Cary Grant Runs for His Life in “North by Northwest”

Posted on 04 July 2011

The Gait Guys will be looking at running scenes in classic Hollywood movies. To launch this series, We asked them to examine Cary Grant’s running style in Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest” when the mysterious crop duster chases him into the cornfield. Watch the clip first!

Here’s additional commentary by The Gait Guys: ”First of all, what an arm swing! Think of all that energy it is sapping from the rest of his muscular system. He must be hiding something, but what? We can only see him from the waist up, so we may never actually know. Did you notice how he initially only turns to the right? Did you pick up on the flexion at the waist? How about that torso bob from side to side? Not much to his hip abductors now are there?

“The only thing he has going for him is he is wearing leather-soled shoes, which have been shown to have one of the lowest impact loading on the body (yes, you read that right; increased cushioning “increases” impact forces, but that’s not what we are here to talk about). Oh yeah, he actually impacts the ground at the end of the first sequence. I guess if his technique was better, he would have hit even harder.

Next sequence, we are off to a good start. Just look at that forward lean. This is essential to good technique. He loses that form pretty quickly; we can still see that forward flexion at the waist; certainly costing him energy by not using his core. Finally, we get a posterior view at the end, but the uneven surface makes it difficult to make an analysis. Cary, next time, engage your core and watch your step.”

 

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