Notorious is a near-perfect espionage thriller from the ‘Master of Suspense', Alfred Hitchcock. Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Bergman), the daughter of a convicted Nazi spy, is recruited by a government agent, Devlin (Cary Grant), to infiltrate an organization of Nazis who have relocated to Rio de Janiero after World War II.
The organization is led by Alex Sebastian (Claude Rains), a former colleague of Alicia’s father who is in love with her. The lives of the three become entangled as Alicia’s mission becomes more dangerous. She not only marries Sebastian, but also finds it increasingly difficult to report to Devlin under his jealous and ever-present attention. Complicating things, Alicia and Devlin have fallen in love too.
Just about every feature of this film is perfectly assembled. The photography is stunning, the score is impeccable and the performances exceptional, especially from the luminous Ingrid Bergman. It is famous for breaking the boundaries of the Hays Code through an extended kissing sequence between Grant and Bergman, and the extended party sequence where the pair break into Sebastian’s wine cellar is as suspenseful as anything Hitchcock has ever created. This is top tier Hitchcock and highly recommended.