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in Filmmaking
on Nov 24, 2009

Ask me my favorite Hitchcock film and I’ll shoot you back the obvious answer: Vertigo, the director’s cinematic and fetishistic embodiment of romantic obsession. Ask me the film I’d be most likely to pop into my DVD player and re-watch for fun and I’ve another obvious answer: North by Northwest, his smart and stylish paranoid thriller, which he made the following year. And while Vertigo inspired a whole rash of erotic thrillers in the ’90s — Basic Instinct and all its imitators — North by Northwest‘s sly take on the American security stake feels perfectly of the moment.

The good folks at Warner Bros. Home Video have offered three copies of the new North by Northwest 50th Anniversary Special Edition to DVD to Filmmaker readers. Available in Blu-Ray and DVD, the disk contains two new documentaries: “The Master’s Touch: Hitchcock’s Signature Style” consists of interviews, clips, and behind-the-scenes footage discussing the key elements of Hitchcock’s filmmaking. In “North by Northwest: One for the Ages,” directors Guillermo del Toro, William Friedkin, Curtis Hanson, and Francis Lawrence share their interpretations on the film’s importance and its influence on their own work. The Blu-ray Book also contains 44 pages full of photos, film facts and ‘insider information.

North by Northwest is newly remastered in 1080p from the original VistaVision elements. From the press release:

The arrival of North by Northwest on Blu-ray is a landmark event in home video history, as it marks the very first of the famed director’s films to become available on this state-of-the-art format. Accordingly, the film has received a meticulous restoration and remastering especially for this occasion with Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging scanning the original VistaVision production elements in 8K resolution. The resulting presentation reveals a depth of field and clarity never before possible, only serving to heighten every thrill-packed moment of this beloved classic.

Starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, co-starring Jessie Royce Landis, Leo G. Carroll and Martin Landau, the stylish, action-packed espionage caper was written by Ernest Lehman, with music by Bernard Herrmann. Nominated for three Academy Awards® including Best Writing, Film Editing and Art Direction, the film was lauded as #4 on AFI’s ”100 Years…100 Thrills” and selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

I’m not going to come up with a brainteaser for the question. Any fan will have no problem with this one:

North by Northwest contains a chase sequence that is considered one of the best in movie history. What is Cary Grant chased by?

Email your answers to me at editor.filmmakermagazine AT gmail.com, and the first three correct respondents will win the DVD (the standard def version) of this classic tale of mistaken identity and Cold War paranoia.

UPDATE: We have our winners! Congrats, all.

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