Sexuality In North By Northwest Film Studies Essay

While the Cold War conjured diverse anxiousnesss, I will focus on my presentation on the thought of “ Domestic Containment, ” specifically the containment of homosexualism in America ( Cohan ) . I came across this construct in Elaine Tyler May ‘s Homeward Bound. It deals with the political and ideological grounds 1950s America insisted on advancing stiff heterosexualism and capitalist thrusts, fring itself of “ backward ” work forces and Communist treasonists, something wholly in line with Hitchcock ‘s mission in the movie

Furthermore, by raising the homophobic classs of Cold War political discourse, in peculiar the building of “ the homosexual ” as a national security hazard, N by NW virtually guaranteed that gender and nationality functioned as reciprocally reenforcing classs of individuality.

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In this presentation, I will discourse gender as related to thoughts of nation-hood and argue that there is a “ mini cold war ” being waged in North by Northwest, one that deals specifically with progressing the American heterosexual twosome over the Soviet homosexual 1 coded throughout the movie. With the American, heterosexual twosome ‘s victory on screen comes an ideological triumph for America in 1959.


Before I analyze cartridge holders and stills from North By Northwest that trade with currents of gender and nationality, I wanted to demo this cartridge holder from the latter half of the movie to demo that Hitchcock makes it copiously clear that we are supposed to read North by Northwest as a Cold War movie concerned with gender. Chink! ! !

I want you to take away from this cartridge holder the obvious linguistic communication of the cold war every bit good as how gender or “ bedding down ” is wrapped up in this international battle.

In this manner, North by Northwest nowadayss in seize with teething signifier America immersed in Cold War ambiguity in which people on both sides were served up as sacrificial lambs.

N by NW was made and released during the latter stage of the 2nd term of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a clip when the Cold War was in full force, with the US and rival Soviet Union using the most sophisticated undercover agent techniques.

This new sort of war required changeless watchfulness and preparedness to contend on a minute ‘s notice. The Cold War lasted longer than any other war in our state ‘s history, get downing when the United States introduced atomic panic to the universe by dropping its first atomic bomb on Japan on August 6, 1945, and enduring into our life-time with the autumn of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Although the Cold War shaped and distorted virtually every facet of American life, possibly more than anything else, atomic arms changed the universe. With them, an component of exposure existed unlike anything in history.

Nuclear menace escalated during the 1950s, the decennary we ‘re concerned with today. In August 1949 the Soviets had their first successful atomic bomb trial. Both the US and the Soviet Union held hydrogen bomb trials in 1952 and 53 and in October 1957 the Soviets launched Sputnik.

America ‘s atomic buildup, planetary mobilisation, and interventionism during the Cold War were justified in the name of halting Soviet communism, a foe policymakers deemed so devilish that its licking warranted the hazard of destructing civilisation itself.

The fact that the Soviet Union was non merely a military, economic, and geopolitical but an ideological enemy, posed a alone sort of challenge to a resolutely capitalistic state.

This ideological hostility between socialism and capitalist economy polarized the universe along new lines.

And it is against this background that Hitchcock gave birth to his suspense thriller North by Northwest.


Certain historical tendencies and demographics are important to understand before analysing the movie ‘s remarks on gender.

During the late fortiess and throughout the 1950s, an astonishing rise in the birth rate, a worsening age of matrimony, a growing in the matrimony rate, and low divorce rate all converged in the thick of the most intense old ages of atomic fright and ideological and foster warfare.

Since household formation and birthrate respond to both positive and negative economic and cultural stimulations, it is non surprising that this epoch of relatively good times brought increased matrimony and birthrate.

At the same clip, nevertheless, increased sexual activity at younger and younger ages, particularly for adult females in the late fiftiess and beyond, problematically, included increasing cases of pre-marital sex

Therefore the history of gender in postwar America is the narrative of increasing liberalisation

Work force, excessively, participated. The rebellion of work forces against matrimony and the progressively permissive fantasy life associated with the “ man-about-town ” life style of the late fiftiess, appears to be the sort of life our supporter and hero, Cary Grant ‘s character Roger Thornhill, ascribes to.

