North by Northwest


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North by Northwest

  1. 1. Analyse the Trailer • MbP0 • Why will this appeal to the audience?
  2. 2. North by Northwest (1959) • A ‘innocent’ 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. • Director: • Alfred Hitchcock • Writer: • Ernest Lehman • Stars: • Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and James Mason
  3. 3. “North by North West” In what ways is this an archetypal thriller?
  4. 4. “North by North West” • “Thrillers are characterized by fast pacing, frequent action,” • Find examples of this in “North by Northwest”
  5. 5. “North by North West” • “resourceful heroes who must thwart the plans of more powerful and better equipped villains.” • Is this true of “North by Northwest”?
  6. 6. “North by North West” • “Devices such as suspense, red herrings and cliffhangers are used extensively.” • Find examples of this in “North by Northwest” Be specific! • The ‘Auction’ scene •
  7. 7. Crop Duster Scene • Watch a few times. • Analyse the scene and write up how/why it is an iconic action sequence. • uHc
  8. 8. “North by North West” • “A thriller is a villain driven plot, whereby he presents obstacles the hero must overcome.” • Is this true of “North by Northwest”? • Talk about the MacGuffin
  9. 9. MacGuffin • MacGuffin (sometimes McGuffin or maguffin) is "a plot element that catches the viewers' attention or drives the plot of a work of fiction".[1] • The defining aspect of a MacGuffin is that the major players in the story are (at least initially) willing to do and sacrifice almost anything to obtain it, regardless of what the MacGuffin actually is.
  10. 10. MacGuffin • In fact, the specific nature of the MacGuffin may be ambiguous, undefined, generic, left open to interpretation or otherwise completely unimportant to the plot. • Common examples are money, victory, glory, survival, a source of power, or a potential threat, or it may simply be something entirely unexplained.
  11. 11. MacGuffin • The MacGuffin is common in films, especially thrillers. Commonly, though not always, the MacGuffin is the central focus of the film in the first act, and then declines in importance as the struggles and motivations of characters play out.
  12. 12. MacGuffin • It may come back into play at the climax of the story, but sometimes the MacGuffin is actually forgotten by the end of the film. • In TV interviews, Hitchcock defined a MacGuffin as the object around which the plot revolves, but, as to what that object specifically is, he declared, "the audience don't care"
  13. 13. “North by North West” • Hitchcock said thrillers allow the audience, "to put their toe in the cold water of fear to see what it's like” Has he succeeded in this film? Where? When? Hitchcock discusses this film.