Irish Film Institute -NORTH BY NORTHWEST



136 minutes, U.S.A., 1959, Colour, D-Cinema

We are delighted to be joined by Dr. Harvey O’Brien (UCD Film Studies lecturer) on February 24th who will introduce the screening.

The formula used for The 39 Steps in 1930s Britain, and then of Saboteur in wartime America – falsely accused hero, travel, danger, romance, a hectic four-day time-span – is here reworked for the Cold War, for Cary Grant, and for colour and VistaVision. If North by Northwest marks the completion of the ‘Odyssey’ series, it is also the middle film in a different kind of trilogy, the three-film high point of Hitchcock’s career, spanning the industry’s key years of change at the end of the 1950s.

In between the bitter-sweet complexities of Vertigo and the bold entry into a new era of cinema with Psycho, Hitchcock and his team mount, as if in fond farewell, a perfectly-crafted celebration of all the pleasures of classical narrative, leading to a triumphantly positive multi-level resolution.

This film is screening as part of The Genius of Hitchcock: Part Three (February 2nd – 27th), which is part of a complete retrospective of the filmmaker’s work running until March 2013.

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