And, in footings of female rebellion, possibly even more dismantlement is the sexual promiscuousness of Eve Kendall, played by Eva Marie Saint.

Thornhill is typed as a womaniser, with two failed matrimonies to tout of, and Eve, as if wholly cognizant of the outlooks of her 1950s civilization, introduces herself to Thornhill short saying that she ‘s 26 and single, and that ‘s all he needs to cognize.


Analyzing domestic containment in relation to national individuality has multiple advantages.

It allows us to see that what we have so far regarded as a alone Cold War phenomenon was in fact portion of the larger, ongoing procedure of specifying America.

The really significance of America had become greatly problematized in the 1950s.

Possibly this instability of American individuality is why Hitchcock invariably reasserted clearly American values and American locations throughout North by Northwest, on screen are merely a few of the most memorable sites Hitchcock takes us. Ad-lib

I will show many aspects of North by Northwest that trade specifically with America and American life in order to further land the containment of homosexualism as a Cold War scheme in the movie.

I foremost want to discourse the gap credits of the movie. Understanding Hitchcock ‘s superb get downing gives us-the viewing audiences and our category today-a lens through which to understand Hitchcock ‘s apprehension of Cold War America, homophobia, heterosexualism and communism.


Designed by American in writing interior decorator and Academy award winning film maker Saul Bass, the credits provide a sort of map meant to turn up or point the witness. A series of crossing lines, clearly intended to raise a map or graph, track a clean screen placed at an angle to the camera. They finally dissolve into a shooting of an office edifice whose glass and steel facade reflects the traveling traffic on the busy street below.

The mirror like surface of the facade that emerges from the crossing lines maps as a screen on which the images of the busy street below are non so much reflected as projected. Consequently, harmonizing to Robert Corber in his book “ In the Name of National Security: Hitchcock, Homophobia, and the Political Construction of Gender ” the gap rubrics seem to propose that, as a semiotic pattern, the movie has the ability to form and specify world, to build a map of it that fixes its significance for the witness.

In this manner, they call attending to the artificiality or constructed-ness of the movie ‘s representation of world. It provides the witness with co-ordinates that enable him/her to turn up and specify his/her place in the universe and thereby do sense of it-a concept built-in to audience response that we have discussed at length this semester, and that I will touch on in greater deepness shortly.

By get downing in this manner, harmonizing to Corber, the movie demonstrates its ability to conjure world, to build a representation of the universe that the witness does non oppugn but assumes accurately reflects modern-day society b/c of its perceptual strength or alleged feeling of world a therefore, from the beginning, we are meant to presume that Hitchcock s representation of America in 1959 is how it truly was.

Another of import component of the movie ‘s beginning is that our supporter Roger Thornhill appears as if plucked from the crowd at random, as he is ab initio shown emerging from an lift jammed with office workers. He is wholly typical of New York ‘s crowded people, missing way. Indeed, strictly by accident, he is kidnapped shortly after he arrives at the hotel by two of Vandamm ‘s work forces, who mistake him for the fabricated American agent George Kaplan. Thus, Hitchcock makes us believe that anyone of us, excessively, could hold been sucked into this brainsick secret plan.

One other interesting thing to reap from the rubric sequence is that it alludes to the traps in which the supporters find themselves throughout the movie every bit good as frames the movie ‘s flight

This grid recurs throughout the movie, in railroad autos, deserted prairie hamlets, and national memorials.

From the really beginning, furthermore, I want you to observe that the movie is an geographic expedition of Cold War AMERICA, as seen in the perpendicular top shootings of the Madison Avenue skyscraper, UN central office and Mount Rushmore and the horizontal shootings of the railroad auto and of the empty Midwestern plane

I will now demo a screaming dawdler for North by Northwest from 1959, which gives a brief but comprehensive geographical circuit of Hitchcock ‘s locations, which I wo n’t hold clip to flesh out on my ain in this presentation, but are highly of import.



