Plot hole: The villains try to kill Cary Grant by getting him drunk and sending him off a
cliff in a white Mercedes. He manages to get back on the road and they follow him in a
Cadillac limousine. Cary passes a parked police car which gives chase. He brakes to
avoid a bicyclist and the police car rear-ends the Mercedes. Immediately a blue 1941
Ford rear-ends the police car. Where did it come from? It would have to have been
ahead of the Cadillac and very close to the police car to do so, but it doesn't appear until
the moment of impact.

Revealing: Thornhill & the "Professor" have a chat on the airport tarmack, in which
it's revealed to Thornhill that Eve is a secret agent and in danger. At that moment the
the 'North by Northwest' role. Stewart had no choice; he had to turn down the
Hitchcock offer, leaving Hitchcock with no other choice that to cast Cary Grant, the
actor he had wanted all along, in 'North by Northwest.'

Thornhill appears on the left side of the screen for almost the entire movie.

The song that's playing in the lobby of the hotel before Thornhill enters the Oak Bar is
"It's a Most Unusual Day".

I don't care.... I still love this movie.  Why aren't there any gorgeous men like Cary
Grant still around?                                                                             
Bobbie Sims

N. B. There are - you just haven't met Andy yet. :-)

The little boy shown with his fingers in his ears has heard that shot once too many
times, I think, but maybe his mama was scolding him again,just before the crucial
M. Diane Rogers

N. B. In the actual movie you can see the little fellow looking over his shoulder several
times at Cary and Eva, and then right before the gun goes off, sticking his fingers in
his ears. So I don't think it was his mamma scolding him - at least not before she
caught him!.

I will never forget that movie as I think I was about 12 years old when it came out and
had gone with my parents to New York City and we went to Radio City Music Hall to see
it along with the Rockettes.  The only part that I remember is when they are running on
top of Mount Rushmore and a plane is flying over trying to knock them off of the
mountain.  I was so scared. The child in the movie would probably be in his middle to late
fifties or early sixties by now, based on my age when I saw the
Alice Hix

N.B. He'd be that old assuming his parents didn't kill him for what he did.

Bill spent 2 years on Pine Ridge Reservation in the mid '70's and we had our
honeymoon in the Black Hills in 1983. This is one of our favorite movies because of
Rushmore and the surrounding scenery.                                               
Judy Bethea

North by Northwest
Answer to Quiz #85 - November 11, 2006
This is a still picture from a very famous movie.
1. What is the name of the movie?
2. Who are the stars shown in this picture?
3. Can you spot the famous "blooper"?
Hint: How can you tell they had previously rehearsed this scene?)
1. North by Northwest by Alfred Hitchcock
2. Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint
3. The little boy in the background has his fingers
in his ears, anticipating the gun firing
even though he is not looking at the actors.
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If you have a picture you'd like us to feature a picture in a future quiz, please
email it to us at If we use it, you will receive a free analysis of
your picture. You will also receive a free
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discount towards the purchase of the
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Quiz #85 Results
Click on thumbnail to see larger image.
Congratulations to Our Winners!

Don Schulteis                Stan Read
Tane Burke                Dale Niesen
Theresa White                Bill Utterback
Tim Lonis                Dale Cheetham
Bobbie Sims                Beth Tafel
Marty Guidry              Evan Hindman
Elizabeth Mackie                Kitty Huddleston
Sheridan Shields                Lisa Cotten Allen
Sandy Thompson               William Hughes
Elaine C. Hebert                Tom Pincince
Sherry Marshall                Mike Pfister
Sinika Garey                Penny Delery
Judy Bethea                Edee Scott
Eva Royal                David Lepitre
Kelly Fetherlin                Donna Rhyne
Mary Hurley                Maureen O'Connor
Jim Kiser                Rick Mackinney
Betsy Scott                Pat Walker
Neil Ferguson                Phyllis Barratia
Charles E. Nienhaus                Pam Rein
George Wright                Fred Stuart
Grace Hertz                Mary Fraser
Anna Farris                Linda Dean
Debbie Sterbinsky                Alice Hix
Barbara Murphy                Jim Colvin
Beth Tafel Schuster                Lynda Snider

If your name has been omitted from our list of winners, please let me know.  It was unintentional.
Comments from Our Readers
More Bloopers
Plot hole: "Logic is boring", said Hitchcock. Some
things you still can't ignore, like the scene where
Roger Thornhill is kidnapped in the very beginning of
this film. What about those people Thornhill's having
lunch with? Wouldn't they had wondered where their
reliable business-associate disappears all of a sudden
and later come forward and give some credit to his
story on their part?

