The Hitchcock Conversations is an ongoing project between me and James W. Powell, in which we study Alfred Hitchcock’s filmography in chronological order. I’ll be publishing one conversation per week.

(By necessity, spoilers ahead!)

Synopsis: Roger Thornhill, a hapless New York advertising executive, is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.

Jason: So let’s talk North by Northwest.

James: Right on.

Jason: This is the ultimate Hitchcock wrong-man/mistaken-identity/on-the-run-from-everybody-across-the-country plot, isn’t it? We saw the genesis of this favorite idea in The 39 Steps, and we saw it mature through Young and Innocent and Foreign Correspondent, but more than anything, North by Northwest seems to be a remake of Saboteur, which has many similar situations and characters, except that it goes north by northeast, from California to New York. North by Northwest goes from New York to South Dakota. I guess you’d call this film Hitch’s ultimate stab at that plot, but I don’t think it’s really representative of Hitch’s best work. It doesn’t hold a candle to Vertigo or Shadow of a Doubt, Hitch’s really thought-provoking and rich films. But North by Northwest is a big, fun lark, and I can appreciate it for that.

James: I wasn’t terribly blown away by this film. I think you nailed it by saying that it’s fun, and I can also enjoy it for that, but compared to others, it’s a bit lacking. I think the reason it falters is that Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) isn’t really running for his life. He gets himself into trouble more than trouble comes for him. Sure, the “wrong man” theme is strong throughout, but at any time, he could just bow out of this cat-and-mouse chase. For me, that’s not as effective as the other films with the same theme, because he isn’t being chased in the same manner.

Jason: Yeah, I think you could say that North by Northwest isn’t as serious as the previous films, such as The 39 Steps and Saboteur. Those movies had a real element of fear, with humor on the sidelines. You could call North by Northwest more of a comic thriller, with humor being the priority. You’re right, I never felt that Thornhill—even though he’s on the run through the whole movie, wearing the same gray suit—was in any real danger. It all felt very tongue-in-cheek, sorta the same mood of To Catch a Thief.

James: With that said, North by Northwest features the best mistaken-identity setup of any Hitch film. I loved it. Thornhill is simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. And I loved the idea that the real person who he’s mistaken for doesn’t even exist. Nice touch.

Jason: I totally agree. And, boy, does the plot get started in a hurry. We’re barely introduced to Thornhill—a successful advertiser who’s kind of an ass—before he enters a club and is mistaken for a man named George Kaplan. Kaplan, we come to find out, is a non-existent decoy created by either the CIA or the FBI to throw enemy agents off the scent of a real double agent right in their midst. What a fantastic setup! Because now that Thornhill has been mistaken for someone who doesn’t exist, he’s going to have a hell of a time convincing anyone that he’s not George Kaplan. I love this idea of forced play-acting. And the deeper he delves into the mystery, to clear his name, the deeper he digs himself into danger. It’s actually a brilliant setup—as long as you can accept the moment when he flags down the waiter in the club just as the enemies are having Kaplan paged at the same restaurant.

James: You’re right, he is kind of an ass early on, isn’t he? I actually wondered why Hitchcock would let his leading man be sort of an unlikable character. Not unlikable, but too much of a ladies’ man? It’s funny stuff, but he’s on the verge of being rude to his secretary. Do you think that hurts his character? We’ve seen plenty of Hitch movies that feature a main character who’s single and a bit of the ladies’ man, but here it’s more in your face. Luckily, it doesn’t come into play later, except for the scenes with Thornhill’s mom, Clara (Jessie Royce Landis).

Jason: Thornhill is definitely an insufferable jerk in his introduction, not only to his secretary but also to the man he steals the cab from. (I have a feeling Grant was like this in real life.) I look at the whole mess he gets into as his punishment for being such an ass. And by the end, hopefully he’s grown into a better person.

James: Yeah, I see him growing into a better person, but that growth isn’t as well developed as in some of the other films we’ve watched. Or maybe just not as powerful or as important.

Jason: Hey, speaking of the introduction scene, which takes place during New York rush hour, did it remind you of the beginning of Rich and Strange, which also started with a throng of people getting off work and taking to the streets?

James: I did think of Rich and Strange. And another thing I immediately noticed in the opening is that North by Northwest was going to have a broader scope than a lot of Hitch’s earlier films. It’s good to see a few films in a row that are more open and grounded in real places. Really helps open up these films, which I like.