Having late discussed how the gap credits situate and command the witness ‘s position of the movie, and, by extension, portray the Cold War clime harmonizing to Hitchcock ‘s building, I want to specifically associate this signifier of control with the spectator ‘s sexual designation.

Hitchcock ‘s movies contributed indirectly to the pathologizing of same-sex erotism by proposing that in order for the person to accomplish a comparatively stable heterosexual individuality she/he had to successfully negociate the Oedipus composite

Because Hitchcock ‘s movies occupied the capable place, the witness became complicit with her/his ain Oedipalization, which, in the 1950s, was tantamount to accepting the footings of the postwar colony.

By analyzing N by NW in the context of the postwar colony, I want show to that Hitchcock ‘s movies participated in a government of pleasance that helped to consolidate the outgrowth of the national security province.

His representational patterns were complicit with the dominant building of societal world during the Cold War epoch. Hitchcock ‘s inclination to subjectivize the single witness ‘s experience constitutes one of the chief links b/w his movies and the anti-Stalinist undertaking of American Cold War functionaries.

Therefore, in N by NW, Hitchcock demonstrated how the discourses of national security produced phantasies that brought the single witness ‘s desire into alliance with the state ‘s security involvements.


Now I will travel into the meat of my presentation: the politicization of gender.

The Cold War persuaded 1000000s of Americans to construe their universe in footings of insidious enemies who threatened them with atomic and other signifiers of obliteration.

McCarthyism contributed to a great extent to sing the universe through this dark, falsifying lens and puting planetary and domestic policies to counter these menaces.

Harmonizing to the Federal Government, if homophiles felt alienated from mainstream American society, that was b/c they were maladjusted, their jobs were non political but personal and were best remedied in a physician ‘s office.

On the other manus, nevertheless, the dominant discourse of same sex erotism tried to demo that homosexualism promoted communism and hence politicized homosexual individualities.

The homosexual community, which had emerged with new coherence and visibleness in the aftermath of World War II, found itself a premier mark for anticommunist reformers.

It was believed that they were particularly vulnerable to blackjack by Soviet agents eager to enroll intelligence beginnings

As a consequence, the early 1950s witnessed widespread purge of homophiles from the State Department, the military, and other federal bureaus.

However, more than merely a greater hazard of blackmail was involved. Homosexuals were seen as deficient in character, moral unity, and existent maleness. Unfit as Cold Warriors, they were therefore unwanted citizens.

This stigmatisation, as historian John D’Emilio points out in his survey of Cold War sexual political relations, was carried still farther by conservative politicians who linked homosexualism straight to communism, re-conceptualizing homosexualism as a contagious disease spread by Communists to weaken the state from within.

A individual homosexual, functionaries maintained, could easy pollute an full authorities office. The subjugation of homophiles at all degrees became yet another act of containment in the battle against communism.

Homosexuals, farther, were seen as particularly unsafe to the extent that a cheery male character was virtually identical from consecutive male 1s, thereby showing that homophiles, like Communists, could perilously get away sensing.

During its extremely publicized hearings in the 1940s and early 1950s, the House UnAmerican Activities Committee did non restrict its probe to the Communists who had purportedly infiltrated the federal Government, but extended it to include homophiles who “ passed ” as heterosexual. On the footing of testimony from head-shrinkers and other medical “ experts ” who testified that they were susceptible to blackjack by Soviet agents b/c they were emotionally unstable, therefore officially traping homophiles as national-security hazards.

The publication of the Kinsey studies on male and female sexual behaviour, in 1948 and 53 severally, merely reinforced the politicization of homosexualism. The studies provided scientific grounds proposing that sexual individualities were unstable and unstable instead than entirely and for good heterosexual or homosexual. In acknowledging the fluidness of gender, impeding the efforts of homosexuals to specify themselves as members of an laden minority

The permeant allusions to homosexualism in North by Northwest enables me to emphasize the centrality of the politicization of same-sex erotism to post-war American civilization and to demo that containment of homosexualism was necessary to conditions of the Cold War.

Therefore, North by Northwest epitomizes this tight bond between gender and national security in the Cold War epoch.


