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Notorious (1946)

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A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?

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Title: Notorious (1946)

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Top 250 #206 | Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Leopoldine Konstantin ...
Mme. Sebastian (as Madame Konstantin)
Reinhold Schünzel ...
'Dr. Anderson' (as Reinhold Schunzel)
Moroni Olsen ...
Walter Beardsley
Ivan Triesault ...
Eric Mathis
Alexis Minotis ...
Joseph (as Alex Minotis)
Wally Brown ...
Mr. Hopkins
Charles Mendl ...
Commodore (as Sir Charles Mendl)
Ricardo Costa ...
Dr. Barbosa
E.A. Krumschmidt ...
Hupka (as Eberhard Krumschmidt)
Fay Baker ...
Ethel
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Storyline

Following the conviction of her German father for treason against the U.S., Alicia Huberman takes to drink and men. She is approached by a government agent (T.R. Devlin) who asks her to spy on a group of her father's Nazi friends operating out of Rio de Janeiro. A romance develops between Alicia and Devlin, but she starts to get too involved in her work. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

spy | wine | german | wine cellar | love | See more »

Taglines:

Notorious Woman of many Desires! Fateful Fascination! Bold Intrigue! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

6 September 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alfred Hitchcock claimed that the FBI had him under surveillance for three months because the film dealt with uranium. See more »

Goofs

When Bergman's character is slowly realizing that she is being poisoned, the liquid in her cup changes. She seems to drink it all, but in the next moment, the cup is full. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[Title card]: Miami, Florida, Three-Twenty P.M., April the Twenty-Fourth, Nineteen Hundred and Forty-Six...
[reporters and photographers converse amongst themselves outside the courtroom]
Judge: Is there any legal reason why sentence should not be pronounced?
District Attorney: No, your honor.
John Huberman: Yes, I have something to say. You can put me away, but you can't put away what's going to happen to you, and to this whole country next time. Next time we are going...
Defense Counsel: [whispering] I wouldn't say any more. We'll need that for the ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: Miami, Florida, Three-Twenty P.M., April the Twenty-Fourth, Nineteen Hundred and Forty-Six... See more »

Connections

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Le contrôle de l'univers (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Carnaval, Op. 9, Scènes mignonnes sur quatre notes: 'Chopin'
(uncredited)
Written by Robert Schumann
Performed in the distance as Alicia enters Alex's house for the first time
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Hitchcock's "perfect" movie.
11 November 2004 | by (San Diego) – See all my reviews

*Notorious* may not be Hitchcock's greatest film, but it may very well be his most perfect film. Rarely is a viewer treated to so much talent in all areas of film creation: Hitch directing, Gregg Toland photographing, Ben Hecht writing, Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains acting. And everyone is firing on all cylinders.

What gives *Notorious* its singularity amongst the pantheon of Hitchcock's masterpieces is the highly symbolic, literate, and penetrating script by Hecht. Nominally, the film is about the OSS (the pre-natal version of the CIA) using a compromised young daughter of a condemned, unrepentant Nazi to infiltrate a cell of German expatriates in Rio de Janeiro just after the close of the Second World War. The plot hinges on some nonsense involving "uranium ore" stuffed in wine bottles in the cellar of Claude Rains' mansion. In actuality, the film is nothing less than a dark fugue on alcoholism, and secondarily (and of most interest to the director), invasion of privacy. Thirdly, we are treated to some more of the Master's endless fascination with Freudian slop: yet again, we get the Oedipus Complex in all its ardor, with a domineering old bat wielding the motherly whip-hand on Rains' cuckolded, castrated, romantic ex-pat Nazi.

But Hecht is interested primarily in alcoholism, and Hitchcock obligingly complies, utilizing a dizzying myriad of symbols and reference points. In the original script, Bergman's Alicia is something of a whore: the filmmakers were forced by the censors to tone this aspect down, thereby bringing Alicia's dependence on booze to the forefront. Indeed, Bergman spends much of her screen-time woozy-headed, whether from alcohol or poisonous coffee (symbolically functioning as the same thing). Very early in the film, she declares at a party, "The important drinking hasn't started yet!" Exactly. Throughout the movie, Bergman drinks in order to escape her unpleasant circumstances or to wash away bouts of low self-esteem. A bottle of champagne bought by Grant becomes a phallic symbol: he forgets it at the offices of the OSS, with arid results when he arrives home to Bergman. Wine bottles are literally the "key" to the plot. Spilled wine in a sink blows her cover. And late in the proceedings, the simple physical act of drinking -- coffee, yes, but the point comes across -- almost kills her.

There's much more going on here -- too much for a short review, really. Let's finish by asserting that Hitchcock's Forties period was every bit as cinematic as his later, grander, colorized period in the Fifties and Sixties. The slowly swooping shot from the crane, starting from high atop the ceiling of a ballroom and ending up focused on the wine cellar key in Bergman's hand, is merely one famous bravura moment. There are many others:

Grant approaching a hungover Bergman in bed, in which the camera takes her up-ended POV quite literally; Bergman, overcome with poison, hallucinating the figures of Rains and his mother into monstrous shadows that grow larger and larger, eventually merging into one darkness; the two great tracking shots of Grant and Bergman kissing in her Rio apartment and later when Grant rescues her from her poison bed. The trailers for *Notorious* were already calling Hitchcock the "Master of Suspense" . . . it's easy to see why.

As for the performances? Cary Grant proves to be a true soldier, spending much of his screen-time either expressionless or with his back turned to the camera (!), unselfishly giving the film to Bergman, even though his part is actually the more interesting one. Bergman, meanwhile, gives one of the best performances of her illustrious career. No two Bergman roles are quite the same; Hitchcock wisely allows her to do some of her own interpretation, particularly early on during the "character-building" scenes (before the plot moves all the characters into their appointed places on the chessboard). Perhaps best of all, both Grant and Bergman were at the very peak of the physical charms: the movie is some serious eye-candy for both genders. 9 stars out of 10.


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