Jason: It definitely helps that North by Northwest looks so huge and gorgeous, in VistaVision and on-location in New York City. The whole film does have a blockbuster feel to it. This is probably Hitch’s most gigantic, sprawling film, on all levels. And this from the man who recently gave us the tiny film The Trouble with Harry. And look at the film right after this one: a little black-and-white slasher film called Psycho. Hitchcock’s range is amazing.

James: I also took note of Bernard Herrmann’s huge opening theme. Man, that dude knew how to make a catchy tune.

Jason: I’ve been listening to a CD of Bernard Herrmann’s Hitchcock scores over the past few weeks, and I’m hooked. The score for North by Northwest is the highlight, a really catchy thrillride.

James: Seems that each score he does gets better and better.

Jason: So, after the mistaken-identity scene at the bar, Thornhill falls straight into the villain’s lair. I was immediately reminded of Saboteur again, not only for the mansion and the library setting, but also because of Philip Vandamm (James Mason), the primary villain. Have we seen a more perfectly suave mastermind of evil in the course of this project? Vandamm might be my favorite Hitch villain ever. Mason’s voice is so silky smooth and sly. He’s such a smooth operator.

James: I agree that there are many, many similarities between North by Northwest and Saboteur. And I agree that Vandamm is a terrific villain. Understated and quiet, but sinister underneath. Great stuff. Fun to watch. Speaking of the library, do we ever learn how this group of bad guys has managed to infiltrate this big house that belongs to United Nations delegate Lester Townsend (Philip Ober)? I don’t think that was ever made clear. Not that it needed to be, but it felt odd that it was brought up but never discussed.

Jason: When Thornhill finally meets the real Townsend at the UN, we learn that Townsend hasn’t been to his house in weeks. I gathered that Vandamm and his crew knew of Townsend’s schedule and just broke in to the house to use it as a temporary hideout.

James: If that’s the case, then the police are even bigger buffoons than usual in Hitch’s films. Anyway, what did you think of Vandamm’s henchmen? How about Leonard (Martin Landau)? I really liked the entire squad of bad guys.

Jason: Yeah, I liked the goon squad. And Landau, looking so young and evil, plays another great villain in this film. Did you catch a whiff of homosexuality off Leonard? At one point toward the end, he says to Vandamm, “Call it my woman’s intuition.”

James: Yeah, he is a bit effeminate, isn’t he? I guess I didn’t really think about the homosexual side of the characterization. There’s really just that one line. Looking back, I can see it, though.

Jason: How about Thornhill’s “forced” drunk driving scene? Putting aside the obvious process shots, here’s another scene that benefits from the great use of Herrmann’s terrific main theme. And Grant’s drunk acting is pretty funny.

James: That drunk-driving scene is pretty entertaining. I don’t know if Grant played a drunk man very well, but it was fun to watch him slur his words and try to convince the police that he’d been kidnapped.

Jason: So, we meet Thornhill’s mom, Clara, for the first time when he makes bail at the jailhouse. Did you recognize Jessie Royce Landis from To Catch a Thief, in which she played Grace Kelly’s mom? She was actually a year younger than Grant, and yet she was playing his mom.

James: Oh yes, I recognized her. Clara is a very interesting character. It seemed that she expects this kind of behavior from her son. And throughout the sequence, she doubts his story. What does that tell you about him? And her? Seems that he’s a bit of a partier and probably never very serious.

Jason: That’s a good point. On the one hand, Thornhill and his mom are close. I mean, he’s always talking about her or calling her or asking her advice. So, you get the feeling he relies on her in his day-to-day life. On the other hand, she looks down on him, smirking all the time. Perhaps his playboy ways have always frustrated her. And yet he’s a successful ad man with a thriving career. Maybe there’s a little Oedipal thing going on there.

James: I kinda got the impression that Thornhill is a bit of a mama’s boy. At the same time, he’s a ladies’ man. In a way, it sort of hints at other weird mother-son relationships in Hitch’s films. The way Thornhill dotes on his mother reminds me of Psycho, actually. I think Psycho will be the climax of all the odd relationships we’ve seen so far.

Jason: I like how the mystery of the plot develops with the scene at the hotel, where the non-existent George Kaplan is registered. Thornhill digs himself deeper into the mystery, and we learn clues just as he does. I like how the audience is totally involved in the solving of the mystery, all the way through, mostly starting with this scene. This is also the scene in which Thornhill really takes on the identity of Kaplan, mostly because all the hotel personnel believe that he must be Kaplan. There’s a great feeling of inevitability to his “playing the part” of Kaplan.