Now I will get down my analysis of gender in the movie with what I call a “ collage ” of mentions to homosexualism.

When looking at these stills from the film, maintain in head how Cary Grant, our darting American supporter, excessively, can be wrapped up with homosexualism, talking to the pervasiveness and dangers of homosexualism infiltrating American lives.


The movie ‘s play fundamentally begins with Roger Thornhill traveling to an all-men ‘s saloon in the Plaza Hotel. Although he has a day of the month for that eventide, it is with his female parent no less, a job I will discourse shortly!


The subject of the snatch of the hero, Thornhill, by two sinister work forces, with the hero frequently seated in a auto, tightly between them, recurs throughout the movie in myriad signifiers. Pictured above are merely a few illustrations that represent this subject of Thornhill ‘s brushs with homosexualism. CLICK FOUR TIMES.


Now we arrive at the Villain Phillip Vandamm ‘s “ place ” who is played by George Mason.

I want you to maintain this apparently benign image on screen in head throughout the balance of my presentation.

While no bookman has mentioned the significance of the auto ‘s pulling into Vandamm ‘s gate, I think this action is significantly mirrored in the iconic stoping of the movie that I will demo subsequently.

For now, nevertheless, merely maintain in head that a auto driven by a adult male and with our supporter squished tightly b/w two other work forces in the backseat, penetrates the gate to a Soviet place.


Vandamm, the lead scoundrel, unsurprisingly is connected with homosexualism. His maleness should be fishy because of his relationship with his sadistic, overtly homosexual associate, Leonard, played by Martin Landau, who Hitchcock notes in the screenplay should be read as homosexual.

The slide above characteristics Leonard, with the aid of two male confederates, coercing the cervix of a spirits bottle between Thornhill ‘s lips, doing him imbibe its full contents-an evidently phallic mention of homosexual colza


As I noted a few proceedingss ago, a cardinal aspect of the politicization of gender in the 1950s, came with tie ining homosexualism with communism.

While Hitchcock does n’t specifically advert the state of beginning of the aliens in the movie, he locates Vandamm ‘s place significantly in Glen Cove, New York.

This location straight implies that Vandamm and his associates are from the Soviet Union, who at the clip had a mission in that town on northern Long Island. This fact sheds peculiar visible radiation on the stills of homosexualism I am demoing, as they are straight linked with communism.

Further, subsequently in the movie, the Professor describes Vandamm as an “ importer exporter of authorities secrets, ” thereby coding him as a Soviet agent involved in the Cold War.


Before I move on to demo and discourse the celebrated crop-dusting scene-the scene I regard as the most compelling, and celebrated, ocular representation of the menace of homosexualism to our protagonist-I must first discourse another facet of Thornhill ‘s unsuitable gender: his unhealthy relationship with his female parent.

In order to “ Incorporate ” Thornhill and set him on the proper sexual way, his relationship with his female parent needs to badly alter.

The basic mother-son narrative line goes as follows: the movie opens with an aeonian male, Thornhill, placing himself foremost of wholly as a boy.

He speaks of his attempts to maintain the odor of spirits on his breath from the alert olfactory organ of his female parent, and he comes to the attending of his enemies because of an unsolved anxiousness about acquiring a message to his female parent, whereupon he is taken confined. ( Cavell )

Hitchcock suggests that Thornhill ‘s engagement in the Communist underworld, an underworld marked by sexual every bit good as political aberrance, is non purely coinciding but is indirectly related to his devotedness to his female parent. The movie attempts to demo that b/c he has failed to internalise the Law of the Father and remains emotionally dependent on his female parent, there is a sense in which his irresponsible behaviour is complicit with the Communist infiltration of the American authorities.

The discourses that linked communism and homosexualism really warned against the potentially baneful effects of maternity specifically and indicate to a reaction against the outgrowth of the feminine mystique of the 1950s.

On the one manus, as we have seen throughout seminar, post-war American civilization experienced a proliferation of canonized representations of maternity designed to entice adult females back into the place following the war. On the other manus, many Americans resented the glory of maternity b/c it gave adult females purportedly excessively much power in the domestic domain.

