Good question. I think North by Northwest is more like an intriguing puzzle
than a simple story. I'm not sure if a true hero could have gotten mixed up in
such a mess - but life is puzzling in this sort of way sometimes. I also don't
think we could have enjoyed this story as much if we liked Roger Thornhill more.
You get the sense that his arrogance and selfishness brought him into all the
zany situations and it wasn't simply a matter of life treating him unfairly.I
think that's supposed to be part of the story though - forcing this
self-centered individual out of his comfort zone and certainly quite a bit of
tongue-in-cheek humor at his expense. Kind of a Don Quixote turned upside-down.I
wouldn't like all my movies to be like this one, but I do really like North by
Northwest (I admit to being a fan of Hitchcock in general).
I'm a big Hitchcock fan myself. I esp. like Dial "M" for Murder, Rear Window, Psycho, and The Birds. And maybe it is okay to go away from N by NW feeling like you need a shower! And happy that Thornhill is even a little bit pulled out of his selfishness, even if it is his own lust that is the catalyst.