Hitchcock Stands With the Best of Them

I usually hate old movies. I believe that if movies aren’t getting better, then there would be no reason to keep making them. I would rather see a movie made in the last 5 years than any classic that Hollywood would have me believe is a “must see.” The special effects are cheesy, the plot is cliche (it wasn’t cliche then, but it is now), and they are never immersive enough to make them believable. However, Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest” is a fantastic movie, even by today’s standards.

Hitchcock weaves a fantastic tale of a wrongfully accused man attempting to clear his name. Alright, so the plot is a little cliche in our eyes since we, as kids of the new millenium, have seen this storyline a thousand time. And the special effects are very cheesy, there is heavy use of poorly made backdrops. However, this movie was so immersive that I forgot all about its shortcomings. Never once, did I think, “Roger (the main character) what are you doing?! That is so stupid!” something I find myself thinking all too frequently with some of today’s main characters. By the end, I found myself rooting wholeheartedly for it to work out for Roger (and his love interest Eve).

Something I thought was interesting was the portrayal of women in this movie. Being made in 1959 we did see good bit of sexism but it was also refreshing to see the Eve character being portrayed as such a strong and self-motivated woman. However, in the end, she still had to be saved by the main character. It brings to mind Robert Nozick’s time-slices, as described in his Entitlement Theory, and how this period could affect how people see sexism today, a modern example being the Wal-Mart law-suit. Even though sexism is becoming less of a problem (in my opinion), a history of it affects how people see it today.

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3 Responses to Hitchcock Stands With the Best of Them

  1. Slade says:

    To have a quality movie, it’s not usually about special effects, its about cinematography. It’s not about cliches, its about depth in the plot. You want to feel immersed in the film, not amazed by graphic effects. It’s an emotional bond you create with the film that makes you feel like you’re in the movie, not the realisticness of the effects. I feel like less and less movies manage to do that nowadays. Don’t get me wrong I love myself a great action flick that makes everything look exactly how it would look in real life if you could imagine it, but that does not always make for the highest quality movie. If you think about North by Northwest, along with movies like The Godfather or A Clockwork Orange or Casa Blanca, some of the greatest movies of all time are still old films, not much of the newer films. They are iconic films that will last forever no matter how good the graphics get, and they will remain what most film classes decide to watch and learn from for years to come.

  2. mnickels says:

    I agree with Slade in that a lot of movies nowadays fail to make an emotional connection with the viewer and a lot of them are more about how many special effects can go into a 2 hour time slot. I usually don’t like older movies but this is one that I enjoyed watching. I do think some movies today are just ways to use the most advanced techniques in cinematography and some of them really suck. There’s also 3D now too, which hurts my eyes, personally, from wearing those glasses for an hour or more at a time. I think it’s great that there are such great classic movies that are still watched or recommended by people today.

  3. Pingback: Best of Blog, Week 7, Protests and Films | Biz Gov Soc

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