James: I like the scene at the hotel, too, particularly the way everyone begins to assume that Thornhill is Kaplan. The harder Thornhill tries to prove who he is, the more he becomes known as Kaplan. Hell, even his mother continues to doubt him because he can’t prove anything.

Jason: Now we get to the great scene in UN headquarters, in which Thornhill attempts to meet with Lester Townsend, who he thinks is James Mason’s character, but he finds that the real man is a complete stranger. Here’s where we find out that the enemies are using Townsend’s house as a hideout. And then we get the great assassination sequence of the real Townsend falling forward against Thornhill with a knife in his back. I was genuinely surprised by this scene. And I love how it plays out, completely incriminating Thornhill, who grabs the knife and gets his picture taken by a photographer, who just happens to be three feet away. I laughed at that.

James: It was completely surprising to see Townsend get the knife to the back. I was taken off guard, that’s for sure. But to be honest, if you think too hard about it, in the earlier scene at the Townsend house, the cops should have easily been able to uncover the truth about Townsend not being the man Thornhill talked to and that the wife wasn’t the right wife. But that’s okay. The scene adds a lot of mystery to the film and actually helps step it up a notch for me.

Jason: Agreed. So, we get a little chase sequence, and Thornhill eventually finds himself aboard a train, where he meets Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint). Did you have any doubts about Eve at first? Of course, we find that she’s working with Vandamm and will ultimately betray Thornhill (before we find that she’s actually a double agent working for the US government).

James: I had doubts about Eve immediately. And to be honest, I didn’t realize she was a double agent until I was supposed to (at the airport), so that was well played. I enjoyed the banter and her sexual innuendo, but the two of them really didn’t seem to click the way some of the other Hitch couples have. What did you think of their relationship? I think I like the thought of it more than I like the execution.

Jason: You’re right, I didn’t catch the usual spark between these two. Not quite enough development there.

James: But it’s amazing how rampant the sexual innuendo becomes when these two meet. Each progressive Hitch film seems to be more and more open sexually.

Jason: Eve is incredibly forward in these scenes. It’s obvious that she just wants to rip his clothes off and climb on top of him. There are some extremely racy lines in this section. I wouldn’t even call this stuff innuendo. Just plain naughty. How about this exchange: Thornhill says, “The moment I meet an attractive woman, I have to start pretending I have no desire to make love to her.” Eve responds, “What makes you think you have to conceal it?” and Thornhill says, “She might find the idea objectionable.” To which, Eve says, “Then again, she might not.”

James: Yeah, good stuff. One part of me thinks that this type of frisky relationship works better than the love-and-marriage crap we used to see. This is more believable.

Jason: In the reading, I came across an interesting angle, as far as the relationship between Thornhill and Eve goes. Donald Spoto thinks of North by Northwest almost as a sequel to Notorious. In both, we have a double agent who has infiltrated enemy lines to be the mistress of the head villain. Eve could at least be considered the “sister” of Alicia Huberman in Notorious. Eve isn’t a tragic figure in the same way that Alicia is in that film, but she has her own demons. I like how Eve’s predicament really comes into play toward the end, when her allegiance is questioned by Vandamm, all because of the fact that Thornhill has no idea what’s really going on. But what a great moment when the US government agent called “the professor” (Leo G. Carroll) says, “She’s one of our agents,” and Thornhill just goes white. “Oh no!” It’s probably the only moment in the film when he expresses genuine emotion. An indicator that he has grown from the unfeeling bastard he is at the beginning.

James: I do see the similarities and I like the comparison, but to be honest, some comparisons make me feel like Hitchcock stole from himself way too often. But I think the emotion and tragedy of Notorious helped me bond with the key players in a way that’s not apparent here. I just never found myself caring one way or the other about Thornhill and Eve. Sure, I knew I should feel this way or that, but it never really got to me in any way.

Jason: I wouldn’t call this a “steal” from Notorious, more of an alternate angle of similar subject matter. In Notorious, we’re privy to everything that goes on while Alicia gives herself to the enemy. In North by Northwest, we see an outsider confronting the scenario after the fact. I just think it’s an interesting take.

