Historian takes a brief look at North by Northwest

Cover art for a North by Northwest Blu Ray release

Michael Beschloss, a historian who writes about U.S. presidents, turned his attention over the weekend to North by Northwest.

Beschloss’ Twitter feed (@BeschlossDC) often notes the anniversary of major historical events, accompanied by photos and illustrations. But he also posts tweets about the arts and society.

For North by Northwest, the 1959 film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, Beschloss had two posts.

One tweet included part of a document from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which would release the movie, to National Park Service concerning how Mount Rushmore would be used in the movie.

“None of our characters would tread upon the faces of the Presidents,” the document reads.

Beschloss also tweeted a photo of a brochure marked up by screenwriter to work out the Mount Rushmore sequence.

You can take a look for yourself.



6 Responses

  1. I am a die-hard Bond aficionado but in my opinion, there isn’t single Bond movie that can touch North by Northwest.

  2. @Ricardo: I’ve written this before but for me North by Northwest provides the template others would follow in the 1960s. For Bond films, it was mixing humor with drama. For UNCLE, it was mixing an “innocent” into the proceedings. With North by Northwest, ironically, it was Cary Grant who was the “innocent” as well as lead character.

  3. @The Spy Commander: I agree with you. There’s no question of NBNW’s influence on the 60’s spy craze.

  4. Hitchcock wanted Cary Grant to crawl inside Lincoln’s nose and have a sneezing fit.

  5. I worked at Mount Rushmore as a Park Ranger from 1984-1985 and I helped with curating the photos of the filming at the monument. They have some great stills shot by the park staff during the filming. They were very nice photos. I always wanted to do a exhibit on the filming of the movie but the management was not too interested. In the new visitor center at the mountain, I believe there is a exhibit on the movies that were filmed at the mountain. And one of the most asked questions when I was there was “where was James Mason’s house?”

  6. laurieh94: I bet if you worked there today, you would be lucky to encounter a person who actually knew who Hitchcock was.

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