Pros:It's Hitchcock on Blu Ray! North by Northwest was remastered very well.
Cons:Sometimes Blu Ray can reveal sets from live actions.
The Bottom Line: If you love classic Hitchcock, and you are a film buff, North by Northwest looks better than ever on Blu Ray.
North by Northwest. If this doesn't conjure up images of Cary Grant running away from a crop plane, the beautiful Eva Marie Saint or the exciting style of Alfred Hitchcock, you have missed one of cinema's classic masterpieces.
North by Northwest - Brief Synopsis
North by Northwest is a famous Alfred Hitchock film made in 1959 starring Cary Grant, Eve Marie Saint, and James Mason. It is the classic case of mistaken identity where Roger Thornhill, an advertising executive (played by Grant) is mistaken to be a spy, the mysterious Mr. Kaplan. Soon he is being chased by Phillip VanDamm (Mason) and courted by the beautiful Eve (Marie Saint). Why does everyone think he is Kaplan? When he tries to find out, another man is murdered, and it is pinned on Thornhill. Thornhill is on the run, and tring to unravel a mystery as only Alfred Hitchcock can spin.
First - a few reasons why you should see this film, if you haven't already.
1.Alfred Hitccock directed it! North by Northwest is a classic Alfred Hitchcock film. Hitchcock is one of cinemas best thriller directors of such classics as The Birds, Psycho, Vertigo, The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes, Rear Window, The Man Who Knew Too Much and ...
North by Northwest. Yes this film is one of Hitchcock's classics, and it is excellent.
2. Acting / Cary Grant. They don't make leading men like they used to. Classic films have a certain charm and sophistication that many (some may argue all!) Hollywood films just don't have today. Leading men like Cary Grant are one of the reasons that classic films are just great to watch. Of course Eve Saint Marie is great as the femme fatale and a very young Martin Landeau was fun to watch as Mason's steely blue eyed lackey. Mason plays a calculating bad guy. You may also want to pay special attention to a certain fat gentleman that misses the bus at the very beginning.
3. Action / Intrigue
Between the famous scene of Grant being nearly mowed down by a crop dusting plane, hiding from officers in Eve Marie Saint's train car and an epic final scene at Mount Rushmore, the film will hold your attention.
Now on Blu Ray
Chances are you already know this is a great film, and the 40 plus reviews on Epinions alone praising North by Northwest will let you know that. Is it worth it to buy this film again on Blu Ray. You can pick this up now in the 50th anniversary edition or just the regular Blu Ray. The difference is only price, an extra disc of extra features and a small booklet. My Blu Ray review focuses on the quality difference of the Blu Ray. I remember that North by Northwest was one of the first classic films I saw on DVD when I first bought a projecter.
First - my test equipment.
Blu Ray player - Play Station 3 with all software updates
Receiver - Yamaha RX V 663 set to Straight Enhancement
Cables - Standard HDMI
Projector - Optoma HD 20 High Definition 1080p Home Theater projector.
Screen - 105" Da-Light Cinemavision Wide Screen Movie Screen.
North By Northwest
THe picture quality is excellent, the film was remastered in 1080p, so the original film like appearance really comes out in this movie. (for non tech people 1080p is the best possible picture resolution for the home) It definitely has that 50s technicolor look, one of cinema's first really good color sytems. You can even see the look of the fabrics in Grant's suits and of course the dust kicked up by the crop plane in the film's famous crop duster scene. The film was originally shot in 1.66:1 aspect ratio, but in the remaster, it has been changed to 1.85:1, so it fills a standard HD wide movie screen or wide screen T.V. I tend to be against changing aspect ratios, but I don't know what the film looked like in the original ratio. Everything looks very good here, in fact sometimes it looks almost too good and backgrounds look like backdrops instead of live.
The sound is much improved, the original was in mono, it has been remastered in True Dolby HD. For the most part, the remaster isn't over the top, it is only used when necessary or reasonable. For the most part, dialogue and action takes place in the front 3 channels in a very natural way, and surround sound effects are used when they make sense, such as the famous crop duster scene.
I was quite happy with my Blu Ray edition of ths classic Hitchcock film. The original was very well shot, and this Blu Ray lets you feel like you are back in the movies in 1959. Alfred Hitchcock is one of my favorite directors, and seeing one of his classic films get a great remastering was a pleasure. I hope more of Hitchcock's films are redone and released on Blu Ray.
If you are fan of Alfred Hitchcock and classic cinema, North by Northwest remastered in 1080p and TrueDolby looks as awesome as it must have when it was first seen in 1959. I highly recommend this classic film on Blu Ray.
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