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REVIEWS
"Notorious"


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Character's Name: T.R. Devlin
Release Date:  July 22, 1946
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Studio:  RKO Radio
Running Time: 101 minutes

Cast: Cary Grant (Devlin), Ingrid Bergman (Alicia Huberman), Claude Rains (Alexander Sebastian), Louis Calhern (Paul Prescott), Madame Konstantin (Mme Sebastian), Reinhold Schunzel (Dr. Anderson), Moroni Olsen (Walter Beardsley), Ivan Triesault (Eric Mathis), Alex Minotis (Joseph), Wally Brown (Mr. Hopkins), Sir Charles Mendl (Commodore)


Plot:
- by ZoŽ Shaw
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 Sebastian.

Review: 
- by Laila Valente
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 house.

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 vulnerable.

VARIETY 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 big.  

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 suspicion.  

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.

Impressive sets and colorful backgrounds, as well as the music, give the picture outstanding production value.  Photography, including special effects, is of the best.  

Review: 
- 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.

NEW YORK 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 film.  

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.

Review
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