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Travel Movie Tuesday: 'North by Northwest' is More Than a Direction

June 10, 2014 at 12:09 PM | by | ()

From Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck falling in love in Rome to Julia Roberts circling the globe to find herself, film has played an important role in shaping both the golden years and current day of travel. Thus, we present our newest series, Travel Movie Tuesday, where we detail the most inspiring travel films.

Planes, trains and automobiles along with a good sprinkling of fancy hotels are in the spotlight for the 1959 Alfred Hitchcock suspense film, "North by Northwest." Starring Cary Grant as a New York advertising exec who gets tangled in a web of mistaken identity, the film showcases the best of most forms of transportation from 55 years ago.

During a martini-fueled lunch at NYC's Plaza Hotel, Robert Thornhill (Cary Grant) is abducted by a group of foreign spies which results in a game of cat and mouse from the East Coast to Chicago, finally ending up in South Dakota in the shadow of Mount Rushmore. During the chase, Thornhill dives into a romance with Eve Kendall (played by Eva Marie Saint) who is seemingly out to help him, all to change her allegiance a few more times throughout the plot.

An overnight train trip from New York to Chicago highlights the allure and mystery of riding the rails during the era. The pair shares a private berth and explores their mutual emotions, leading to an exchange of perfect sexual innuendo which surprisingly made it past the censors.

Some of the most iconic images from Hitchcock films come from this movie, including the aerial shots of the freshly built United Nations Headquarters, our protagonist taking cover from a malicious crop dusting plane in a cornfield, and even a careful climbing over the presidential monument.

Even in the trailer of the movie, the director himself eludes to it being about travel and also draws up the film poster from "Alfred Hitchcock Travel Agency" in the corner. With a cameo by a TWA Constellation, "North by Northwest" is not only a great movie, but a great travel movie.

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