- by ZoŽ
Following World War 2, a
Nazi agent is convicted of treason and US intelligence agents realize that
his innocent daughter, Alicia can help trap another Nazi mastermind now
living in Brazil. Alicia, who is persuaded to cooperate by Agent Devlin goes
to Rio where she cultivates the friendship of the Nazi - Alexander
- by Laila
Devlin is an American
counterspy agent, cool and competent. Alicia is the daughter of a Nazi spy,
the memory of whom is pushing her to the edge of alcoholism. Both, under the
mask of indifference and self-commiseration, hide a desperate need of love.
Devlin contacts Alicia for a job in Brazil: she has to introduce herself in
a Nazi gang and take advantage of the attraction that a member of the
spy-circle, Sebastian, feels for her. The mission is simple, but .......
Devlin falls hopelessly for Alicia. Sebastian asks Alicia to marry him to
prove her loyalty and there is no way to complete the mission unless she
accepts his offer. The occurrence unfolds Devlin's hidden neurosis: he
thinks Alicia took the job too easily. Alicia thinks Devlin did nothing to
stop her from accepting the job and that he was only pretending to love and
trust her. When everything seems lost, (Alicia has been discovered and
slowly poisoned), Devlin decides to throw away the mask and runs to his
lover's rescue. Sebastian can do nothing but watch the couple leave the
Notorious is one of the most romantic and sensual movies
ever made. The continuous and rising tension between the two antagonists is almost
tangible. Their desperate need of each other explodes in the ever-lasting kiss and the
revelation of his love on Alicia's death bed. Cary Grant has never been so dark and
Film Review - July 24, 1946
- by "Char"
- submitted by Barry Martin
Production and directorial skill of Alfred Hitchcock combine with
a suspenseful story and excellent performances to make
"Notorious" force entertainment.
It's a romantic drama of topnotch caliber that will pay off
The Ben Hecht scenario carries
punchy dialog but it's much more the action and manner in which
Hitchcock projects it on the screen that counts heaviest.
Of course the fine performances by Cary Grant, Ingrid
Bergman and Claude Rains also figure.
The terrific suspense maintained to the very last is also
an important asset.
Story deals with espionage, the
picture opening in Miami in the spring of 1946. Miss
Bergman's father has been convicted as a German spy.
Yarn shifts quickly to Rio de Janeiro, where Miss Bergman, known to be a loyal American, unlike her
father, is pressed into the American intelligence service with a
view to getting the goods on a local group of German exiles under
Inducted into espionage through
Cary Grant, an American agent with whom she is assigned to work.
Miss Bergman, because she loves Grant, doesn't want to go through
with an assignment to feign love for Claude Rains, head of the
Brazilian Nazi group. She
finally does so under the mistaken notion Grant does not love her.
She even goes so far as to marry Rains that she may get the
desired information, which revolves around iranium ore deposits
which have been discovered by Rains' gang in Brazil.
When Rains and his mother discover that they have a spy
under their roof, they go about poisoning her, but in a very
dramatic final scene Grant rescues her.
This is Miss Bermanís best
job to date. Opposite
her Grant gives an excellent account of himself, while Rains is
also tops. His mother
is played very effectively by Madame Konstantin.
Among members of the Rains ring, all of whom are well cast,
are Reinhold Schunzel, Ivan Triesault and Alex Minotis.
Louis Calhern acquits himself creditably as boss of the
U.S. Intelligence force in Brazil.
sets and colorful backgrounds, as well as the music, give the
picture outstanding production value.
Photography, including special effects, is of the best.
- by Barbara Mercer
"Notorious" Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains,
1946 directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
Notorious, the movie that might never
have been made. In 1946 the United States Government was still
very sensitive about the atomic bomb, and J Edgar Hoover, then
head of the FBI was violently opposed to the making of 'Notorious'
only after long discussions between David O Selznick, Hitchcock
and Hoover did it go ahead, on the understanding that there was no
mention in the script of the FBI or nuclear weapons. We should all
be grateful, for what a movie it became; love, hate, betrayal,
jealousy, suspense, all woven in an amazing web by the maestro
Hitchcock and portrayed by a superb cast.
Cary Grant as agent T R Devlin - Dev -
torn between his love for Alicia Huberman and his duty; a dark
side to Cary's screen persona, hinted at in earlier movies like
'Suspicion' and 'Mr. Lucky' comes to a head when he sends Alicia
into sexual slavery with Nazi Alex Sebastian.
Ingrid Bergman plays Alicia with deep
understanding and great skill; tough yet vulnerable, a woman with
a scarlet past who finds herself truly in love for the first time
only to be betrayed by the man she loves.
Claude Rains - what can we say? Small of
stature, yet standing 6 feet tall as Sebastian, besotted by
Alicia's beauty but ruthless when he
discovers the real reason for her coming back into his life.
