How Hitchcock Turned the ‘Crop Duster Attack’ into a Cinematic Icon | North by Northwest


Today we look at how Alfred Hitchcock created the iconic Crop Duster sequence in North by Northwest. We’ll look at how Hitchcock came up with the idea, how it was scripted, planned, and storyboarded, subjective vs. objective cinematography, concealing the threat of the crop duster, utilizing material, and who exactly was shooting at Thornhill.

Shot List and Diagram:

This video essay was written, edited, and narrated by Tyler Knudsen.


Hitchcock at Work by Bill Krohn


Hitchcock’s Notebooks

Destination Hitchcock – The Making of North by Northwest

Cinephilia & Beyond –

Hitchcock at the NFT (1969) – Eyes on Cinema –

Hitchcock on the Crop Duster scene – Eyes on Cinema –

Fashion Photo History –

Creative Screenwriting (2000) – “North by Northwest”: An Interview with Ernest Lehman –

Sequencing the North by NorthWest Crop Dusting Scene –

Music by Epidemic Sound