Notorious (1946) Movie Review

It just doesn't get any more stylish than this. A high point in Hollywood's golden era, Notorious is a convergence of talent. Hitchcock is most "notorious" for psycho-thrillers (i.e. Rear Window, Dial M for Murder, Psycho) but the trademark mind-messing is restrained here, though not completely absent (there is an evil Nazi mother-in-law). Like Hitchcock's later espionage masterpiece North By Northwest, Notorious is sophisticated and entertaining. Uncoincidentally, Cary Grant is front and center in both films.

In Notorious, Grant plays a federal agent, looking for Nazis, who goes to Rio to protect Ingrid Bergman, who is married to a Nazi spy (Claude Rains) and is betraying him. Of course, Grant actually plays the suave, blasé, seemingly ordinary, seemingly heartless character he plays in all other films. Bergman is brilliant as the complex heroine.

Selznick's Hollywood is most often remembered for style, not complexity, but there's plenty of both here. This is one of Hitchcock's best films. Some of Hitchcock's other thrillers may seem dated now because of their Freudian overtones, but Style never goes out of style.

Who's bad?


Notorious (1946) Rating

" Essential "

Rating: NR, 1946


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