Also we must not forget Madame Leopoldine
Konstantin, who plays Alex's mother. Hitch brought her out from comparative
obscurity in Germany, although she was well known on the stage in
her native country. Her performance is brittle cold and brilliant.
Following this role she returned to Germany and to my knowledge
never made another movie). The whole cast underplays beautifully,
everything is understated to great effect. A good example is
towards the end; had this film been made recently Dev would have
burst into Sebastian's mansion with a stun grenade in one hand and
a kashelnikov blazing! Instead he walks down the stairs supporting
Alicia and putting his hand near his coat pocket quietly says to
Sebastian "well do I start shooting?"
One cannot end this review without praise
for the wonderful camera work of Ted Tetzlaff. Shot in black and
white ( colour wouldn't have been anywhere as effective)
Tetzlaff's art is brilliant; I don't think Bergman or Grant were
ever photographed better - her beauty and his stunning good looks'
especially in close-up really shown to full advantage. His unusual
angle shots - the back of Dev's head at Alicia's party in Miami,
the "upside down" shots as Alicia comes round after
being knocked cold in the car, the longshot of Sebastian and
Alicia gradually panning down to close up at the party at the
mansion, and the almost misty scene in Alicia's bedroom when Dev
finally declares his love.
Of the 4 movies Cary and Hitchcock made
together most feel "North By Northwest" was the best, I
think "Notorious" was. 9/10 P.S. Wonder what the
T.R. stood for?
Anybody wanting a pen pal I would love to
hear from you. My interests are Cary Grant!! movies, books,
travel, my address is Barbara Mercer P.O. Box 165 Port MacDonnell
South Australia 5291. Australia.
TIMES Film Review - August 19, 1946
- by Bosley Crowther
- submitted by Barry Martin
It is obvious that Alfred Hitchcock, Ben Hecht and Ingrid Bergman
form a team of motion-picture makers that should be publicly and
heavily endowed. For they were the ones most responsible for
"Spellbound," as director, writer and star, and now they
have teamed together on another taut, superior film. It goes
by the name of "Notorious" and it opened yesterday at
the Music Hall. With Cary Grant as an additional asset, it
is one of the most absorbing pictures of the year.
For Mr. Hecht has written and Mr.
Hitchcock has directed in brilliant style a romantic melodrama
which is just about as thrilling as they come - velvet smooth in
dramatic action, sharp and sure in its characters and heavily
charged with the intensity of warm emotional appeal. As a
matter of fact, the distinction of "Notorious" as a film
is the remarkable blend of love story with expert
"thriller" that it represents.
Actually, the "thriller"
elements are familiar and commonplace, except in so far as Mr.
Hitchcock has galvanized them into life. They comprise the
routine ingredients of a South American Nazi-exile gang, an
American girl set to spy upon it and a behind-the-scenes American
intelligence man. And the crux of the melodramatic action is
the peril of the girl when the nature of her assignment is
discovered by one of the Nazis whom she has wed.
But the rare quality of the picture
is in the uncommon character of the girl and in the drama of her
relations with the American intelligence man. For here Mr.
Hecht and Mr. Hitchcock have done a forthright and daring thing:
they have made the girl, played by Miss Bergman, a lady of notably
loose morals. She is the logically cynical daughter of a
convicted American traitor when she is pressed into this job of
high-echelon spying by the confident espionage man. The
complication is that she and the latter fall passionately and
genuinely in love before the demands of her assignment upon her
deductive charms are revealed. And thus the unpleasant
suspicions and the lacerated feelings of the two as they deal with
this dangerous major problem form the emotional drama of the
Obviously, that situation might
seem slightly old-fashioned, too. But Mr. Hecht and Mr.
Hitchcock have here treated it with sophistication and
irony. There is nothing unreal or puritanical in their
exposure of a frank, grown-up amour. And Miss Bergman and
Mr. Grant have played it with surprising and disturbing
clarity. We do not recall a more conspicuous - yet
emotionally delicate - love scene on the screen than one stretch
of billing and cooing that the principals play in this film.
Yet, withal, there is rich and real emotion expressed by Miss
Bergman in her role, and the integrity of her nature as she
portrays it is the prop that holds the show.
Mr. Grant, who is exceptionally
solid, is matched for acting honors in the cast by Claude Rains as
the Nazi big-wig, to whom Miss Bergman becomes attached. Mr.
Rains' shrewd and tense performance of this invidious character is
responsible for much of the anguish that the situation
creates. Reinhold Schunzel and Ivan Triesault are good, too,
as Nazi worms, and a splendid touch of chilling arrogance as a
German mother is added by Madame Konstantin. Louis Calhearn
and Moroni Olsen are fine in minor American roles.
Check up another smash hit for a
fine and experienced team.
Click here to read
Susanna's review of "Notorious"
Click here to read Jenny's Crackpot
Reviews at the Cary Grant Shrine
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