Thornhill, From Business Man to Hero in the 1959 movie "North by Northwest"

Essay by jgferro82University, Bachelor's March 2003

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Thornhill, From Business Man to Hero

In the 1959 movie "North by Northwest," the main characters Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) and Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint) go through a transformation of personalities and roles after being exposed to various situations. This Alfred Hitchcock thriller tells a tale about an advertising executive who is mistaken for an imaginary government agent, George Kaplan. This leads him through many complications including: getting kidnapped, driving drunk, being framed for murder, and almost being murdered many times. He could not get through this whole mess if it weren't for his love interest, Eve. She helps him stay hidden and tries to keep him from getting himself killed. By the end of the movie, the roles are reversed and he is the one that ends up saving her.

The very first scene of the movie shows Roger Thornhill and his secretary Maggie (Doreen Land) coming out of an elevator at what appears to be Thornhill's office building.

The audience's first impression of Thornhill is that he is a handsome, confident businessman. He is wearing a nice gray flannel suit walking swiftly through the building spouting out memos at his secretary. He is smart, witty, fast-talking and in control of everything and everyone as most people know him by name.

The audience gets a sense of Thornhill's love life when he tells Maggie to send a woman some chocolate. "You know the kind," he says, followed by a note that says "Something for your sweet tooth, baby, and all your other sweet parts." From this scene we get the sense that Thornhill is a womanizer and sending candy to random girls is a regular thing for him. He continues to show his lack of concern for women when his secretary says she needs...