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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bergman as the "notorious" Alicia Huberman, "not a lady."
Filmed in 1946, this was a truly sensational film upon its release, its a dramatic impact far stronger than what we experience now. Newspapers were publicizing the fact that major Nazi leaders had escaped to Brazil and other South American countries, and America's use of the atomic bomb in Japan had made every American aware of the importance of uranium, also a plot...
Published on 20 Aug 2004 by Mary Whipple

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars No subtitles
I do not like it because it had no subtitles for the hard of hearing or the non-English speakers.
Published 2 months ago by Frits Gorle


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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bergman as the "notorious" Alicia Huberman, "not a lady.", 20 Aug 2004
By 
Mary Whipple (New England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Notorious [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Filmed in 1946, this was a truly sensational film upon its release, its a dramatic impact far stronger than what we experience now. Newspapers were publicizing the fact that major Nazi leaders had escaped to Brazil and other South American countries, and America's use of the atomic bomb in Japan had made every American aware of the importance of uranium, also a plot element here. The work of spies was respected and considered crucial for America's safety.
In this Hitchcock-directed film, Ingrid Bergman plays Alicia Huberman, daughter of a Nazi spy convicted of treason. A young woman who has always played fast and loose, she is nevertheless recruited to go to Brazil to infiltrate her father's Nazi network there, with Devlin (Cary Grant) as her agency contact. They fall in love as they await orders in Rio, but the stiff and formal Grant cannot bring himself to tell this "notorious" woman ("not a lady") that he loves her. When she realizes that she will get much better information if she marries Nazi Alex Sebastian (Claude Rains), Grant allows her to do this, meeting her periodically for agonizing updates. As Alicia uncovers increasingly important information related to the Nazi search for uranium, her own life is threatened.
Hitchcock's camera work is extraordinary, with high-contrast scenes achieving maximum dramatic impact in black and white. He often places objects and people in the extreme foreground with the camera focused on the background, and he uses changes of lighting to emphasize changing moods or realizations by characters. The suspense builds to a crescendo, and when Grant and Bergman manage to get inside a locked wine cellar while Rains is approaching, the tension nears the breaking point.
Part of the suspense is psychological. Alicia's life is nightmarish, as she shares a bedroom with someone she both fears and detests, while she herself is feared and detested by her husband's manipulative mother (Leopoldine Konstantin), who calmly sits and embroiders throughout much of the film. Playing a fey, flighty, and "fallen" woman, Bergman is spontaneous, vibrantly alive, and expressive of every emotion, a marked contrast to the staid Grant, who plays the elegant and formal role for which he is justifiably famous. Rains, playing a Nazi, manages to evoke a certain sympathy because he is so vulnerable to Bergman and so dependent on his mother. One of Hitchcock's best films, this study of a "notorious" woman belongs to Bergman, who dominates the film and brings it to life. Mary Whipple
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good collection of the best director., 31 Oct 2001
By A Customer
None of the 4 movies need introductions. They are all masterpieces for the right reasons.
Rebecca is for me the ultimate movie. Eventhough it's been over 60 years since it was shot, it still has that magic touch that makes it so relevant to these times.
Having said that, I must comment that the video transfer of the 4 movies is, alas, only average.
Numerous scratches and dust particles can be spotted and some very nasty compression signs can be seen in most of the darker scenes. However, the framing seems accurate and no edge enhancment distract the viewer.
The soundtrack another story. While it's obvious that the soundtrack had not been remastered, it was certainly cleaned from all the hisses that were evident in the VHS versions of the movies. Still, it's not a full blown Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, but the sound is very adequate and the dialog is always clear and understandable.
Each movie includes extra features that vary in quality and quantity. I always prefer the director commentary, which is, alas, missing, but given the fact that Hitchcock is no longer available for DVD commentaries, it's acceptable.
Would I recommend this collection? Well, that depends. Any Hitchcock fan MUST buy it (being so cheap and being Hitchcock's finest). However, if you're a DVD fan rather than a Hitchcock fan, you should buy the separate versions of the 4 movies, since some of them were given a really good treat when they were transferred to DVD (look for the Criterion editions).
4 out of 5 stars.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first unmissable Hitch, 21 Nov 2000
By 
This review is from: Notorious [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Notorious marks the first film in Hitchcock's output which really hits the mark and still pushes at the boundaries now, over 50 years since its release.
On loan from his suffocative contract with David O. Selznick, the director turned out with RKO a practically flawless picture. It bears all the hallmarks of what we now consider a Hitchcock classic: It has Cary Grant. It has Ingrid Bergman. It has a pulpy (though not too pulpy) plot. It has interantional agents. It has a Macguffin. It even has a one word title!
Bergman plays the woman-with-a-history, and Grant is the detective trying to infiltrate a Nazi group. Bergman is his tool, and he persuades/pushes her into a marriage with Nazi sympathiser Claude Raines.
This central trio of characters is outstanding -- the relationship between Bergman and Grant thoroughly believable and watertight, and Raines treads the line between threatening and weak immaculately.
Really a must-see, even after all these years. Includes excellent flourishes, including the much vaunted longest-ever screen kiss and the breathtaking bravura camera dolly down the stairs to Bergman's concealed hand. The party sequence is one of the best in all of Hitchcock's output.
From start to finish it is a joy -- buy it, and buy it now.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ILLUSTRIOUS INGRID INVOKES IMMORTALITY, 29 May 2009
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This review is from: Notorious [1946] [DVD] (DVD)
ILLUSTRIOUS INGRID INVOKES IMMORTALITY -
IF there ever was a competition for the most magical screen pairing CARY GRANT-INGRID BERGMAN will win it hands down for their magical,enigmatic & magnetic chemistry which scorches the screen in this post-war espionage romance from the master of cinema who pays a homage to ethical art in this tale of treachery and deception .

