Hitchcock, Hollywood Spies & North by Northwest

Jay's Analysis

United Nations subterfuge in North by Northwest. United Nations subterfuge in North by Northwest.

By: Jay Dyer

So far we have only analyzed one Hitchcock film, Vertigo (1958), where we highlighted the use of mind control, doubling and voyeurism on the part of a shadowy Bohemian Grove-esque elitist intent on manipulating the middle class Scottie (Jimmy Stewart) based on a profiling of his psychological weaknesses.  In North by Northwest(1959) similar themes emerge, yet the master of suspense seemed willing to reveal much more than merely psychoanalytical and Freudian elements, notably being the first film to mention the “CIA.”

Hitchcock was not merely a master of suspense,  but the father of the espionage film, adapting spy tales from both William Somerset Maugham (himself MI6, whose novel Ashenden would become Hitchcock’s Secret Agent in 1936) and Joseph Conrad (The Secret Agent novel would become Sabotage in 1936), directing some of the most notable espionage films…

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