Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. US. 1946. NR. 101 minutes. Disney. 35mm.
Sun., April 21, 2013
Rains deservedly received one of his four nominations as Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of a villainous Nazi spy in this, one of Alfred Hitchcock’s most suspenseful and romantic screen masterpieces. Starring Cary Grant, as an American agent, and Ingrid Bergman, as the daughter of a convicted Axis spy who is recruited by Grant to trap Rains and his cohorts, “Notorious” is filled with thrilling screen moments and dramatic tension. The love scenes between Grant and Bergman were considered to be quite daring at the time, and Hitchcock provides several virtuoso screen moments (e.g., the stunning crane shot, wherein the camera sweeps slowly from a balcony down through a crowded ballroom to reveal a key secreted in Bergmans hand). Rains, as a mother-dominated Nazi, displays a rare combination of menace and pathos, as his character gradually becomes suspicious of Bergman and the film builds to an almost excruciatingly suspenseful climax. (Bill Roth)