North by Northwest Blu-ray Review – 1959 Film, Hitchcock’s Best?

North by Northwest Blu-ray Review

I’m a massive Alfred Hitchcock and Cary Grant fan so North by Northwest is indeed one of my favourite films. There’s good news too, it’s been restored and released on blu-ray. Have they done a good or great restoration? Well I guess it’s high time I find out, so without further ado here’s my North by Northwest blu-ray review.

  • North by Northwest (1959) – 50th Anniversary Edition
  • UK Rating 12
  • Discs: 1
  • Released By Warner Bros
  • Blu-ray Released: 16 November 2009


Advertising executive Roger Thornhill finds himself in a case of mistaken identity when he summons the waiter just as George Kaplan’s name is shouted out. Two shady looking characters see this and believe they have found their man.

They kidnap him at gunpoint and take him to a big house for interrogation by spy Phillip Vandamm. From here on in Roger Thornhill’s predicament becomes life threatening, will anyone believe he is not the elusive George Kaplan?

Written by Ernest Lehman.

Style / Direction

Epic in scale including a fabulous ending resulting in a pursuit across the top of Mount Rushmore. It’s incredibly well shot with many scenes extremely iconic no more so than crop duster plane. Roger Thornhill awaits a meeting with George Kaplan but then finds himself under fire from the air. It’s simply brilliant as is the entire film from start to finish.

Alfred Hitchcock in my opinion is the best ever director bringing many innovations to cinema. They are however all done to improve the story telling and enhance the drama and tension.

Hitchcock’s direction and style in North by Northwest truly is perfection. Mind you the cinematography by Robert Burks isn’t half bad either!

Music / Audio Effects

What can I say the music is magnificent and epic, but that really should come as no surprise as it’s from a great composer, Bernard Herrmann. There’s no doubting his collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock improves the film massively almost becoming another character in fact. North by Northwest is among my very favourite scores of all time.

North by Northwest music = Perfection

Acting / Characters

Hitchcock delivers the perfect casting in all three of the main roles and thus makes watching this great film an absolute pleasure. Cary Grant really plays his role as Roger Thornhill / George Kaplan to perfection. It hard to explain just how he manages to do this but I believe that the Cary Grant persona he is known for is never better than in North by Northwest.

James Mason plays spy Phillip Vandamm, a man on the hunt for George Kaplan and his plans for him are not pleasant. Mason is very good at portraying an intelligent, stylish and commanding figure. The scenes with Grant and Mason particularly standout as the two go head to head with their very different styles.

Oh and let’s not forget the incredibly sexy and sophisticated Eva Marie Saint as Eve Kendall. The sparks instantly fly when she and Roger Thornhill meet aboard the train. The obvious attraction is clear to see none more than by their verbal jousting that is particularly fascinating to watch play out.

In short there really isn’t anything to complain about in the acting department only praise for some of the best performers in the business.

Conclusion: North by Northwest (1959) Film Review

As you may have realised I simply love this film. I consider this a flawless masterpiece that I never tire of watching. If you have somehow never seen it I cannot stress just how good a film it really is.

Great director, composer, story and of course actors.

If you enjoyed my North by Northwest Blu-ray Review so far you may want to check out the following films:

Conclusion: North by Northwest Blu-ray Review

Let’s start by saying the film looks absolutely amazing. The image is clean, sharp with the colours looking vibrant. There are no dirt marks anywhere to be found. Quite simply this is an outstanding Blu-ray release and a must own for film fans.


  • Commentary by Screenwriter Ernest Lehman
  • New 2009 Documentary Reveals The master’s Touch: Hitchcock’s Signature Style
  • Feature Length Career Profile Cary Grant: A Class Apart
  • Explore in Depth the Movie’s Innovations & Influences the New North by Northwest: One for the Ages
  • Vintage 2000 Documentary Destination Hitchcock: The making of North by Northwest
  • Stills Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailers & TV Spots

Popcorn Cinema Rating: North by Northwest (1959)




North by Northwest (1959) is available now on Blu-ray from Amazon.

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north by northwest blu-ray

North by Northwest (1959) Trailer

For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…

Clip may not be representative of the blu-ray version

That concludes my North by Northwest blu-ray review it really is one of my all-time favourite films. That said I’ll be reviewing all of the Alfred Hitchcock films that are currently available on blu-ray in the UK very soon. Some have been restored very well others not so well.

What Do You Think?
Summary: North by Northwest (1959) Blu-ray Review
north by northwest blu-ray

Movie title: North by Northwest (1959)

Duration: 136 mins

Director(s): Alfred Hitchcock

Actor(s): Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason

Genre: Thriller

  • Movie Rating
  • Blu-ray Picture Rating
  • Extras


A Hitchcock & Herrmann masterpiece!