• Frys.com #6970487
  • Manufacturer: Fox Home Entertainment
  • UPC #883904252498
  • Model #M125249



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    Detailed Description
    (Manufacturer # M125249 )

      Though Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious was produced by David O. Selznick's Vanguard Films, Selznick himself had little to do with the production, which undoubtedly pleased the highly independent Hitchcock. Ingrid Bergman plays Alicia Huberman, who goes to hell in a handbasket after her father, an accused WWII traitor, commits suicide. American secret agent Devlin (Cary Grant) is ordered to enlist the libidinous Alicia's aid in trapping Alexander Sebastian (Claude Rains), the head of a Brazilian neo-Nazi group. Openly contemptuous of Alicia despite her loyalty to the American cause, Devlin calmly instructs her to woo and wed Sebastian, so that that good guys will have an "inside woman" to monitor the Nazi chieftain's activities. It is only after Alicia and Sebastian are married that Devlin admits to himself that he's fallen in love with her. The "MacGuffin" in this case is a cache of uranium ore, hidden somewhere on Sebastian's estate. Upon discovering that his wife is a spy, Sebastian balks at eliminating her until ordered to do so by his virago of a mother (Madame Konstantin). Tension mounts to a fever pitch as Devlin, a day late and several dollars short, strives to rescue Alicia from Sebastian's homicidal designs. Of the several standout sequences, the film's highlight is an extended love scene between Alicia and Devlin, which manages to ignite the screen while still remaining scrupulously within the edicts of the Production Code. In later years, Hitchcock never tired of relating the story of how he and screenwriter Ben Hecht (who was nominated for an Oscar) fell under the scrutiny of the FBI after electing to use uranium as a plot device -- this before the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A huge moneymaker for everyone concerned, Notorious remains one of Hitchcock's best espionage melodramas. In 1992, Notorious was remade for cable television; it goes without saying that the original is vastly superior. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
    Movie Type
      Thriller, Spy Film
    Movie Level Themes
      Dangerous Attraction, Double Life, Assassination Plots, Arranged Marriages
    Movie Level Tones
      Paranoid, Tense, Menacing, Cynical, Atmospheric

    DVD Features

    • Commentary with film Professor Rick Jewell
    • Commentary with film Professor Dick Casper
    • Isolated music and effects treck
    • The ultimate romance: the making of Notorious
    • Alfred Hitchcock: the ultimate spymaster
    • The American Film Institute award: the key to Hitchcock
    • 1948 radio play starring Joseph Cotten and Ingrid Bergman
    • Hitchock audio interviews
    • Restoration comparison
    • Original theatrical trailer
      AMG Rating


        One of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, Notorious features the director at his devilishly elegant, self-assured best. A visual masterpiece, it plays like a seamlessly assembled jigsaw puzzle, in which each piece fits together with clean precision. The film's smooth veneer largely creates its visceral impact; lurking beneath the gloss are dealings of the most grotesque sort, their execution made all the more insidious by their sophisticated guise. Aside from containing one of Hitchcock's most famous MacGuffins, the uranium ore, Notorious boasts some of his most famous camerawork, most notably the gorgeous tracking shot during Sebastian's party that takes the viewer from the top of a staircase to Alicia's hand, clenched around the key that will lead her to the uranium ore. The camera moves with the quiet intimacy of an unobserved party guest, almost serpentine in its journey. Similarly ingenious is Hitchcock's use of point-of-view shots, particularly that of Alicia's waking up with a hangover and watching Devlin walk toward her as the camera spins 180 degrees. Seeing through Alicia's eyes, the audience sympathizes with her, making the character one of Hitchcock's most full-blooded and enduring heroines. It goes without saying that the success of Alicia's characterization is in no small part due to Ingrid Bergman's performance; tragic, lovelorn, and marked by logical cynicism, her portrayal of Alicia was one of the best of Bergman's career. She was ably supported by Cary Grant and Claude Rains, the former going against his likeable, effortlessly charismatic persona to play an initially charmless man with morals as questionable as the heroine's are supposed to be. Rains, paired with Bergman again after Casablanca, makes Sebastian into one of the film's more sympathetic characters; it is a mark of Rains' ability that when Sebastian turns to climb the stairs in the film's closing scene, we feel real terror for him. That Sebastian's fate is the result of both his own manipulations of others and his heart's manipulations of himself is at the center of the film's true MacGuffin: masquerading as a Cold War thriller, Notorious is one of the screen's classic black romances. ~ Rebecca Flint Marx, Rovi


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