Can you remember the film, “North by Northwest?”

Olivia Cantor

Image: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

About This Quiz

Many of legendary director Alfred Hitchcock's films are now considered as classics of cinema, but nothing could get more exciting than North by Northwest. Think you can recall the details of this opus by cinema's master of suspense-thriller? Then take this quiz and find out!

The story of the film begins in this city that never sleeps. What US city is this?

North by Northwest starts its journey on the East Coast. The film opens in New York City, and shows the city's daily hustle and bustle during the first sequences.

Where is Hitchcock's signature cameo appearance in this film?

Spotting Hitchcock's signature cameo is always a fun sport to play when watching his films. In North By Northwest, look for him during the opening credits, as he's the one who just missed the bus on the street.

Which Hollywood hunk stars in North By Northwest?

Cary Grant played Roger Thornhill. He also appeared in other Hitchcock classics like Suspicion, Notorious and To Catch a Thief.

Who played the blonde leading lady in this film?

Eva Marie Saint played Eve Kendall, a duplicitous character. Hitchcock loves blondes in his movies, as apparent here.

North By Northwest carries a popular Hitchcock storytelling trope of the character-switching type. What trope is this?

The trope of mistaken identity is one popular device used by Hitchcock in his films. It's no wonder his characters are always tense, and their scenarios are always tension-filled!

In what kind of establishment was Roger Thornhill initially mistaken for George Kaplan?

Reservations for a certain George Kaplan were being called out by the waiter when Roger Thornhill raised his hand to call for a waiter himself. That's when the mistaken identity switch happened, as the bad guys thought Thornhill was responding to the Kaplan call.

When Roger Thornhill was first mistaken for George Kaplan, what did the bad guys do to him at the restaurant?

Roger suddenly faced two goons who carried guns. They made him take a ride with them, and he called the act kidnapping.

Thornhill was led to a mansion to meet with a certain Mr. Townsend. What did they do to him there?

When Thornhill insisted that he wasn't Kaplan, Mr. Townsend ordered his goons to get rid of him. So they forced a bottle of bourbon down his system and put him inside a car -- to drive himself off a cliff.

Roger Thornhill insisted that he's not George Kaplan, since he's a man who worked in this industry. Which industry is this?

Roger Thornhill is an advertising executive. By the looks of it, he's an important one, if he walks around being followed by his secretary to jot down his busy work tasks.

When Roger escaped the Townsend mansion and his goons while dead drunk, what happened to him on his way out?

Thornhill was able to maneuver the car even if he's drunk. But when he abruptly stopped at an intersection, the police car that was chasing him for speeding crashed into his car, and they discovered that he was drunk!

When taken into custody at the police station, who did Roger call to bail him out?

Roger called up his mother to bail him out. While she did do that, she still didn't believe her son's seemingly tall tales of abduction and being mistaken for George Kaplan.

In trying to find Mr. Townsend, the man who apparently ordered his abduction, where did Thornhill's search lead him?

Apparently, Mr. Townsend works at the United Nations General Assembly. So Thornhill went there to search for him, to find answers.

Yes or no: Did Thornhill find the right Mr. Townsend at the United Nations?

Thornhill met Mr. Townsend alright, but a different man appeared to be Mr. Townsend. Apparently, the Townsend he met at the mansion is an impostor, and the UN one was the real deal. But he's not what he's looking for. So confusing!

The kidnapping goons were also in the UN when Thornhill met the real Mr. Townsend. What did they do to the UN diplomat?

The real Mr. Townsend was killed by a knife thrown at his back, thanks to the aim of the fake Mr. Townsend's goons. But Thornhill tried to get the knife off, which made him appear to be the killer!

True or false: George Kaplan is a real person.

George Kaplan feels like he exists when Roger Thornhill tried to go to his hotel room and snoop around this things. But in reality, it's an elaborate scheme to present a non-existent person.

What kind of agency created the George Kaplan character?

A "US intelligence agency" was seen discussing how they created George Kaplan to fool certain people. What this agency is was quite unclear, but there's a hint that it's the CIA.

When dubbed as the "UN diplomat killer," where did Thornhill go to get a ride out of town?

Thornhill tried to buy a ticket from the train station while wearing sunglasses indoors. Talk about not attracting attention to yourself -- which miserably failed for him.

Thornhill encounters Eve Kendall inside a train. What does she do to help him evade the authorities?

