Starring Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant, Claude Rains, Leopoldine Konstantin, Louis Calhern
Austere. Lean. Impressive.
One of the great Hitchcock’s more revered pictures, Notorious, in my opinion, is far from his best. It’s the kind of film that is more interesting than entertaining, which critics tend to love because there’s so much to write about or theorize. That’s not to say that Notorious doesn’t have much to admire. Every aspect of the filmmaking is admirably done. Ingrid Bergman is luminous as Alicia, a notorious woman (which reading between the lines means she’s a call-girl) in love with an agent, Devlin (Grant in a rare humorless role is excellent), who’s seemingly only interested in using her to get close to fugitive Nazi, Alexander Sebastian (Rains). With very few side characters and a slim plot for an espionage film, Notorious is really about a sort of warped love triangle. As such, it’s impeccably made and acted by the three leads, with a number of memorable directorial flourishes from the master of suspense.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-