North by Northwest
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.

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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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Factual error: When Cary Grant is attacked by the crop duster, he is supposed to be between Chicago and Indianapolis. Unfortunately, northwest Indiana looks nothing like this. The scene in the movie has miles and miles of treeless landscape. Even in the flattest farmlands of Indiana, there are many visible groves of trees.

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More mistakes in 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.

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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.

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Trivia: In the auction gallery, Cary Grant says to Eva Marie Saint, whom he sees with the spies for the first time, "The three of you together: here's a picture only Charles Addams could draw." This referred to a New Yorker cartoonist who specialized in macabre and grotesque characters. The reference would probably have been lost to Italian viewers, but the dubber did his homework, and the translation was, "The three of you together: just like something out of Dracula and Frankenstein."

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More trivia for North by Northwest


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

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Roger Thornhill: I don't like the way Teddy Roosevelt is looking at me.

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Cubs Fan

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.

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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

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

Blibbetyblip

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: 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

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