It's a lot more than that, too. I don't mean to speak ill of the film -- in fact, North by Northwest is a epitome of craft and style. When a critic wistfully refers to a movie like The Fugitive or The Bourne Identity as "good old-fashioned entertainment," there's a good chance that this is the movie they recall. It has Cold War intrigue without gadgets or jargon; it has romance that blends in with that intrigue, rather than jogging alongside it.
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Here, though, Grant's enjoying a day in the sun -- and night -- as he tries to track down the villain that's giving him a bad name. You see, John Robie (Grant) is retired. But some young upstart is stealing his M.O. -- and the new cat's eyes are on Robie's new would-be girlfriend, Frances (Grace Kelly), and her mom (Jessie Royce Landis).
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