North by Northwest

The Cold War in Film 9th Grade

North by Northwest explores contextual concerns of the Cold War Era by the deliberate depiction of domestic law enforcement agencies as corrupt and suggested that law enforcement agencies are imbued with evil. By capturing the social and political changes through the Cold War, Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest questions the democratic and political values of the American Government.

During the early stages of the Cold War, late 1940’s, the reform and modifications of society to which these changes affected government, security and mentality of common people. North by Northwest critiques these controversial changes and questions the purity of the American Government’s internal security apparatus, particularly pertaining to corrupt law and order men. As Roger Thornhill, a metaphor for the Atomic Age everyman, is mistaken for an American spy the close up of him and the two henchmen highlights the man-hunt Thornhill is now trapped up in, and captures the evil that can penetrate the life of innocent members of society. As controls slips away from Thornhill, the non-diegetic symphonic score coupled with the point-of-view medium shot of a fused, distorted road accompanying his escape conveys a sense of danger and vulnerability,...

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