Monday, December 01, 2008

Favorite Things: Day One

This is the first in a series of posts I'm going to try to do each day this month, counting down some of my favorite things (both of all-time and from the past year) to one of my favorite days of the year: Christmas.

Anyway, by random choice (as it was the first thing to pop into my head), today's topic will be one of my top-five favorite movies, North By Northwest.

I've loved this movie for so long that I can't even remember the first time I saw it. It had to be after the advent of video, so sometime after I was six years old, but I've gotta say, as a little kid, Roger O. Thornhill (Cary Grant) rated up there along with Indiana Jones, James Bond and Han Solo as one of the coolest motherfuckers on the planet. Not because he was an action-hero, because he was the pitch-perfect "wrong man" for this Alfred Hitchcock picture. Thornhill, implicated in an international spy-plot, by the scenery chewing James Mason (in the closest role he ever got to a Bond-villain) exemplifies himself in one of my favorite quotes:
Now you listen to me, I'm an advertising man, not a red herring. I've got a job, a secretary, a mother, two ex-wives and several bartenders that depend upon me, and I don't intend to disappoint them all by getting myself "slightly" killed.
I love this movie so much, that I cannot be objective about it in any way. It's like a perfect pop music album, it's all candy-coated and rather fake, but at the same time, you don't give a shit cause you're just bobbing your head along with the rhythm. Anyway, if you've never seen the picture, you really owe yourself to see it, if only to count the number of set-pieces that The Simpsons have stolen from it. Here's Mr. Hitchcock himself to sell you on it:

So that's the first of (hopefully) 25 for the next 25 days. I hope you'll tune in!


Bill said...

Great movie; one which, funny enough, I'd only first viewed about 10 years ago but which I've always watched ever since should I stumble across it on AMC.

Ben said...

This and Rear Window are indisolubly linked in my mind. Channel 32 used to run Hitchcock week and I always watched those two with an especially keen interest.

The MOMA in Chicago ran an exhibit a few years back where the artist shot a photo at the location of a famous film scene. One of 'em was the field from NBNW (with the killer cropduster). Very cool. Thanks for the reminder.