Sunday, January 5, 2014


The stigmatized daughter (Ingrid Bergman) of a Nazi spy is offered a chance at redemption by the U.S. government when she is recruited by an intrepid agent (Cary Grant) to seduce and surveil one of her father's cohorts (Claude Rains). Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious, which was scripted by Ben Hecht, is one of The Master's finest and most sophisticated thrillers with Bergman never looking so radiant, Grant demonstrating great appeal, thanks in part to his character's vulnerability, and Rains turning in an absolutely spectacular performance as a not quite so heartless villain. There are many unforgettable sequences here including the extended kissing scene, the wine cellar progression ending with the tracking shot on the concealed key, and of course the brilliantly contrived final escape followed by Rains' long climb to rejoin his mates.