Behind the scenes on Hitchcock’s North by Northwest

Hitchcock’s thrilling masterpiece is returning to UK cinemas as part of the BFI’s Thriller season. To celebrate, we present a selection of behind-the-scenes shots, featuring Hitch, stars Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint… and the MGM lion.

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North by Northwest (1959) behind the scenes

Credit: Stills courtesy Park Circus/Warner Bros

Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint filming the Mount Rushmore finale.

North by Northwest (1959) behind the scenes

Credit: Stills courtesy Park Circus/Warner Bros

North by Northwest (1959) was initially called The Man on Lincoln’s Nose (this is also the title of an Oscar-nominated documentary about the film’s art director Robert Boyle).

North by Northwest (1959) behind the scenesh

Credit: Stills courtesy Park Circus/Warner Bros

Apart from the initial establishing shots and footage in the car park, which were shot on location at the historic monument in South Dakota, the rest of the Rushmore scene was filmed on an MGM soundstage.

North by Northwest (1959) behind the scenes

Credit: Stills courtesy Park Circus/Warner Bros

Hitchcock during location shooting at Chicago Midway International Airport in Illinois.

North by Northwest (1959) behind the scenes

Credit: Stills courtesy Park Circus/Warner Bros

“The only newspaper I read is the London Times,” Hitchcock told François Truffaut in 1962.

North by Northwest (1959) behind the scenes

Credit: Stills courtesy Park Circus/Warner Bros

Director and star with the actress Sally Fraser who played the receptionist at the United Nations.

North by Northwest (1959) behind the scenes

Credit: Stills courtesy Park Circus/Warner Bros

Filming the crop-dusting scene — Cary Grant has changed out of his famous Kilgour suit.

North by Northwest (1959) behind the scenes

Credit: Stills courtesy Park Circus/Warner Bros

Director and cast inspecting North by Northwest’s McGuffin.

North by Northwest (1959) behind the scenes

Credit: Stills courtesy Park Circus/Warner Bros

Hitchcock directing the famous tracking shot at LaSalle Street Station in downtown Chicago.

North by Northwest (1959) behind the scenes

Credit: Stills courtesy Park Circus/Warner Bros

Another location shoot. This time at New York’s Grand Central station where Roger Thornhill catches the 20th Century Limited train to Chicago.

North by Northwest (1959) behind the scenes

Credit: Stills courtesy Park Circus/Warner Bros

Eva Marie Saint taking a turn behind the camera, with co-star James Mason.

North by Northwest (1959) behind the scenes

Credit: Stills courtesy Park Circus/Warner Bros

A publicity shot of Hitchcock taking tea with the MGM lion. North by Northwest was the only film Hitchcock made for MGM.

North by Northwest is in UK cinemas from 20 October
 

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