With the eruption of the Cold War, “ Mom-ism ” excessively became linked to the spread of communism and led to the creative activity of a demonology of maternity. Suddenly, female parents risked doing their boies susceptible to Communist propaganda.

The discourses of mom-ism limited adult females ‘s authorization in the domestic domain and ensured that their child-rearing patterns conformed to the state ‘s security involvements. For, if adult females disregarded the adept advice of head-shrinkers and other trained professionals, they risked bring forthing kids who were Communists every bit good as homophiles.

In N by NW this facet of the demonisation of maternity is obvious in Thornhill ‘s relationship with his female parent.

Thornhill ‘s sexual immatureness therefore is incompatible with the state ‘s security involvement. In the postwar period, the state ‘s political stableness and economic prosperity were thought to depend upon the production of topics who had internalized the regulations and ordinances regulating Oedipal desire. Thus Thornhill was non so different from the movie ‘s Communists and homophiles.

ADLIB-mom younger than Grant, problematic.


To shut this subdivision on homosexualism, I want to look at the celebrated scene where Thornhill is attacked by a crop-dusting plane. This iconic sequence of events is both the cardinal image of Thornhill ‘s victimization and surprisingly, or unsurprisingly as my presentation is trying to turn out, a powerful case of homosexual onslaught.

The dark before this scene takes topographic point Thornhill and Eve violate a tabu. We know that Thornhill spent the dark with Eve, boldly and evidently proposing pre-marital intercourse.

I understand the onslaught I ‘m about to demo, which one time once more occurs the really following twenty-four hours, to be a powerful visual image of penalty for intercourse


Chink AFTER!

The linkage of this scene with gender is apparent in Hitchcock ‘s cinematography. The association of the prairie with the sexual landscape of the train compartment where Thornhill and Eve had sex the dark before is signaled by his camera shootings.

Right before the cartridge holder I merely showed, a close-up of Eve ‘s face at the train station dissolved into an aerial shooting of the route and Fieldss of the plane onslaught, explicitly associating these scenes.

This changeable passage begs for an allegorical designation of the adult female and this stretch of land, the really land where Thornhill undergoes his onslaught.

To discourse this scene I will trust on the analysis of Theodore Price from his book “ Hitchcock and Homosexuality. ” He notes that foremost, we must observe the phallic symbolism associated with birds and of “ winging objects ” in general.

Harmonizing to Price, aside from the bird ‘s form, and its darting, picking beak, a bird is, to everyone ‘s unconscious, a phallic symbol because it flies. Flying besides is a symbol for acquiring an hard-on, for authority, and for sexual intercourse in general harmonizing to Ernest Jones.

Therefore, in a manner, the crop-dusting plane scene can raise undertones of homosexual colza from above. There are several significances that arise when looking at this scene from this angle.

1 ) This scene could stand for a fright on the portion of Thornhill of homosexual rape-and/or fright in his unusual attractive force to homosexual colza. This connexion is clear particularly when sing the “ homosexual colza ” still I showed earlier of Leonard coercing liquor down Thornhill ‘s oral cavity. The phallic bird-plane so may be interpreted as Grant ‘s fright of his former attractive force to homosexualism as he starts out on still another new love matter with a adult female.

2 ) The plane could besides stand for the revenging Phallus of the male parent figure in the movie, here Vandamm, who is intelligibly angry at the boy figure, Thornhill, for doing clip with the female parent figure, Eve.

3 ) Additionally, the sequence could intend that the plane represents the “ Castrator ” , Eve, who set him up in the corn field to get down with. For, from the psychoanalytic position, birds can be adult female or vagina symbols excessively.


Regardless of which manner we read this scene, a powerful avenging Phallus, sent by Communists, launches its bullets-take this fact as an allusion to ejaculation-at our male hero. Fortunately for Thornhill, he finds safety in the corn fields of America-which, in my sentiment, represents happening protection from this Communist Phallus in the heartland of America.


