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Notorious (1946)

Not Rated | | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance | 6 September 1946 (USA)
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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?

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writer:

Ben Hecht
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4,376 ( 647)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Cary Grant ... Devlin
Ingrid Bergman ... Alicia Huberman
Claude Rains ... Alexander Sebastian
Louis Calhern ... Paul Prescott
Leopoldine Konstantin ... Mme. Sebastian (as Madame Konstantin)
Reinhold Schünzel ... 'Dr. Anderson' (as Reinhold Schunzel)
Moroni Olsen ... Walter Beardsley
Ivan Triesault ... Eric Mathis
Alexis Minotis Alexis Minotis ... Joseph (as Alex Minotis)
Wally Brown ... Mr. Hopkins
Charles Mendl Charles Mendl ... Commodore (as Sir Charles Mendl)
Ricardo Costa Ricardo Costa ... Dr. Barbosa
E.A. Krumschmidt 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 | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

spy | wine | german | wine cellar | nazi | See All (122) »

Taglines:

Electric Tension! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Portuguese

Release Date:

6 September 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious See more »

Filming Locations:

Beverly Hills, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$113,061
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alfred Hitchcock: [assumed identity] Alicia (Ingrid Bergman) pretends to be a Nazi. See more »

Goofs

Did Hitch goof? At the dinner which Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Bergman) attends with all the I.G. Farben baddies, there seems to be an uncharacteristic slip-up for the usually meticulous and detailed oriented Hitchcock. The labeled bottles of wine "(Volnay) Cailleret Bouchard" that Emille Hubka (E.A. Krumschmidt) is visibly disturbed about, bears totally NO resemblance to the later bottles of "Pommard," those down in the Sebastian wine cellar, where some specific ones contain the radioactive ore samples. For one thing, the earlier bottles have no separate vintage labels as do the 1934 bottles in question, and, even the bottle shape is wrong. 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 »

Alternate Versions

When released in West Germany in 1951 "Weißes Gift" (White Poison), the plot was significantly changed. Instead of Nazi agents, the villains became drug-trafficking bandits. The names of the characters were also changed to avoid any reference to Nazi Germany and spying:
  • The Ingrid Bergman character was called 'Elisa Sombrapal' (as opposed to Alicia Huberman), Claude Rains was called 'Aldo Sebastini' (instead of Alexander Sebastian), Leopoldine Konstantin was referred as 'Frau Sebastini'. Similarly, Ivan Triesault was called Enrico (instead of Eric Mathis) and the E.A. Krumschmidt character (originally called Emil Hupka) was rechristened 'Ramon Hupka'.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 42nd Annual Academy Awards (1970) 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

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User Reviews

 
Romance -- Hitchcock style
3 January 2010 | by heather_m1986See all my reviews

Dark, cruel, beautifully photographed, and deeply erotic, Notorious in one of Hitchcock's very best. It's remarkably sexual and sophisticated story from a time in Hollywood where the power of the Breen Office was at its apex. Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Bergman) is the daughter of a convicted Nazi. American agent Devlin (Cary Grant) contacts her and convinces her to spy against some of her father's Nazi colleagues in Brazil. The chief of these of Alex Sebastian (Claude Rains), one of the most genial Nazis depicted on the silver screen, who has a crush on Alicia. Of course, Alicia has fallen madly in love with Devlin, and he with her, though he could never admit it, and instead pushes her to seduce Sebastian to obtain his secrets. He wants her for the mission when she accept, he brands her a whore. Only a whore would sleep with a man for his secrets, right? Hitchcock gathers some of Hollywood's best and casts them against type. Ingrid Bergman, who hitherto had played a fair number of virginal ingénues, plays Alicia Huberman, a powerfully sensual woman but also a drunken nymphomaniac. You get the sense that she can merely stroke Devlin's cold, frozen face and bring him magically to life. The great comic-acrobat-sophisticate Cary Grant is cast as the emotionally stunted and almost sadistic T.R. Devlin, a mysterious secret agent who recruits Alicia to work for the government. Cary Grant utilizes his inherent reticence to create a character who is isolated and closed off, who can lash out and act disinterested so easily toward the woman he loves. Claude Rains, with his rich English voice and amiable face plays Nazi Alex Sebastian, a rather nice fellow who happens be plotting against the United States. He is genuinely in love with Alicia and when he learns of her betrayal, his despair and terror is palpable and moving. Madame Constantin, imported especially by Hitchcock from Germany for this film is the brilliant and icy cold Madame Sebastian, Alex's powerful mother. In one particular scene she smokes a cigarette with a malice unequaled by any actress in Hollywood history. It's like she has it clasped in her talons. Louis Calhern is Devlin's boss, breezy, narrow minded, and casually misogynistic.

Notorious is a very stylish production. Ingrid Bergman, who usually wore little makeup in her films, has a very natural sensuality and wears lovely 40s hats and suits very elegantly. Cary Grant is hitting his stride as the fashion icon he later became in the 50s. The suits are slimmer than they were in earlier roles and help emphasize Grant's lean and powerful, but graceful, physicality. Hitchcock's camera is characteristically authoritative, shaping the audience's impressions. It is very open to Bergman and very closed to Grant. Bergman is often shot in close ups and medium shots, and in flattering soft focus, and in accessible to the audience. Her heartrending luminosity, used so brilliantly in Casablanca is used again here by Hitchcock. Grant, on the other hand, is several times shot with his back to the camera, looking away from from the camera or with his face obscured by shadows. You suspect, but you never really KNOW what Devlin is feeling for the majority of the film. Grant is inscrutable and here is really demonstrating his economy --and brilliance-- as a performer. Sometimes he does seem a bit too stiff, especially since we know that he's capable of doing Dr. David Huxley and Editor-in-chief Walter Burns, but most actors wouldn't have dared to give such an understated performance as Grant does here.

The world of Notorious is very insular. Most of the film, with the exception of the love scenes, is indoors. Any other scenes that find the characters outdoors find the characters closed off. Barricaded between objects or people. All this gives the film a claustrophobic feel, like Devlin and Alicia have no place to hide and no place to breathe. People said that Hitchcock disliked actors. I don't think that's true, but Hitchcock seems to have extraordinary control over the technical aspects of filming. In order scenes to work actors must explicitly follow direction; they are the tools of film-making. All this attention to detail is absolutely necessary considering the complex composition of many of his scenes. The reputed "Longest kiss in film history" where Devlin and Alicia embrace and talk and kiss for several is a very intricate piece of blocking as the characters move from one room to another, Devlin speaks on the phone, reach, turn etc... If Hitchcock worked like someone like Howard Hawks, for instance, this sort of scene wouldn't be possible.

Since this is a Hitchcock film, people may be mislead into thinking that it's a thriller. It's not. It's really a perverse romance. The characters are more intricately drawn than they are in thrillers. Indeed, plot and character development seem to be equally important. The story does not move quickly but you don't really notice, you're too busy being immersed in Hitchcock's world. Thrilling, sexy, and moving, Notorious is highly recommended


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