living in: north by northwest


North by Northwest is one of my dad’s all time favorites, so naturally growing up I hated it.  My big sister and I would make barfing noises at the video store (yes we were very mature) whenever he brought this or The Maltese Falcon around.  I think it had to do with any 8 year old’s automatic distrust of “grownup” movies made “like a million years ago”.  Clearly, we weren’t attuned to the amazingness that is a Hitchcock thriller comedy involving a case of mistaken identity, espionage, attempted murder by crop dusting and the perfection of the cold as ice blond bombshell stereotype.

Pearl necklace $450, model airplane $38,  silver safety razor $23,  charlie sunglasses $11, train tickets, manoush silk blend jacket $200, repetto heels $200, steamline luggage “producer series” $145+, bulova watch $67, martini glass $4.

I have a very distinct early memory of watching the crop dusting scene and having my dad tell me “Amy, this is the absolute definition of suspense” and I was all like,  “Who knew suspense could be so boring.”  Charming at 8 years old, I promise.

Anyways, it didn’t take long for me to come around and now it’s one of my all time favorites, too.  Cary Grant can do no wrong, obviously, but the real stunner here is Eva Marie Saint.  Her steamy, good girl gone bad gone good portrayal of Eve Kendall is the pinnacle of womanly seductive prowess.  If I don’t pluck up the courage to take a leaf out of her book, at least I can fake the part, martini in hand.      – Amy M.

pluto sunburst clock $145, mt. rushmore statue $40, lela rose sheath $300, aubaine gun ring $16, vintage edward wormley chair, pearl studs $140, custom matchbooks $30 for a pack of 100, faux sheepskin $40, black ocean world globe $50.

  1. Bre says:

    Fantastic post! I love the screen caps and the mood board you created inspired from the movie. I think I may need to rent this on Netflix!

  2. abby says:

    Seeing the cover of this video in the family’s video collection inspired similar barfing noises for me growing up.

    Looking at your picks for this make me think I’d have different feelings if I rewatched it now.

  3. Sue says:

    Great movie! This is one of my mom’s favorites…well anything with Cary Grant is considered a favorite. When I watch it now, I swoon over all the furnishings and that fabulous house!

  4. Basht says:

    Every single movie you’ve posted about I love. While this isn’t my favorite Hitchcock it’s up close to the bests.

  5. Dominique says:

    The first Hitchcock I ever sat through as a kid. Glad to be reminded

  6. Joanna says:

    One of my favorite movies of all time. Eva Marie Saint gives Grace Kelly a run for her money in this film. Love, love, LOVE!

  7. Anna @ D16 says:

    North By Northwest is one of my all-time favorite movies. The Saul Bass title sequence alone is worthy of that declaration!

  8. renata says:

    when i was in design school we went to see this at the student center. my friend and i, a fellow woman designer, squealed when eve kendall said she was an industrial designer. how cool! i love this movie and pretty much any movie with Cary Grant.

  9. melissa says:

    heehee, your post made me giggle, and reminded me of my dad. NXNW is one of his all time favorites as well.
    i need to see this again, putting it in my netflix que right now!

  10. Jillian says:

    Oh, I continue to have elaborate fantasies about the Vandamme house. If I had an inspiration wall, the house and all its furnishings would be on it. Jetset has this interesting article about the house, focusing on the “isolation in luxury” theme in the movie

  11. hillwards says:

    One of my favourite films, and a great post! Lovely selection of accessories.

  12. oh my goodness – nbnw + maltese falcon were dad’s favs as well… only difference is I loved them somehow as a kid. seriously was raised on hitchcock.

  13. Kira says:

    I love this film, and I’ve always been enamored of that Vandamme house!! (Thank you, Jillian, for that link.) Fantastic post and goodies!

  14. Lupi says:

    such a great inspiration and such a lovely movie! loving the choice of movie stills, amazing!

  15. I love this movie! This one and Charade I used to watch over and over as a kid. I was probably the only ten year old with a crush on Cary Grant.

  16. Shalini says:

    Yes, yes, yes! A thousand times YES! This is one of my favorites. Thank you for this!

  17. Such Style I also LOVED and still love this movie!!

  18. Pam says:

    I’m with your dad…one my all time favorites too!

