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December 06, 2008


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North by Northwest,
Cary Grant & Eva Marie Saint
Alfred Hitchock
Hamlet says, "I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw."

When the wind is northerly, I know a hick from a Hansel; when the wind is easterly, I know a hack from a headsore; when the wind is westerly, I know hype from a huckster....

Don't know why I can't resist a contest.


The story of the title's origins was disputed by Ernest Lehman, the screenwriter. Hitchcock did claim the title originated in Hamlet (Act II, Scene 2, Lines 381-2 for those who want to look it up). Lehman claimed the story arc went from New York to Alaska, and so he planned to title the movie "In a Northwesterly Direction." (It gets worse: one suggested title was "The Man on Lincoln's Nose.") Anyway, in the Lehman version the head of the story department shortened the title to "North by Northwest" and that stuck. Obviously Hitchcock preferred the Shakespearean explanation.

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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This Way Out

by T.P.Winch

Ringfinger was nervous
Pinky terrified
when they learned
that Hand might succumb
to the rule of Thumb.



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