North by Northwest

Question: Why do the kidnappers take Thornhill to the Townsend home and pretend to be Lester Townsend and members of his household? They could have taken him to some obscure place instead, at less risk of being found out.

Chosen answer: More than likely, they felt that Roger would be dead and they would not be found out. The fact that he survives their DUI plot and returns to the house with the police only serves to makes him look more suspicious and guilty. It's to move the plot along, nothing more.

ChiChi

Question: Why is this movie called 'North by Northwest'?

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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

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?

Chosen 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

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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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