the story shifts from Miami to RIO de janiero,the lead duo bring a panache which only Hitchcock can infuse into stars with an endowing emotion that galvanizes a thriller to life .

Devlin [grant ]recruits Alicia[ingrid ] to entrap a neo -Nazi Brazilian group headed by Claude Rains developing uranium enrichment facilities ,as devlin despicably tutors her to seduce claude and to wed the nazi to perform an inside job ,this initial battle of sexes gives way to an ethereal love story as devlin realises he has been smitten by alicia.

The drama works at many dimensions,from the exchange of torrid glances between the haunted lovers to ultimately evoking envy when grant finally kisses ingrid in a sumptuous and delicately triumphant love scene which is a milestone in cinema .

This is a fever pitch drama immersed in lover's dilemma but love is relegated to the back seat
,but it is the notoriously ravishing and illustriously talented Bergman who is the cause celebre in a complex,multi-layered role executed with immense style and talent galore as the vulnerable victim and the maligned wife suffering at the hands of both society and the neo-nazis trapped in a magical web of deceit weaved by the genius of Hitchcock.

An intelligent script with sharp dialogues and smooth characters restores your faith in love and feminine purity,this makes modern romances look like kitsch,and the tension evolves into a perilous yet piquant journey which is disturbing yet intensely profound and satisfying .

Hitchcock's tormented lovers are emotionally fragile as they overcome their lacerated consciousness to suppress the moral inhibitions to triumph in the greatest love story ever made ,
their innocence and vulnerability demonstrated by Ingrid Bergman is equivocal to a sacred and ethereal enigma while the suspense evolves as a perilous foray into terror and Cary grant as Devlin has never given a better account of his supercilious charm enriched with a wondrous warmth .

