North by Northwest

Continuity mistake: While drinking in the train Thornhill's hand is grabbing the glass or not, depending on the shot. The position of the glass to his face also changes.

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North by Northwest mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Thornhill is about to be run over by the truck his jacket is covered in dust. When he falls on the ground it's spotless, only to appear dirty a shot later.

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Continuity mistake: When the truck is about to run Thornhill over, skidmarks running along the road appear/disappear randomly between shots.

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Continuity mistake: When the plane crashes against the truck its wipers face the left side. A shot later it's facing the right side.

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Continuity mistake: In the scene where Eve writes on the note pad she doesn't write enough. Later you can see much more to the address. (01:20:50 - 01:25:15)

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Continuity mistake: When Eva Marie Saint grabs the statue from James Mason and bolts, the spies chase after her. They had no way of knowing she would do such a thing, and yet they are suddenly equipped with long, heavy-duty flashlights.

Continuity mistake: In Eva Marie Saint's hotel room, after the crop-dusting, Cary Grant attempts to copy a note she has removed from a pad, by scratching with a pencil point - horizontally. In the close-up of the note, it has been scratched vertically.

Continuity mistake: The first scene that they show of the train going up the Hudson River is wrong. The hills in the background are much further up the river past Croton NY. When they are eating the train is back down near the wider part of the Hudson around Tarrytown NY. (00:45:25 - 00:47:00)

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Continuity mistake: While Thornhill and his mother are investigating Kaplan's hotel room, he decides to try on one of the man's suits from the closet to see if he and Kaplan are similar in stature. He tries on a navy or dark colored suit coat and then holds the pants up against himself to check the length. In the close up of the trousers, they are now a light gray in color. The camera returns to a full shot and, once again, he has the darker trousers in his hands. You can also see the light gray suit in the closet behind him. (00:31:25)

Continuity mistake: While Roger and Eve converse before dinner on the train, Roger's glass mysteriously changes places several times. When shot from behind, he's holding the glass; from the front, it's on the table.

Continuity mistake: Near the beginning of the film, as Thornhill has arrived at The Plaza and is opening the door of the taxi to exit it; visible through the rear window is a red and white Ford taxi, parked behind Thornhill's taxi. Instantaneously, in the next shot taken from the sidewalk, he is shown completing his exit from the cab. Now however, there is a light colored Dodge taxi cab parked directly behind them. (00:04:20)

Continuity mistake: Cary Grant, running through Grand Central Station after fleeing from the UN Building, has brown shoes, then black, then brown.

North by Northwest mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Cary Grant writes a message on a matchbook and Eve Marie Saint reads it, the number of lines in the message changes. He writes 3 lines, she reads 4 lines. (01:58:30)

Continuity mistake: In the very first scene when the train pulls out of Grand Central Station you can see that the sun is setting. Then when they sit down to eat it's the middle of the day again. (00:45:25 - 00:46:50)

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Continuity mistake: In the last scene before Chicago the train is going through the tunnel at Breakneck Pass north of Cold Spring NY. When they're going back home at the end of the movie theoretically they should be going the same way but they're not. The final tunnel shot in North by Northwest is the Southern Pacific railroad tunnel between Santa Susana and Chatsworth California. (01:00:10 - 02:16:05)

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Continuity mistake: On the patio outside the restaurant at Mt. Rushmore the professor goes inside first. His shadow falls upward to the right, there is no glare on the upper windows and no building shadow on the ground. Thornhill walks in seconds later and his shadow falls downwards to the left, there is a strong glare on the windows and the building casting a shadow on the ground.

Continuity mistake: Thornhill and his mother go to Kaplan's hotel room, room 796, to check the place out. There are two telephones in the room and both phones have old-fashioned non-coil cords connecting the phone and the handset. But when Thornhill rings the buzzer to summon the maid you can see that the phone suddenly has a more modern coil handset cord.

Continuity mistake: When the plane crashes into the truck, the bystanders walking towards the scene have shadows, which change angles as you see the next shot. They took them both in the morning and the afternoon.

More mistakes in North by Northwest

Roger Thornhill: The moment I meet an attractive woman, I have to start pretending I have no desire to make love to her.
Eve Kendall: What makes you think you have to conceal it?
Roger Thornhill: She might find the idea objectionable.
Eve Kendall: Then again, she might not.

More quotes from North by Northwest
More trivia for North by Northwest

Chosen answer: The original title for the movie was "In a Northwesterly Direction", as it was originally detailing the flight of a man from New York to Alaska, according to writer Earnest Lehman. According to Alfred Hitchcock, however, he took the title from a line in Hamlet, another work of fiction that is concerned with the slippery nature of reality. It is also worth noting that North by Northwest is not a direction on the compass at all. The nearest to it would be Northwest by North.

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