James: Do you think there are so many similar scenes in these films just because Hitch made so many movies? Or do you think Hitch liked to constantly revisit certain elements and make them better? It just seems like there are similarities all over the place in his movies . . . probably more than the average director.

Jason: I think all directors tend to return to certain themes or moods. They all have their trademarks. Capra has a very recognizable signature, as do Kubrick, Fellini, Bergman, all the greats. But yeah, Hitchcock did seem to want to revisit things a lot. I know North by Northwest was a conscious effort on his part and on the part of the screenwriter Ernest Lehman (who died earlier this year) to make the “Hitchcock film to end all Hitchcock films.” So even at the time, they knew they were treading familiar territory.

James: Moving on, I loved the auction scene. Everything about it is so well executed, from the serious nature of the dialog, to the look on Eve’s face when Thornhill comes barging in, to the comedy routine of Thornhill getting escorted out. Superb. And I liked the play between Thornhill’s hatred for Eve and his terrible words for her in this scene, compared with the scene later when he takes it all back. She hurt him. She hurt him badly, and when he finds out what a fool he’s been—that, my friend, is a great moment.

Jason: The auction scene is a riot. And here’s another parallel we can draw with The 39 Steps. Doesn’t this remind you of that film’s political-rally scene, in which Richard Hannay puts on a show in order to escape the bad guys slowly surrounding him? Hitch has a lot of sequences similar to this one, it seems—making a ruckus in a public place to create a fuss, then slyly sneaking away.

James: Nice catch!

Jason: Ready to talk about the crop-dusting scene? This is the scene that North by Northwest is probably most famous for. It’s stuck right in the middle of the film, and it doesn’t make any real sense, and yet it’s so well done and vital to the movie. Why is that?

James: The crop dusting scene is great, although, like you suggest, it’s not entirely plausible. Why would Vandamm bother sending him out there? Who the hell is flying that plane? But man, you can really tell Hitchcock has a budget now. It’s actually a bit surprising how stark the differences are. It’s almost as if this film has jumped forward in time. It feels more modern. Bigger. Better. Hell, that explosion alone shows that Hitch has more money to play with.

Jason: I agree that the sequence itself is spectacular. It’s like a perfect short story stuck into the main plot. It’s practically wordless, with all natural sound, no score. And the way it’s shot and framed . . . perfect! I particularly loved the bizarre scene at the start of the sequence, when Thornhill is waiting on one side of the street, and a strange man walks up to the other side of the street, and they just stare at each other for a while. Then, the plane becomes more of a faraway threat, when we learn that it’s a crop-dusting plane that’s nowhere near any crops. The shot of that plane right behind Grant as he runs . . . it doesn’t get much better than that, as far as Hollywood escapism.

James: Love it.

Jason: I read something interesting (but farfetched) last night, regarding the crop-dusting scene. This scene occurs at the film’s middle point and is a big, empty, nonsensical sequence. By empty, I mean that the scenery is bare, and the sound is quiet . . . it’s kind of a strange dustbowl in the middle of the movie. Now, consider that Thornhill says earlier that his middle initial O stands for “nothing.” I admit this is stretching, but I kinda like the idea that the film is equated with Thornhill himself, whose name is itself characterized by emptiness in the middle.

James: Hmmm, interesting idea. Farfetched, but I kinda like it. It actually raises a good question about his middle name. Why did he say that the O stands for nothing? Maybe the O is actually a zero?

Jason: I think the real reason behind the name is an allusion to David O. Selznick, whose middle name also stood for nothing. Maybe a little dig there, making Thornhill an insufferable ass and putting him through hell?

James: What a great rip on Selznick. Hitchcock—what a bastard. Hahaha. But this is actually where the story started really getting good for me, because Thornhill begins taking action instead of having things happen to him. For example, when he finds Eve at her hotel, he tricks her into believing he knows nothing and that he’s taking a shower, when he’s really spying on her. I love that because he’s more of a force now. Plus, that scene is just well done. You can see in her eyes that she cares for him, but she still has to lie to him. Well done.

Jason: I like your thoughts about how Thornhill becomes a man of action. He becomes increasingly real through this movie, more and more in charge of his own destiny. What did you think of the strange scene at the airport, when Thornhill finally meets the professor? It’s nice to see Thornhill get the answers to a few riddles, and put the final act in motion, but I thought it was an interesting choice to drown out a long section of their dialog with the scream of an airplane. I gather that Hitchcock felt that since we already knew all that background information, we didn’t need to hear it again, but it’s not entirely clear that’s what they’re talking about. It felt odd to me, but I understand the motivation.