Having catalogued infinite cases of the presence and associated dangers of homosexualism in the movie, I now need to demo how these dangers were contained by the insisting on heterosexual twosome.

To make so, I will utilize May ‘s analysis of 1950s Domesticity in Homeward edge.

In this work, May linked the overdone domesticity that characterized the “ long 1950ss ” -from 1945-1965-that we ‘ve discussed at length in seminar to homosexualism and anticommunist jussive moods.

May readily acknowledged the extraordinary emphasiss placed upon the American household by the Great Depression and World War II.

Postwar Americans, happening extra menaces to traditional household life in lifting rates of out-of-wedlock gestation and sexual promiscuousness, as I discussed earlier, juvenile delinquency, as Willi discussed two hebdomads ago, and the ultimate menace of atomic war, Americans intelligibly sought “ normality ” in matrimonial sex, pro-natalism, and suburban domesticity during this clip.

Further, merely as anticommunism required the containment of Sino-Soviet enlargement abroad, so, excessively, May argued, gender revolution and aberrant look of sexual desire had to be efficaciously contained at place, therefore “ domestic containment. ”

Promotion of household values, policymakers believed, would guarantee non merely a topographic point for work forces to return to the work force, but besides the stable household life necessary for personal and national security, a sort of Cold War triumph on the domestic forepart.

Hitchcock excessively received the memo, as he promoted the heterosexual twosome throughout the movie.

Hitchcock, by tie ining homosexualism with the Sovietss coded as Communists, both remarks on its pervasiveness of both groups in America at that clip and establishes it as the inferior sexual bond that must be checked and contained by the heterosexual twosome.

Therefore, no mere exercising in nostalgia, domestic containment was portion of a new Cold War consensus about the significance of America and profoundly embedded in the secret plan of North by Northwest.

Now I ‘m traveling to demo you a series of slides that blatantly show the heterosexual twosome of Thornhill and Eve. CLICK AND ADLIB


When contextualized within the domestic political relations of matrimony during the cold war, heterosexualism and Re-Marriage return on great importance.

We come to see that Thornhill and Eve ‘s escapades throughout the movie service as tests for their suitableness to acquire married.

Eve is sexually immature before she becomes an agent for the American authorities, harmonizing to the footings of the postwar colony. Although she is partly redeemed by moving as an American agent-showing her willingness to execute her loyal duty-she nevertheless continues to busy a place outside the jurisprudence.

This is so because to execute her loyal responsibility she must go against the regulations that govern female gender in the 1950s, doing her merely partially rehabilitated.

She is a “ unreliable small hobo ” and uses sex “ like a fly flyswat ” harmonizing to the film – so she remains a pronounced adult female throughout.

However, when Thornhill rescues her from Vandamm, he enables her to make something truly worthwhile for the state: go a proper married woman and female parent

The relationship b/w gender and nationality suggests that Thornhill ‘s activities as an American agent besides need to be reconstructed harmonizing to the post-war colony.

His activities as an American agent make a scenario that puts an terminal to his womanizing.

Thornhill ‘s confusion within the CIA ‘s attempts to battle communism really increases his desire for matrimony and domesticity. To Thornhill, the domestic domain non merely provides a safety from the authorities which has recklessly endangered his and eve ‘s lives, but besides invariably restages his pre-Oedipal fond regard to his female parent.

In this manner, his espionage activities guarantee that the organisation of gender and his individuality as a citizen are reciprocally reenforcing.

Therefore, Hitchcock stresses the ability of the American authorities to modulate and command the building of the person ‘s subjectivity-as it is merely one time he is involved in its activities that he is redeemed. Harmonizing to the discourses of national security so, Thornhill ‘s opposition to his function as a hubby is un-American, and his activities as an American reorganize him as a proper citizen.

