Notorious (1946)

Notorious (1946)

One of Hitchcock’s most acclaimed (discussed & analyzed) films. It certainly contains terrific characterizations by its three lead actors: Cary Grant (inexplicably ignored by the Academy) Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains (whose performance did receive a nomination). The love story within is what distinguishes this thriller from his others. Grant’s character must convince the woman he comes to love (Bergman) to seduce the enemy (Rains) whose genuine love for her is betrayed such that “we” are compelled to feel sorry for the villain. Of the many great scenes perhaps the most memorable include a wide tracking shot of a party in Rains’ home which ultimately focuses in on a key in Ms. Bergman’s hand which leads to Grant & Bergman trying to find the “contraband” in the basement. And of course the climactic sequence with Grant & Rains escorting Ms. Bergman down the stairs of his home while encountering (still more) bad guys. Leopoldine Konstantin plays Rains’ controlling mother; Louis Calhern (among others) also appears. The film received two Academy Award nominations – Rains earned his last of four unrewarded (a crime!) Supporting Actor nominations; writer Ben Hecht earned the last of his nominations for his Original Screenplay. #38 on AFI’s 100 Most Heart-Pounding Movies list; #86 on AFI’s 100 Greatest Love Stories list. This film was added to the National Film Registry in 2006.

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