This is another one of the movies that I just had to see because of numerous Simpsons references. I once had a theory that the more times the show referenced a movie, the better that movie was.
In what is yet another in the long line of Hitchcock classics, this time around with it, I was having trouble getting over the "Bus Stop in the Middle of Nowhere" scene. That's the problem with those of us who not only love watching movies multiple times, but we judge them on multiple views. Some movies require multiple viewings, while others burn like the first movie slide show you made as soon as it got on the 4th grade projector ... the Story of Wayne Gretzky the 99 Foot Man be damned!
So Mr. Grant gets caught in this awful situation, and then he takes a bus, which stops in the middle of nowhere, and he gets off because it's his stop? Maybe I'm not familiar enough with those freak states in the north by northwest that are large in size, tiny in population, but I doubt they put bus stops in the middle of nowhere. Can't they at least put a gas station there, or maybe a drug store or diner? A bench perhaps? If you frequent that bus stop, you probably have to wait a long time so a bench and maybe some shade for those summer months would help.
What happens if you miss the bus? A bus like that probably only comes around once a month maybe? You wake up in the morning, put on your shoes and it's your first day of work. You've been unemployed because the Indiana economy in the late 50s isn't exactly thriving, and you get to the bus stop only to see a cloud of dust and a diabolic bus driver who won't stop for you. I never understood why bus drivers are so diabolic in nature, but they are. They want you to miss the bus. That's the highlight of their day. So now you go back home to your wife and kid, and say sorry baby, no work this month and she has to go find a better suitor. Now you turn to the rye and your life becomes a whole new story entirely.
After all of this, a crop duster starts going after him. Is this great for cinema and imagination? Absolutely. Is it completely absurd? Absolutely. Why someone would go through that process just to rub him out is like a Batman villain capturing Adam West, tying him to a rope that slowly drops into a pit of alligators, and just leaves thinking he's killed Batman. It's great for the camera, but seeing Mr. Grant is foolish enough to take a bus stop to nowhere and get off, can't we just have someone there waiting with a gun, car and a 6 foot hole in the ground behind some of that precious Indiana corn? Somewhere there's a screenwriter somewhere saying, "This guy obviously doesn't understand that exotic ways of killing people are what prolong protagonists lives and entertain the masses!"