  19. Alison says:

    I love this movie! Reading the comments, it seems that the readers are divided into two camps: (1) those who tolerated their parents’ taste in old movies (but later came around to the truth that on this subject their parents were actually right! shocka!) and, (2) those of us who had to hide our Cary Grant crushes (high-waisted pants and all) as children for fear of mockery. Great “living in” pick!

  20. d*s fan says:

    Love this movie! I especially love the house in it, I’ve always wanted to live in a house like that.

  21. juliet says:

    oh i love that movie!! i love old movies anyway….i’m kind of a nerd. :D

  22. sofia says:

    The Man in Lincoln’s Nose…

    This is fabulous. Hitchcock style is timeless and you got it so, so right.

  23. Anna says:

    I always love this section. Can we see one for Octopussy (James Bond) and one for Baz Lurmans Romeo + Juliette, or any Baz Lurman film.

  24. Mia says:

    Cool, classic and inspiring!

  25. Nancy says:

    i love that you’ve included the matchbook and those gorgeous heels! what a great movie… a favourite in our house too! nice one, amy x

  26. Lisa says:

    My favorite living in thus far! Excellent job!

  27. Wes says:

    Anyone who starts a sentence with “Cary Grant can do no wrong, obviously…” has got a fan in me! Great post.

  28. Aansy says:

    love this movie one of best from my classic collection. thanks for sharing it here

  29. Macy says:

    This is my all time favorite movie! I am a photographer and have been working on vintage inspired portraits- this inspired me to do yet another one!

  30. Jessica says:

    One of the best…and causing me to wonder why on earth I don’t own a copy. Going to have to take care of that, STAT.

  31. laurel walter says:

    My favorite movie of all time! I love the living in! good job!

  32. karen hendrix says:

    YAY! Breath-taking house. Been waiting for this one – and am not disappointed! Keep them coming.

  33. ktohio says:

    Just watched this last week. I’ve been planning a cross country train trip in my head ever since.

  34. julie. says:

    Great post and GREAT MOVIE. My husband and I were driving home (to MI) from Denver CO a few Summers ago…we went home via South Dakota so we could stop @ Mt. Rushmore and maybe see the restaurant from the movie (the shooting scene). Sadly, that building was torn down years ago to make a larger visitors center, but the cashier we asked about it knew just what we were talking about and showed us where the old building had been so we could stand there and get the view of Rushmore. Great fun.

  35. susan says:

    When I think of this movie, I just remember the incredibly awkward kissing scene on the train.

    They were sort of slowly rolling against the wall of her tiny cabin, and it looked forced and ridiculous! Like they were afraid that a jolt from the train would knock each other’s teeth out. (Not that it was actually a moving train of course.)

    Cool movie though — and this is a great column! Keep up the great work!

  36. hrhkat says:

    I love this movie lol…I would love to live in that time, except you know, without the racism lol

    its a beautifully shot film and its just so iconic late 50s early 60s

  37. Heather says:

    I was never really a fan of this movie, and I thought it was a little drab-looking, but the things you picked for this are just amazing. You really captured the feel of the movie and made it look even better than the original.

    Even though it’s not a movie, I would love love love to see a living in segment featuring Pushing Daisies.

  38. Rachelle says:

    Amy, I’ve been waiting for this post my whole life! Love it! =)

  39. Alexandra says:

    The genius production designer of this movie, Robert F. Boyle, just died. 100 years old, no less. It’d be great to see a piece on him here on Design Sponge.

  40. Jane says:

    Thanks! I’ve never seen this movie but now I’m inspired to check out the “classics” section at my local video store.

  41. miss alexandra says:

    i would like to put in a little request for benny and joon! i want to live in their house.

  42. DeeAnna says:

    Love this post! The train scene is my favorite, so racy for the time!! The cropdusting scenes were filmed in the Central Valley of California. My cousins got to take the day off of school to watch the filming right down the road from their farm! Lucky girls!!

  43. Lorie says:

    I adore your living in posts! I’ve always loved the production design in this movie, but the scene that struck me the most was the hotel room at the Ambassador East Hotel. I want that room as my own bedroom!×288.jpg The gray walls, the tree branch design, the lamps, the lighting, the sheets, the bedframe …sigh.

  44. London says:

    This is my absolutely favorite movie!! I wish I could live in that era. I may make a few purchases this weekend!!

  45. I loved the house in this film , so Mid century set into the side of a mountain. Great move to feature for a “living In”


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