This scene shows how the series of events that have unfolded have transformed both supporters ‘ positions of matrimony, and suggest that re-marriage in the name of national security is on the skyline. CLICK SHOW CLIP

As you merely saw Thornhill uses the laden word “ proposal ” that explicitly suggests matrimony. Besides, they discuss his former failed matrimonies, alarming the spectator that we are covering with “ re-marriage ” here. Besides, Cary Grant ‘s sly wit about “ taking excessively dull a life ” suggests that as a consequence of his engagement in affairs of province, he has achieved a degree of exhilaration suitable for matrimony and can now come in into a proper relationship.


I want to demo you a series of images and a cartridge holder from the terminal of the movie that pit homosexualism explicitly against heterosexualism. With their arrangement at the terminal of the movie they attain great significance, proposing that the victor of this sexual conflict is the master in a mini cold war.

In add-on, I show images with work forces and adult females, homophiles and straight persons, in these cartridge holders, to demo both strains of gender at odds within a individual frame.


Before I show these stills and cartridge holders, I need to discourse the importance of the Vandamm house itself, where the bulk of these cartridge holders take topographic point.

Situated in a fabricated forested tableland atop the Mount Rushmore, Vandamm ‘s house dominates a devotional shrine of American democracy-its positioning entirely reveals how even America ‘s most iconic memorials are endangered by Soviet incursion.

Further, the house ‘s Midwestern location-in the Black Hills part, near Keystone, South Dakota, is besides of import. The move toward the West, evoked by the movie ‘s rubric, brings the supporters to the American heartland, the spinal column of the continent.

Additionally, the house ‘s arrangement atop a mountain has wider deductions. It expresses ocular domination and panoptic control. The fact that blazing homosexualism pervades a site that serves at the same time as a great menace to an iconic American memorial and exerts intense control, suggests how unsafe the menaces of homosexualism and communism have at one time become at the terminal of the movie.

CLICK THROUGH CLIPS and extemporaneous


In this cartridge holder, we see Leonard utilizing phrases like his “ adult female ‘s intuition ” alining himself with homosexualism, or muliebrity at the least and Vandamm observing that he ‘s “ touched ” by green-eyed monster.


Now I would wish to travel into the concluding stage of my treatment: a comprehensive treatment of Mount Rushmore, and the conflict between the US and Soviet Union that occurs atop its democratic faces.

First and first, we must understand Mount Rushmore to be a topographic point so decidedly and undeniably American.

Using a carven stone incorporating the mammoth granite portrayals of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln as a background, Hitchcock suggests that what happens there is of NATIONAL IMPORTANCE.

After a few understanding moves, Thornhill and Eve leave Vandamm ‘s house and happen themselves atop memorial being chased by Vandamm, Leonard and their confederates.

The celebrated commemoration is the perfect declaration point for the conflict opposing maestro undercover agent Vandamm and his forces against Thornhill and Eve to continue America ‘s involvements.

Memorials like Mount Rushmore situate North by Northwest in the tradition of the escapade narrative, which is characterized by a series of altering locations to which the hero has to accommodate himself.

In line with classical film conventions, Hitchcock frequently included tourist attractive forces in his set uping shootings as a sort of ocular synecdoche. Celebrated edifices and sites identify non merely themselves but besides help the audience place further with what Hitchcock uses the memorial to show.

In this manner a “ tourer regard ” emerges-a sort of expression that transforms the location into a series of inactive post cards to be absorbed

In add-on, the tourer ritual implies the sacralization of specific places-a procedure to which picture taking and film contribute mostly.

In fact, the widespread images of Mount Rushmore, for illustration, lend lustre to the memorial itself. In this regard, by endangering the memorial at the custodies of Communists, but finally reasserting American laterality on its really surface, Hitchcock enhances the resiliency and position of one of America ‘s great testimonials to democracy and our state ‘s history.

This fact means that what Hitchcock depicts on screen non merely affects his audience, but besides lets him make his portion for America during the Cold War.

Solidifying this connexion between on screen action and its relationship to the existent universe outside the theatre, memorials are frequently specifically connected to ideological values, incarnating corporate memories and civic individualities.

The followers is a great illustration of how this connexion resonated with those involved with the movie.