Eve Kendall was alone in her train couch so she hid Thornhill there from the police agents looking for him. Worked like a charm!

Who is George Kaplan supposed to be?

George Kaplan was supposed to be a government agent after the trail of a spy. But the spy spied this ploy, so they went to look for the non-existent agent, and mistook Thornhill for him.

In reality, George Kaplan was a decoy agent to cover up the real agent working undercover. Who is this agent?

Eve Kendall turned out to be the agent that they're covering up, that's why they created a George Kaplan persona. Since she's already inside the spy's circles, might as well try to make her a double agent.

The man who pretended to be Mr. Townsend who had Thornhill abducted turns out to be the spy Phillip Vandamm. Why is the government tailing him covertly?

Phillip Vandamm is a spy who stole some secret government stuff. What that stuff is, is the stuff of Hitchcock's famous plot device called the "MacGuffin" which points to an object chased by his characters which has no real significance on the plot or story itself.

Why did the government agency need an undercover agent to tail Phillip Vandamm?

Apparently, the intelligence agency doesn't know how Vandamm smuggles the stolen government secrets out. Talk about lack of intelligence...

This is that Hitchcock film with the famous scene on a deserted field where Roger Thornhill was being chased by a type of vehicle. What vehicle is this?

Thornhill found himself stranded on a street beside a vast dry field. Eve told her that he will meet the "real George Kaplan" there, but found himself being chased by a crop duster plane instead.

The crop dusting airplane that chased Roger Thornhill was ignoring the dried-up crops on the field. What were these crops?

The dried-up cornfield was useful for Roger to hide momentarily from the crop duster airplane chasing him. Luckily, he ran in front of an oil tanker, and the plane crashed onto that tanker!

When Roger Thornhill and Eve Kendall stepped out of the train, in which city did they find themselves in?

Eve Kendall's train was going to Chicago. So Roger went down there, to hopefully evade the police, and find the "real George Kaplan."

Thornhill mentioned that he was married before. How many times was he married?

Thornhill mentioned that he was married twice. Eve mentioned that maybe he's not really good at marriages, only in short-term romances -- like the one they had on the train.

In what kind of gathering did Roger Thornhill fully discover that Eve Kendall was in cahoots with Phillip Vandamm and his cohorts?

Roger followed Eve and found her inside an art auction house where Vandamm and his cohorts were actively participating. He tried to confront everyone, but he failed.

A pivotal element of identifying small items with Roger Thornhill is this trademark that he imprints in his personal effects like a hanky or a safety match. What is this trademark?

Roger O. Thornhill's initials are imprinted on a safety match packet that he threw to Eve during a crucial scene. That's his trademark, he says.

To get away from Phillip Vandamm's cohorts inside the auction house, Thornhill made a scene so that these kinds of people would arrive there. Who are these people?

Roger wants the police to arrive so they can help him. That's the last thing Vandamm wants.

Thornhill finally met the head of the intelligence agency who explained things to him. What did they call him?

The Professor is what they called the intelligence agency person who helped Thornhill. He also orchestrated Eve's duties in Vandamm's circle.

Thornhill and The Professor traveled to South Dakota to meet up with Phillip Vandamm and Eve Kendall. In which famous tourist spot there did they meet up?

Vandamm brought Eve to South Dakota because he has a house there. They met up with Thornhill at the Mount Rushmore visitor center area so the other one won't make another public scene, hopefully.

So how does Phillip Vandamm smuggle out his stolen government secrets?

Vandamm loves his artworks because he hides his goodies inside the art statue. The one he bought in the auction was useful.

The stolen government secrets are stored in what kind of medium?

The good old days of espionage always used microfilm to transport secret stuff, well, secretly. Since they're very easy to hide and they can store many information, they're very handy for all types of spy work.

In a staged scene to fool Phillip Vandamm, what did Eve Kendall do to Thornhill when they were negotiating at the Mount Rushmore visitor center?

Eve shot Thornhill using blanks, then escaped with Vandamm. The spy's cohort made sure that Thornhill was really shot, but The Professor took care of that part and made it appear that Thornhill was badly hurt -- but wasn't.

In the end, what happened to Eve Kendall and Roger Thornhill?

Roger and Eve eventually had their chemistry set on fire -- so they married each other. As a sentimental honeymoon, they were last seen inside the train coach where they first met.

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