Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) is a middle-aged advertising executive who claims his life is just too dull. When he answers the wrong page, one for a George Kaplan, he is mistaken for Kaplan. It becomes an identity which Thornhill cannot shake. Unctuous, urbane spy Phillip Vandamm (James Mason) wants Kaplan dead, but when his first attempt at assassination fails, he frames Thornhill for murder instead.
Now Thornhill is chased across the USA by the spies, the police and the FBI. Boarding a train he meets Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint), who helps him in his desperate flight. Eve seems to know a little too much and when he discovers Eve's apparent duplicity, the smitten Roger's attempt to even the score with her endangers both of their lives. And then things are getting really complicated.
Release date: July 17, 1959
Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color
Best Film Editing
Best Writing, Story and Screenplay - Written Directly for the Screen
Screenwriter Ernest Lehman: “I wanted Cary Grant to hide in Lincoln's nostril and then have a fit of sneezing. The Parks Commission was rather upset at this thought. I argued until one of their number asked me how I would like it if they had Lincoln play the scene in Cary Grant's nose. I saw their point at once.”
Director Cameo: Hitchcock arrives at a bus stop, (during the opening credits) but gets there a second too late and the door is closed in his face. He misses the bus.
The final chase scene was not shot on Mount Rushmore; Hitchcock couldn’t gain permission to shoot an attempted murder on a national monument. The scene was shot in the studio on a replica of Mount Rushmore.
James Stewart was very interested in starring in this movie, begging Hitchcock to let him play Thornhill. Hitchcock claimed that Vertigo (1958)’s lack of financial success was because Stewart looked too old.
Alfred Hitchcock: “I took a lot of trouble with Eva Marie Saint, grooming her and making her appear sleek and sophisticated. Next thing she is in a picture called Exodus looking dissipated”Source / More
Cary pictured on a 37¢ USA postage stamp in October 2002
January 18, 1904
Archibald Alec Leach
November 29, 1986
Archibald ran away from home at 14 to join a traveling acrobatic troupe as song-and-dance man. In 1920, Leach traveled to the United States with a select group of boys from the troupe. This was followed by Broadway musicals, operettas and supporting roles for Paramount.
His career boost came, after a name change, with She done him wrong (1933) co-starring Mae West. In 1937, Grant's contract with the studio expired, and he was free to choose his own projects. And so he picked some successful screwball comedy's as The awful truth (1937), Bringing up baby (1938) and Holiday (1938).
In the forties and fifties Cary managed to balance a mix of drama, comedy and romance. Suspicion (1941) was the first of four films that Grant made with Alfred Hitchcock Over the next 18 years, the actor and director collaborated on Notorious (1946), To Catch a Thief (1955) and North by Northwest (1959). Cary retired from the screen in 1966.
1970 Honorary Award
1945 Nominated Oscar best actor for: None But the Lonely Heart (1944)
1942 Nominated Oscar best actor for: Penny Serenade (1941)
Warren G. Harris -> Cary Grant: A Touch of Elegance (1987)
Donald Deschner -> The Films of Cary Grant (1973/1995)
Graham McCann -> Cary Grant: A Class Apart (1996)
Richard Schickel -> Cary Grant (1983/1998)