North By Northwest Starring: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason Director: Alfred Hitchcock The film: Thrill-master Alfred Hitchcock had the ideas. 'Someone's addressing the UN when the speaker says 'I refuse to continue until the delegate from Peru wakes up [he is dead]' . . . and, I want a chase scene across Mt Rushmore.' Born from this ideas meeting with screenwriter Ernest Lehman was North By Northwest, arguably Hitchcock's best. As well as being hallmark Hitchcock - murder and suspense helped along by chemistry-coated leads and Bernard Herrmann's rattling score - it perfectly applies the Hitchcockian 'ordinary person in extraordinary situation' formula. On this occasion the ordinary man is Cary Grant (To Catch A Thief, The Bishop's Wife). Grant (right) plays suave New York advertising exec Roger Thornhill who becomes an innocent player in a game of Cold War cat-and-mouse. Relentlessly pursued by plane, train and automobile, Thornhill embarks on a mission to restore his name and along the way has brushes with death - handed out by his main tormentor Phillip Vandamm (James Mason) - and many memorable brushes with lips courtesy of femme fatale Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint, On The Waterfront). North By Northwest was Hitch's only film for MGM, and his fourth and final collaboration with Grant (Suspicion, Notorious and To Catch A Thief preceded). It features a suspense-filled eight-minute crop-duster scene - albeit the most idiotic method of assassination in cinema history - and a cliff-hanger ending. The extras: No trailer trash here, Warner has dug deep into its creative pockets and the final result is superb. Skip the scene-by-scene blow from screenwriter Lehman and go directly to Destination Hitchcock: The Making Of North By Northwest. This cut-and dry documentary is hosted by the now silver-haired but ever-glam Saint. Hear how blonde-obsessed Hitchcock breached United States security laws by secretly filming Grant's entrance to the UN building. It also reveals how MGM's plan to film a fight scene atop a national monument got under the nose of the US government and how the studio compromised by promising not to clamber over the faces (shots of the exterior of Mt Rushmore are real but the actors crawled next to a reproduction of the presidents' faces). Not to be outdone, Hitchcock added his profile to the presidential line up in a promotional trailer. The censors were also on the case. In a sexually charged conversation on a train, Saint tells Grant: 'I never discuss love on an empty stomach' when her lips are saying, 'I never make love on an empty stomach.'