A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
The daughter of a convicted traitor during the war is hired by the United States government to travel over to Rio de Janeiro to infiltrate a Nazi base, occupied by her father’s former associates. Alfred Hitchcock’s 36th feature is yet another tense and gripping drama with superb acting and an original, clever foundation.
Based on issues involving war, love, trust and patriotism, “Notorious” is a spy thriller that evokes sympathy for the protagonist in several ways. Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Bergman) is the damsel assigned to travel to Brazil, incentivised by the strong feelings of attraction towards the elegant and ever-so-slick Devlin (Cary Grant), a US government agent with a rigid, repressed attitude to women and love in general who possesses several ‘Bond-like’ qualities.
Once stationed in Brazil, Devlin and Alicia’s relationship begins to blossom, yet when the finer details of Alicia’s mission are revealed, and she learns she’ll need to seduce an old love interest from her past, tension begins to grow, resulting in Devlin’s professionalism and Alicia’s commitment being tested.
Full of drama, clever and encapsulating cinematography, as well as an overall Hitchcock lustre, “Notorious” is up there with the like of “Vertigo”, “Psycho” and “Rear Window” in terms of its cleverness and engaging qualities. It is nothing on edge-of-your-seat aspects of the three previously mentioned Hitchcock classics, yet it’s story of love and deceit, integrated and sometimes overshadowed with the serious undertones make this one of Hitchcock’s hits.