James: I thought Hitch drowned out the dialog here so that he didn’t have to fill in too many details. Once a character starts explaining something, he has to explain it all, but we don’t need to hear every little detail. So maybe he didn’t want to take away from the emotion of the film by focusing on the unimportant details.

Jason: Okay, so in this scene, we get the distinct impression that US intelligence has been perfectly willing to sacrifice Thornhill’s life to Vandamm for the good of the cause. I guess I just find that to be a surprising message. There are impure motives on both sides.

James: Yeah, I thought it odd that the government would just sacrifice Thornhill. Maybe that’s a touch of Hitch’s resentment for police or authority? Either way, I think that detail is a detriment to the story. I would’ve felt more worried about Thornhill had the FBI been worried about him too.

Jason: It’s at this point that the film becomes all about saving Eve. More similarities to Notorious.

James: But again, Thornhill becoming a man of action—in other words, really becoming secret agent Kaplan—provides a lot of suspense and intrigue.

Jason: So, we’re off to Mount Rushmore. Let’s talk about the sequence in the visitor center. Thornhill and Vandamm meet once again, and there’s a new tension involving Eve. Vandamm has his evil eye on her now. So we can assume that Thornhill and the professor have elaborately staged a fake shooting in the middle of the cafeteria. When Eve “kills” Thornhill, it will be clear to Vandamm that Eve’s loyalty lies with him. But did you pause and wonder how Thornhill and the professor could have set that up so quickly?

James: Yeah, I thought of that. But it didn’t bother me. I just figured they had some drop point or a way to talk to her. But it’s a pretty elaborate setup. I like the way it all plays out. Seems at least somewhat plausible that Vandamm would be convinced.

Jason: Did you catch the little boy covering his ears in the background—before the gun goes off?

James: Huh, didn’t notice the kid.

Jason: He must have been tired of Hitch’s retakes. Anyway, this a great surprise scene, seeing Thornhill gunned down. And it leads straight to the one scene where we finally get to see Eve as herself. Apparently, MGM wanted Hitch to cut this quiet forest sequence, because the film was overlong (it’s the longest Hitch flick ever) and because they felt it didn’t add much to the story. But I think it’s an essential character moment for both of them. We learn of her struggle in the demon’s lair, and we see further growth on his part.

James: I might agree that the film is a little too long, but I don’t think I could point out any scene I’d want to see cut. And you’re right, we need to see Eve as herself or there’d be no emotional attachment for that climax.

Jason: At about this point in the story, we learn that Vandamm has been exporting US government secrets on microfilm inside small art sculptures that he buys at auction. At first, the microfilm doesn’t seem to adhere to the proper definition of the MacGuffin—it doesn’t really kick off the story—but then you realize that yes, in fact, it does, even though we don’t know the specifics at first. Or is George Kaplan the MacGuffin? Hmm, I kinda like the sound of that.

James: Is it possible North by Northwest has two MacGuffins? As I see it, the first one is Kaplan. That propels the story forward from the start and most of the way through. However, there’s always that lingering question about who Vandamm is and what he’s up to. And in the end, that’s the MacGuffin that comes to a close at the climax.

Jason: I like your suggestion of two MacGuffins. What an interesting idea! And it adds to the sprawling nature of the film—the adventure is so huge that it needs two MacGuffins.

James: By the way, I knew there was something in that statue right away. I mean, why else would they make a point of showing him buy it?

Jason: The whole sequence at Vandamm’s house is fun, as Thornhill climbs stealthily up its walls and climbs in. I liked the suspense of the matchbook, on which he scrawls a note to Eve (“They’re on to you!”) and tosses it down to where she’s sitting with Vandamm and Leonard. Nice moment when Leonard picks it up, not thinking, and just tosses it in the ashtray. And when she picks it up and reads the note, she gives this little jump. This is also the scene where we get the biggest hint that Leonard is gay (“Call it my woman’s intuition”). You get the feeling that he pines for Vandamm, much like Smithers on The Simpsons, but Vandamm is staunchly heterosexual and amused by Leonard’s attraction.

