North by Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock 1899-1980) - 1959

The star of this movie is a grey flannel suit worn by Cary Grant (1904-1986) whose birth name was Archibald Leach.  The suit endures the rigors of planes, trains and automobiles as Grant/Leach is chased by James Mason (1909-1984), Martin Landau, et al. from New York City to South Dakota including a rather annoying encounter with a machine-gunning crop duster.  It seems that the suit has been mistaken for one worn by a fictitious FBI agent created by Leo G. Carroll (1886-1972) to protect Eva Marie Saint.  How that was supposed to work is unclear.  The movie is an acceptable thriller/mystery considering the budget restraints of the day.  However, the ending scenes on Mount Rushmore are painful to watch.  Mr. Hitchcock could have used some blue-screen technology.

Cary Grant was a very popular actor in the 1950s.  He was the George Clooney of his era.  In a curious bit of casting, Jesse Royce Landis (1896-1972) played Grant's mother although she was only eight years older than him at the time.  Such was the popularity of Cary Grant that he could continue playing a leading man into his late fifties costarring with women who were twenty years or more younger than him.  He tried to do the same in real life by marrying Dyan Cannon in 1965 when he was 61 and she was 28.  The marriage and Grant's acting career lasted only two more years. [JAM 2/4/2010]