Revealing mistakes: In the Chicago P.D. patrol car
after Thornhill's arrest at the auction house, the cop on
Thornhill's right forgets to lean as they simulate a turn.
Cary Grant can be seen giving the errant actor a poke
in the arm.
Movie Trivia
See trailers by clicking here.
An interesting scene that was not part of the movie… Hitchcock wanted to have a
scene shot in the Ford automobile factory in which Thornhill was to have a
conversation with an employee (discussing a foreman) as they walk down the assembly
line.  The scene would show an automobile being built from scratch and would
conclude with the finished car.  At that time, Thornhill would open the car door and a
dead body (of the foreman) would fall out.  They could not determine how to make the
scene part of the plot.
Plot:  New York advertising executive Roger
Thornhill is kidnapped by a gang of spies led by
Philip Vandamm, who believe Thornhill is CIA
agent George Kaplan. Thornhill escapes, but must
find Kaplan in order to clear himself of a murder
it is believed he committed. Following Kaplan to
Chicago as a fugitive from justice, Thornhill is
helped by beautiful Eve Kendall. In Chicago, she
delivers a message to Kaplan that almost costs
Thornhill his life when he is chased across a
cornfield by a crop-dusting plane.

Ranking: North by Northwest is #25 by the
Internet Movie Database's Top 250 Movies. See
Eve Kendall: Roger O. Thornhill. What
does the O stand for?
Roger Thornhill: Nothing.

That's correct.  The initial should be "O"
without the period behind it.  Hitchcock
used the letter O as Thornhill's middle
name as a reference to David O Selznick,
who he disliked. By the way, the killer in
Rear Window played by Raymond Burr
was made to look like Selznick for the
same reason.
While filming 'Vertigo,' Alfred Hitchcock described
some of the plot of the upcoming 'North by
Northwest' project to frequent Hitchcock leading man
and 'Vertigo' star James Stewart, who naturally
assumed that Hitchcock meant to cast him in the
Roger Thornhill role, and was eager to play it.
Actually, Hitchcock wanted Cary Grant to play the
role. By the time Hitchcock realized the
misunderstanding, Stewart was so anxious to play the
Thornhill role that rejecting him would have caused a
great deal of disappointment. So Hitchcock delayed
production on 'North by Northwest' until Stewart was
already safely committed to filming Otto Preminger's
'Anatomy of a Murder' before 'officially' offering him  
It was journalist Otis L. Guernsey Jr. who
suggested to Alfred Hitchcock the premise
of a man mistaken for a nonexistent secret
agent. He was inspired, he said, by a
real-life case during WW2 when some
secretaries at a British embassy in the
Middle East, for fun, invented a
nonexistent agent and successfully tricked
the Germans into looking for him.

Alfred Hitchcock couldn't get permission to film inside the UN, so footage was made of
the interior of the building using a hidden camera, and the rooms were later recreated
on a soundstage.

The final chase scene was not shot on Mt. Rushmore; Alfred Hitchcock couldn't gain
permission to shoot an attempted murder on a national monument. The scene was shot
in the studio on a replica of Mt. Rushmore. Everything is shot carefully, so as to avoid
associating the faces of the monument with the violence.

Director Trademark: [Alfred Hitchcock] Thornhill hides in a bathroom three times.

Director Cameo: [Alfred Hitchcock] Hitchcock arrives at a bus stop (during the
opening credits) but gets there a second too late and the door is closed in his face. He
misses the bus.

Thanks to Evan Hindman and Anna Farris for much of this information.)
    See also
camera dollies in on Thornhill for dramatic
effect. As it does, the distant airplane in the
background gets closer very nearly as fast
as does actor Cary Grant, revealing that the
background in this scene is, in fact, a rear
projection on a screen just beyond the

Other: In the English DVD subtitles
throughout the film, anytime something is
shown for the audience to read (the
package in Townsend's home, Eve's note on the train) the text of the note is duplicated
in the subtitles. This is extremely odd because subtitles are intended for those hard of
hearing; nothing interferes with their ability to read. If they did have trouble reading,
printing it twice on the screen for the same duration wouldn't help much.