MGM ‘s location director obtained permission ( which was later withdrawn ) from the South Dakota Park governments to movie north by northwest ‘s flood tide on Mount Rushmore because the memorial would play a function in the riddance of the movie ‘s scoundrels.

Here ‘s a quotation mark the park governments: “ We unfeignedly believe that it will be symbolically and dramatically fulfilling to the people of the US that this great national commemoration, standing at that place in all its granite glorification, becomes the really stumbling block of those who would sabotage our state. In the terminal, the enemies of democracy are defeated by the Shrine of Democracy itself. ” Therefore, the people of Mount Rushmore believed that on-screen action could hold of import off-screen significance

A seeable and public topographic point par excellence, the memorial therefore becomes a mirror for single frights and concealed injury, merely as the gap credits on the Madison Avenue edifice suggested.

Therefore one can see how the movie can function as a 2 hr and 11 minute mirror presenting and reflecting real-life cold war concerns.


In Hitchcock ‘s work, he by and large concentrates such a grade of spectacle, suspense and play in the decease of the scoundrel that it constitutes the ocular flood tide and shutting scenes of the movie.

Its complex theatrical production frequently takes topographic point in public so that the spectacle has its ain built-in or ready-made audience, with the presidents ‘ caputs in N by NW functioning as a perfect illustration.

As the spectacle of decease constitutes the high point of many Hitchcock secret plans, the terminals of the scoundrel ‘s life comes to distill the terminal of the narrative itself.

In a sense, these extraordinary tableaus, animated by suspense and anxiousness, overwhelm the existent shutting minutes of North By Northwest.

The ultimate figuration of narrative closing in this movie, is non the decease of America ‘s enemies, but instead is the “ formation of the twosome. ”

This figuration takes up relatively small and unspectacular screen clip, but does busy the of import infinite of the concluding minutes of the movie

Therefore, while there is no uncertainty that the overarching subject of North by Northwest is about portraying Cold War anxiousnesss and defending America and its corresponding values, Hitchcock gives the American heterosexual twosome the last minutes of the film-suggesting that these two are closely linked.

Before I move on to my reasoning comments, I wanted to demo you this concluding scene of the movie. Chink!


These two stills, when viewed in concurrence, gaining control the kernel of Hitchcock ‘s containment scheme in N by NW.

Rhyming of the image in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen-which alludes to homosexual intercourse-with the blazing image of heterosexual class featured in the top right, suggests unacceptable and acceptable sorts of sexual activity.

Further, because the homosexual image is linked straight with Communist scoundrels, as I argued manner back in the beginning of my presentation, and the heterosexual 1 is associated with our hero and heroine who merely fought to continue America ‘s freedom atop the faces of our great presidents, Hitchcock clearly implies which case of gender is the proper one.

By following the homosexual and heterosexual elements of N by NW I tried to demo how the US authorities, embodied in Hitchcock as movie manufacturer, had a manus in defining and incorporating American gender in the 1950s.

Merely like the authorities operated covertly to bring forth a united cultural forepart dedicated to the containment communism, Hitchcock covertly contained homosexualism in N by NW as his manner of take parting in the war attempt.

In this manner, Hitchcock helped the postwar colony operate unconsciously, that is, determined, without looking to make so, a definition of world that seemed to match to his audiences ‘ lived experiences.

By runing under the pretense of popular, commercial amusement, North by Northwest subtly shaped the manner in which Americans thought and lived their dealingss to the universe, their sexual 1s at least.

The witness of Hitchcock ‘s movies non merely accepted the outgrowth of the national security province as politically necessary but besides actively contributed to its reproduction by conforming to the dominant buildings of gendered individuality.

In the words of Robert Corber: “ Hitchcock ‘s movies functioned as phantasy scenarios that rendered the witness ‘s interpolation within the discourses of national security non merely desirable but enjoyable. They helped to form the witness ‘s gender harmonizing to a series of designations and object fond regard that corresponded to the state ‘s security involvements. ”

Therefore, through superb scheme, Hitchcock utilized elusive prescriptions of gender in his representation of Cold War Culture that made every American privation to happen the kind of bond that Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint found in each other.



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