November 4, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I, II & III • Page 21 Hitchcock espionage thriller turns 50 in Blu-ray by Dennis Seuling Almost everyone has a favorite Hitchcock film, but it is certain that if a Top Five list of the director’s movies were compiled, “North by Northwest” (1959) would be right up there. Warner Home Video has finally released this classic in a 50th Anniversary Blu-ray edition, complete with bells and whistles that will really enhance the viewer’s appreciation of this picture. In “North by Northwest,” Hitchcock relied on a favorite theme: an innocent person embroiled in dire circumstances beyond his control tries to extricate himself, only to be thrust deeper into peril. Previously used by Hitchcock in “The 39 Steps,” “Saboteur,” and “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” this theme served the master director well over the years. Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) is a Manhattan ad man kidnapped when he is mistaken for a spy by Phillip Vandamm (James Mason) and his henchmen. The more Thornhill tries to convince his abductors that he is not who they think he is, the more he is immersed in danger. Ernest Lehman’s screenplay is peppered with touches of wit, and Grant shines with a combination of his big-screen urbanity and escalating fear for his life. There are sensational set pieces in which a drunken Thornhill attempts to control a brakeless car on a winding road at night; Thornhill and woman-of-mystery Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint) meet in a dining car on a Chicago-bound train and exchange suggestive, Eisenhower-era wordplay; in a remote cornfield, Thornhill has arranged to meet the man for whom he has been mistaken, and instead encounters a small plane trying to kill him; and the presidents’ faces carved into Mount Rushmore serve as the site of a breathtaking chase. accounts of sensational crimes. These films -- tough and unsentimental -- showcased a black-and-white universe simultaneously brutal, erotic, and morally ambiguous. Coined by French film critics, the term “film noir” literally (continued on Crossword page) State Line 375 State Highway 17 North, Mahwah Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) finds trouble where he least expects it in Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘North by Northwest.’ The Best Got Better! Diner - Restaurant 201-529-3353 The movie is an exceptional achievement where everything fits together perfectly. The performances, Bernard Herrmann’s driving score, Technicolor photography by Robert Burks, sharp dialogue, and plenty of suspense make “North by Northwest” a genuine treat. Blu-ray extras include a 44-page book with photos and production notes, commentary by screenwriter Ernest Lehman, the new documentary “The Master’s Touch: Hitchcock’s Signature Style,” a career profile of Cary Grant, a music-only audio track, stills gallery, and theatrical trailers. The Widescreen film is in Dolby 5.1 stereo. “Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics, Vol. 1” (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) is a five-disc box set containing five noir features from the 1950s. Film noir emerged from the world of pulp magazines, paperback thrillers, and Now Serving Cocktails, Espresso & Cappuccino Open 24 Hours, 7 Days Join Us For Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner $ 00 On $10.00 and over. With this coupon only. One Coupon per table. 5:00 to 9:00 pm only. Off 1 $ 00 VT On $20.00 and over. With this coupon only. One Coupon per table. 5:00 to 9:00 pm only. Off 2 VT ������������� �������� ��������� ������ �������� ����������� ������������ ���� ��� ����� ���������������������������������������������� � ������������ ��������������� ����������� ������������������������������������ ������������������������������������ ����� ����� ������ ����� ��� � ���������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������� ����� ��� ������ ������� ������������������ �������������������� ��������������������� ��������������������������� ����������� ������������ ���������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������� � ��������������� ����������� ������������������������������������ ������������������������������������ ����� �������� ������ � ������������������������ ��������������������� �� �� �� ����� � �� ����� ��������������� ���������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������� ��������������� ����������������������������� ����������������������� ������������������� ���������������� ������������������������