In my imagination, Hitchcock’s film was in black and white – probably because I saw it on TV in about 1968 in b&w. Seeing the Vistavision print in colour at the Cornerhouse today was a revelation. Why is it, that even when you know the story, the shocks are still, well, shocking?
I don’t think my adolescent self appreciated quite how much innuendo there is in the banter between Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint, though even I got the train-into-tunnel metaphor back then.
So- things I noticed that I hadn’t before:
Cary Grant was my age then. He is old enough to be Eva Marie Saint’s dad, although she was ten years older than the part she was playing.
Jessie Royce Landis, who played Cary Grant’s mother, had also played Grace Kelly’s mother in To Catch a Thief, and was just seven years older than Grant.
He was very tanned.
He, and the other male leads, wore suits of a blue-grey hue. Was this the dernier cri at the time?
Leo G Carroll as the Professor is trying out for his role in Man from UNCLE.
Why, other than to stage one of the best scenes ever, would you decide the best way to kill your victim was to arrange for him to travel to a remote landscape where you could attack him with a crop-spraying plane?
Hitch’s traditional cameo appearance is in the first few seconds.

CC BY-SA 4.0 North by Northwest by Dr Rob Spence is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.