Review: ‘Notorious’

Production and directorial skill of Alfred Hitchcock combine with a suspenseful story and excellent performances to make Notorious force entertainment.

Production and directorial skill of Alfred Hitchcock combine with a suspenseful story and excellent performances to make Notorious force entertainment.

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. Bergman’s father has been convicted as a German spy. Yarn shifts quickly to Rio de Janeiro, where 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. 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.

1946: Nominations: Best Supp. Actor (Claude Rains), Original Screenplay

Notorious

Production

RKO. Director Alfred Hitchcock; Producer Alfred Hitchcock; Screenplay Ben Hecht; Camera Ted Tetzlaff; Editor Theron Warth; Music Roy Webb; Art Director Albert S. D'Agostino, Carroll Clark

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1946. Running time: 101 MIN.

With

Cary Grant Ingrid Bergman Claude Rains Louis Calhern Reinhold Schunzel Moroni Olsen
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