it is interesting that FBI STARTED AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE PRODUCTION as it involves a uranium enrichment theme.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classy thriller, 7 Dec 2005
By 
L. Davidson (Belfast, N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
"Notorious" is still an impressive film, 60 years after it's release in 1946. It has an intriguing plot, a steady build up of tension, excellent characterisation and top quality acting performances from the beautiful Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant and Claude Rains. The on screen chemistry between Bergman (Alicia)and Grant (Devlin), playing two FBI agents, is perfect, while Rains (Alex Sebastien) plays his role as a Nazi mastermind hiding out in Rio superbly. Bergman and Grant,who become romantically involved, infiltrate Rains' Nazi circle using her as a "honey trap" for the besotted Alex Sebastien. It then becomes a race against time to discover what the Nazis are up to before they uncover Bergman's deception. Absorbing film ; legendary performanes from Bergman,Grant and Rains.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, 26 Aug 2003
The fifteen pounds you spend on 'Notorious' may well be one of the best used fifteen pounds you ever spend. A fornight after having received it I had watched it ten times: it is a simply mesmerising film. Every element that makes a film good comes together in 'Notorious' to make it excellent.
It doesn't fit into any of the 'spy-film' or 'romance' cliches: it's utterly fresh and original. The script is very tight, the two strands - McGuffin and romance - coming together in the form of a scintillating love triangle, a series of agonising misunderstandings and an ending that is simultaneously so surprising and so _right_ that it will take your breath away.
Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant do wonderful work bringing the leads to life - she damaged, vulnerable and exposed, becomming more forlorn and isolated as the plot develops, he slightly morally ambiguous and painfully self-controlled. Watch them in the scene where Alicia takes Dev for a drive: magic! Claude Rains and Madame Konstantin as Alex and his mother lend stellar support, he the villain you pity more than hate and she a cold and jealous manipulator. The downward pan on Alex as he makes his confession to his mother tells you all you need to know, which brings us neatly onto the direction.
What with it being a Hitchcock film and all you expect it to be good, but this is brilliant. Neat little tricks like having Alicia stepping from the shadow into the light as Dev exposes her patriotism and keeping Dev's back to a room so that when he breaks into the conversation his distress is palpable couple with major motifs that occur in later films: the coffee-cup view of Alicia echoed in 'Spellbound' and the pan from the top of the staircase to Alicia's hand also seen in 'Marnie'. Numerous pieces of symbolism - the lost bottle of champagne, Dev lending Alicia his scarf and she returning it when she has finally lost hope - add richness to the texture of the film and ensure that alhtough the editing is beautifully economic the film is never spare in sentiment or meaning. The longest screen kiss in history, although ridiculously chaste by modern standards, in nonetheless the most tender and erotic romance scene I've ever seen on film. And of course it is an incredibly suspenseful film, from Alicia's first, ill-fated party right down to the abrupt ending.
'Notorious' is the first truly great film that Hitchcock made, indeed one of his best three in my opinion. Watch it if you like the stars, watch it if you like Hitchcock, watch it if you like tight scripting, watch it if you like well developed characters, watch it if you don't like to be patronised by a film. Just watch it!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost the perfect film..., 14 Mar 2006
By 
R. Clifton "sciencegirl" (Tooting, London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
...this Hitchcock film has it all - Cary Grant as an amoral CIA agent, Ingrid Bergman as a (supposed) alcoholic floozy, Nazis plotting to come back to power - and they are all in Rio. It should be a rather florid mix, but Hitchcock brings it all into a tense and exciting film. Grant has rarely been better, using all his charisma to persuade a woman who is in love with him to sleep with a supposed Nazi to get information. Technically, the film is brilliant, with poisoned coffee cups looming hugely at the front of shots, and the shadows of the supposed poisoners wavering and merging into one. Personally, I think Cary Grant is one of the sexiest actors ever to be filmed and this film captures him at his best. A film you should definitely have in your collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Quiet Best, 13 Jun 2012
By 
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This review is from: Notorious [1946] [DVD] (DVD)
Many reviewers and critics mentioned "Notorious" as one of Hitchcock's best (if not THE best). I couldn't agree more, and I was very happy to make the choice to buy this DVD. I'm torn when to decide which movie is the best, so I won't go there, but I must say this is very very good. I usually divide his movies between the best category and the popular category, this movie has high points in quality, but rates low in popularity (among the audience, not the critics).
The DVD edition (from Freemantle media) is not the best there could be, and for me, the lack of subtitles (even in English!) always bring a challenge, because I'm not from a english speaking country (I'm fine with english subs). The extras are interesting, but are weak when compared to Criterion's. If you really want to see this movie (and you should) and don't want to spend a lot of 's (and speak english fluently) this is your edition. (4,5/5).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps Hitchcock's finest film, 20 Dec 2010
By 
This review is from: Notorious [1946] [DVD] (DVD)
Why do I find myself more drawn to "Notorious" than any other Hitchcock film? One reason is the extraordinarily vulnerable performance of Ingrid Bergman's Alicia. She is the epitome of old fashioned femininity, the classic damsel in distress. Her love scenes with the super cool, hyper-masculine Cary Grant are incomparable. Because Hitchcock never took a writing credit, one can forget that he himself conceived the scenario of "Notorious" and tailored it for Grant and Bergman. Ben Hecht has the sole screenplay credit, but all of Hitchcock's favorte themes are there. I continue to marvel at his directing, how his camera is always in the right place, capturing in crisp black and white the subtle narrative and visual elements that hook the viewer from the opening scene. In addition to Bergman and Grant, every performance is elegant, including Claude Rains' suave and world-weary Sebastian, the fugitive Nazi hopelessly in love with his beautiful American spy wife (Bergman). My favorite scene: Sitting in his Nazi mother's bedroom, he wakes her up and confesses his horrifying discovery that he is married to an American agent. His mother, superbly acted by Madame Constantine, has my favorite line of dialogue. Intensely jealous of her new daughter-in-law, she calms her son's fears that he will be murdered by his Nazi collaborators when they discover his situation. "They will never find out," she assures him. "You are protected by the enormity of your stupidity." What a gem this movie is!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I guess I'm the girl nobody remembers, 16 Oct 2011
By 
IWFIcon - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Notorious [1946] [DVD] (DVD)
With the long,varied and successful career as a director that Alfred Hitchcock had it's inevitable that some of his films are remembered and feted more than others. Indeed some great films are inexplicably elevated to classic status, other minor films get a billing higher than their merits deserve and occasionally an absolutely cracking film gets somewhat lost in the shadow of a great back catalogue.

