I’ve loved “North by Northwest” since the first time I saw it – the visuals, the music, the tiny razor gags, but most of all, the urban/rural scene hopping, from New York, to Chicago, to South Dakota. So – I thought I’d throw together a sort of scenic chart of all the actual locations in the movie – the only fictional one being the Northwest Airlines terminal, which no longer exists and I couldn’t find reference for (but for “North by Northwest”, I figured I’d take a little liberty).
Also not included are the 1212 Michigan Ave Auction house and the hospital in Rapid City, as they were shot on soundstage in Hollywood. Even with that, it was a bit of a beast.
Lots of research, lots of windows . . . The cars are also accurate from the initial 57 Skoda 440 cab to the ’51 White Freightliner the plane crashes into, to the ’52 Ford Customline Cary Grant rescues the girl in. I took color from the footage to get some of that “technicolor” feel, and blatantly ripped off Saul Bass’ opening credit arrows to show the action.
As a big fan of the movie myself, of course, I’ve taken the liberty of identifying the locations DeGraff has so beautifully and painstakingly illustrated. Be sure to check out some of his other, excellent work here.
- CIT Building, 650 Madison Ave., New York City
- Plaza Hotel, 5th at 59th, NY
- Townsend Mansion (Old Westbury Gardens), Long Island
- Glen Cove, NY, police station
- Plaza Hotel
- United Nations Building, NY
- Grand Central Station, NY
- LaSalle Street Station (414 S LaSalle St.), Chicago
- Prairie Stop, along US Hwy. 41 (actually Bakersfield, CA), central Indiana
- Ambassador East Hotel, 1301 N State Pkwy., Chicago
- Chicago Midway Airport, Northwest Airlines terminal
- Mt. Rushmore National Memorial Visitor Center, Rapid City, SD
- Area near Mt. Rushmore
- Vandamm residence (actually a movie set) near Rapid City
- Mt. Rushmore
- 20th Century Limited to New York City