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#27 Notorious

An all star line up comprised of Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, and Claude Rains provide more espionage in this spy thriller that focuses on infiltrating the Nazis who have fled to Rio de Janeiro after World War II. Bergman plays the daughter of a convicted Nazi spy, Grant plays the government agent who has recruited her to go undercover, and Rains is our villain who is an old family friend. This is widely considered to be Hitchcock’s first true love story, although I would argue that Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Saboteur, and a few others would qualify for this as well. In this case the characters are memorable and the plot is decent, however not quite intricate enough to be in his all time greatest hits in my humble opinion. A few scenes stand out in which Bergman steals a key (noted for Hitchcock’s crafty camerawork which was innovative at the time), as well as a passionate kiss that bypassed censors (something that took much creativity in order to find the loophole), and lastly the culmination of the film in which Grant walks a poisoned Bergman down the spiral staircase exposing Rains as a liability to his Nazi contingency. That final scene in particular is masterful as Rains is called back into the house, implying that he will succumb to his ultimate fate.

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