Notorious is in the latter category for my money.

It's brilliance starts even before the first scene. Hitchcock rarely got the cast he wanted (and on some occasions when he did he was mightily disappointed with the results or used the benefit of hindsight to bemoan casts "forced" upon him) but here he got the two big names, together, that he had always wanted since the very early days of script development. It's worth pointing out that David Selznick, despite this being a film made under a loan-out agreement with RKO, pushed the cheaper, and studio-contracted, Joseph Cotton for the main role here). Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman's performances here are so good in part due to the fact that their parts/characters were written with their casting in mind. Grant's more thoughtful/ambivalent real life attitudes (as opposed to his predominant screwball comedy screen personae) greatly influenced the writing of the character and if Hitch somewhat miscued his attempts to turn Grant into a wife killer (Suspicion) he succeeded in successfully presenting Grant in a different light here. It's also difficult to appreciate 65 years on what a shock it would have been for contemporary audiences to see Bergman playing an alcoholic, willing to sleep her way through a conspiracy in order to salve her conscience. Throw in the superb Claude Rains and a great back up cast and the excellence of the film comes as little surprise.

The film mocks the Hayes Code, helped in no small part by the genuine chemistry between Grant and Bergman and the scene where they kiss is work of genius in itself but arguably the most shocking aspect of the film at the time could be said to be the presentation of Rains' Alex Sebastian as a pleasant, amiable and, dare I say it, likable Nazi. Indeed the juxtaposition between his actions and those of Grant's Devlin towards the lady in their love triangle often leads the audience to question just whose side they are on in that particular battle. Indeed can one feel anything but sympathy for the man who manages to keep cool even when faced with the sight of his wife kissing another man? The fact that it is his tyrannical mother who leads him to attempting to poison his wife gives us even more reason to sympathise. Indeed, right at the end of the film, when Sebastian's choice is to face the either the Nazi's or his own mother, it's impossible to not lament his fate.

As I said, Notorious, for all the plaudits it receives from Hitchcock fans, does get lost in the shuffle as bigger, bolder but not necessarily better, films grab the populist vote. A superb cast, a great script and Hitch's traditional pulling of our sympathies make for a perfect film. I love it.
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