I am a big fan of Alfred Hitchcock films. He was a wonderful director who did a lot for the world of cinema. I respect such movies as Rear Window, Psycho, and The Birds. That being said I saw Notorious from 1946 and was thoroughly disappointed. The plotline was interesting but it was executed in such a way that made it very slow-paced and boring.
The story is about is a young girl Alicia (Ingrid Bergman) who meets a detective T.R. Devlin (Cary Grant). The two start out their relationship on a rocky note but eventually fall for each other. Alicia is asked to go to Rio de Janeiro with T.R. to spy on a man named Alexander Sebastian (Claude Rains). Alexander is suspected of being a nazi doing suspicious things. Alicia is used as a piece of meat and draws Alexander, one thing leads to another and Alexander and Alicia marry. This sort of puts a damper on Alicia’s relationship with T.R. They are tense and bitter toward each other because they are dealing with their own inner feelings. I won’t spoil the ending for you but it ends well!
The sexual tension between Alicia and T.R. was a great element in the movie. It eventually transformed to a deeper tension because it wasn’t just physical attraction any more. As a viewer you really want the two characters to end up together but roadblocks keep getting in the way. The movie also had a lot of suspense, which Hitchcock is amazing at achieving. When Alicia and T.R. were scheming against Alexander it was really tense because you thought they were going to get caught any second. Other than those elements, the movie sort of fell flat for me. It was bland but the plot had potential for the movie to be rich in excitement and adventure.
Grant and Bergman were great actors and I can see why they were the big stars of their time. My God, Grant is a hunk of a man, and I envied Bergman in every kissing scene. Even in older age, Grant resembled a graying George Clooney! Grant has played roles beside Doris Day, Katharine Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly … so he was quite the ladies man.