A man in London tries to help a counter-espionage Agent. But when the Agent is killed, and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to save himself and stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.
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 <email@example.com>
This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #137. See more »
Alicia and Devlin's shadows can be seen "over" the background plates during the drunk driving scene and the balcony scene. See more »
Miami, Florida, Three-Twenty P.M., April the Twenty-Fourth, Nineteen Hundred and Forty-Six...
[reporters and photographers converse amongst themselves outside the courtroom]
Is there any legal reason why sentence should not be pronounced?
No, your honor.
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...
I wouldn't say any more. We'll need that for the ...
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Opening credits prologue: Miami, Florida, Three-Twenty P.M., April the Twenty-Fourth, Nineteen Hundred and Forty-Six.... See more »
Older television and video prints feature the opening logo of the Selznick International Studios instead of the RKO original. In the RKO print, under the film's title it can be read "by arrangement with David O. Selznick" while the Selznick print removed that sentence and also the one that reads "RKO Radio Pictures presents". During the end titles the Selznick print also removed the RKO logo too. See more »
Bergman/Hitchcock collaboration ensures lasting success of Notorious
Notorious is one of my favorite Hitchcock films. Like so many of his later features it is saddled with a highly suspect plot that is driven by a set of poor decisions made by a handful of characters of such alarmingly low emotional intelligence it is a miracle they survive the first half of the film at all, yet it works. It keeps company with the likes of Strangers On A Train, Psycho, Rear Window, The Thirty-Nine Steps, North by North-West, The Lady Vanishes: it is a classic. It is tempting to put it all down to Ingrid Bergman's portrayal of Alicia Hubberman - which is faultless - but Bergman alone could not have made Notorious what it is: she also starred in Spellbound and Under Capricorn and was unable to save either of those films from limping into mediocrity. It is also appealing to suggest the obvious: that it is the combination of breathtaking cinematography, flawless supporting cast and Ben Hecht's cracking script that make it so good. But I believe that the primary reason Notorious excels is because of the abiding friendship, professional respect and unrequited love that existed between Alfred Hitchcock and Ingrid Bergman as they stepped up to make the film. The archetypal > themes that comprised their professional partnership inspired, amongst other things, Hitchcock's/Hecht's Alicia - a woman in a barren marriage desperate for love - and all those tender beautifully lit close-ups. It also allowed Bergman - and here a precedent was broken - to contribute, and to act upon, her insights as to the motivations and behavior of her character.
Hitchcock didn't suffer the opinions of his actors lightly, yet
where Notorious was concerned, he made an exception. For the duration of the shooting of the film, Bergman was Hitchcock's closest collaborator. I have a strong sense that the very thing that could have made Notorious lame - Hitchcock's unrequited love for Bergman - is also the very thing that saved it from obscurity and that we may have much - we will never how much - for which to thank Bergman.
There are many moments that make Notorious Bergman's picture, but I think the most extraordinary is the kiss outside the wine cellar. In all her films, Bergman always brought a vulnerability to her love scenes that imbued them with a real sense of intimacy, and Notorious is no exception: think of her in the infamous balcony scene or during her final descent down the staircase. Yet when Dev - ever the mercenary genius of improvisation - makes full use of Rains' approach and, pulling Alicia to him as they stand outside the wine cellar, orders her to kiss him, Bergman actually surpasses her own track record.
Suddenly in the arms of the man she really loves she is overcome with emotion; and for one second, maybe two, she separates her mouth from his, and in an attempt to give voice to the indescribable and to forge, experience and register a moment of pure intimacy, she utters one word, his name, 'Dev!' and all hell breaks loose. Never in the history of cinema has one word carried such an erotic charge. They could not be closer. He doesn't flinch. They barely move, but it is all there. And it's not just her voice, it is also her eyebrows. Just as she utters his name, Bergman furrows them. They tremble. They, along with her tremulous whisper, betray her true feelings, so that within the space of two seconds we witness Bergman experience both the heightened rush of intense sexual desire as well as the instantaneous relief afforded her by the act of surrender to it.
All this with one word - 'Dev' - and the furrowing of a pair of eyebrows. So much emotion conveyed with so little and in such a brief period of time.
It is because of moments like these that Notorious is timeless - the film gets under your skin and into your psyche - and given the history of the film and her beautiful performance at the center of it, it is fitting that it should be Bergman
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