... you can learn from:
North By Northwest (1959)
Leonard: You must have had some doubts
about her yourself. You still do.
Phillip Vandamm: Rubbish.
Leonard: Why else would you have decided
not to tell her that our little treasure here
has a belly full of microfilm?
Phillip Vandamm: You seem to be trying
to fill mine with rotten apples.
Leonard: Sometimes the truth
does taste like a mouthful of worms.
Phillip Vandamm: The truth?
I've heard nothing but innuendos.
Leonard: Call it my woman's intuition, if you will.
But I've never trusted neatness.
Neatness is always the result of deliberate planning.
This is the first of two Hitchcock villains celebrating a birthday today that we'll be taking note of -- anyway James Mason is so terrific in North by Northwest isn't he? Every time I re-watch this movie I become more and more fixated on the relationship between his character and his henchman Leonard played by Martin Landau. A couple of years ago Landau admitted he saw more in their relationship than the script let on to...
"I chose to play [Leonard] as a homosexual - very subtly. Because he wanted to get rid of Eva Marie Saint with such a vengeance. James Mason, to the day he died - he became a friend of mine - the most often asked question of James was whether Vandamm, his character, was bisexual. He said, “No he wasn’t, but Landau made a choice and there’s nothing I can do about it.” I actually caused him some grief!.
Everyone told me not to do that because it was my first big movie and people would think I was gay. I’m an actor! I said it wasn’t going to be my last movie, and it certainly wasn’t. I’ve never played a character like that since. I also felt it was something people would know or not know. It was very subtle. I thought in Boise, Idaho they might not notice.
But again, I like to find a reason for being in a film. It was written as a henchman. Ernie Lehman added a line which was not in the script. “Call it my woman’s intuition” was not in the original script. It was a very daring line for the 50s. Men didn’t say things like that. Hitchcock loved what I did and left me alone."