James: Yeah, that Leonard. I’ve thought about it and he’s totally Smithers. Definitely. I love the house scene for all the reasons you mention. The whole second half of this film is brilliant. I will admit, though, that even though the Mount Rushmore scene is great, it looks a little fake. I like the fact that Eve is in danger and he has to pull her up and save her. Good stuff. Reminded me of Saboteur when the villain was hanging off the Statue of Liberty. Very similar indeed. And I was actually hoping, at least a small part of me, that Eve would fall.

Jason: I do like the grandeur of this scene, and actually, I’m impressed by the miniature work. I could suspend my disbelief enough, even though they weren’t crawling all over the real Mount Rushmore. Nice trick photography. Sure, I understood that it was trickery, but I thought it wasn’t half bad. The model looked fantastic. Nice catch on yet another similarity to Saboteur. And I like your idea that Eve could fall. That would be an interesting end to her own private story, and then Thornhill could go back to the odd relationship he shares with his mother.

James: Now that I think about it, Eve couldn’t fall because of the similarities the film would then have with Vertigo. But it makes me wonder whether Hitch was scared of heights. Seems that many scenes show someone falling or about to fall from a great height. There’s even the idea of cars going over the edge of cliffs in a number of his films.

Jason: You’re right on with your comment about heights. A lot of characters are falling or almost falling in his films, especially this one. Even Vandamm, toward the end, suggests getting rid of Eve by “disposing of her from a great height.” Hitch is also very fond of high-angle shots, particularly here. Nice catch.

James: I know, isn’t it?

Jason: Here’s a cool piece of subtext that I gathered from the reading: There’s a whole lot of role-playing in this movie. Play-acting, false identities, references to theater. Of course, Thornhill is “playing” Kaplan throughout, and when he gets picked up by Vandamm at the beginning, he misses a theater performance that night. Vandamm himself is “playing” Townsend, and Eve is double-playing both Vandamm’s mistress and Thornhill’s seductress. When Thornhill takes his mother and the police to the Townsend residence and finds the same woman who is in league with Vandamm, she gives a performance herself, and Thornhill even cries out, “What a performance!” Later, Vandamm tells Thornhill, “Has anyone ever told you that you overplay your various roles rather severely, Mr. Kaplan?” Even more fuel for this: At the end, both Thornhill and Eve play a ruse, and Thornhill even plays dead—and convincingly. It’s a world in which everyone is fake.

James: Hmmm, that’s an interesting note. I like it. Even Leonard is playing a straight guy. Hahaha.

Jason: What makes this film so great, compared to all the others of its kind, is, well, the budget—which paved the way for all kinds of great set pieces and spectacles—but also the casting of Cary Grant and James Mason. After Notorious, I’d say North by Northwest is the greatest of Grant’s four film roles for Hitch. His charm and wit are perfectly in tune with the mood of this film. (His greatest Hitch role, in my opinion, is Notorious, mostly for the way Hitch subverts Grant’s image in it. But here, Grant is playing Cary Grant, and that’s fine. Who else but Grant could have pulled off the scene in the hospital, when he stumbles into that woman’s room, and she first says “Stop!” indignantly, then says “Stop!” as if to say, “Please stay”?) As for Mason, he’s gotta be the quintessential, suave Hitchcock villain, reminding me of the older gent from Saboteur but really perfecting this evil, debonair character and probably prefiguring many slick Bond villains. In fact, I see North by Northwest as a precursor to the Bond films.

James: I liked both characters as much as you did. The film still feels a bit lacking to me, however. It’s big and long and loud, but it’s missing some of the deeper, thoughtful stuff that some of Hitch’s great movies have.

Jason: Well, we can’t end a discussion of North by Northwest without mentioning its last shot. I laughed out loud when that train thrust into that tunnel, providing a perfect “climax” to Thornhill’s bed scene with Eve.

James: That train shooting into the tunnel is perfect. I loved it. Although, I thought the transition of his hand pulling her up off the cliff and into the bed could’ve been edited better. Loved the idea, but it wasn’t quite executed perfectly.

Jason: I guess one final thing I’d like to mention is the Saul Bass opening-title sequence. This thing rocked. It was in tune with the music, and it actually reminded me of the Panic Room credits. Same idea. Of course, we have better technology today, but I thought these credits really set the mood and pace for the movie. And it ends with a pretty good Hitch cameo, as he walks up to a city bus, which closes its doors in his face.

James: Great stuff. Funny, I thought of Panic Room, too. These credits were very well done.

Jason: On to Psycho!