction that is concerned with the slippery nature of reality. It is also worth noting that North by Northwest is not a direction on the compass at all. The nearest to it would be Northwest by North.

SexyIrishLeprechaun

More questions & answers from North by Northwest

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.