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Notorious

(1946 b 101')

En: 8 Ed: 7

A woman agrees to spy on Nazis and falls in love with her handler; but she goes really undercover by marrying the target of the operation.

John Huberman is sentenced in Miami to twenty years for treason, and the press questions his daughter Alicia (Ingrid Bergman). After a party tipsy Alicia drives a car with T. R. Devlin (Cary Grant). She speeds and is stopped by a cop, who yields to Devlin. She is angry that Devlin is a cop, and he drives her home. In the morning Devlin offers her a job. He plays a record of her arguing with her father that she loves America.

Alicia and Devlin fly to Rio, and he tells her that her father died. Alicia stops drinking. She teases him, and he kisses her. Paul Prescott (Louis Calhern) tells men they are ready, and he will instruct Devlin. Alicia kisses Devlin and invites him to stay for dinner. Devlin goes to see Paul and doubts if Alicia will do it. Paul says that Sebastian was in love with her. Devlin tells Alicia that she has to land Sebastian and report about his arms business. They go horse-back riding, and she meets Alex Sebastian (Claude Rains). She dines with him, and he sees Paul and says he is an American agent. Alicia tells Sebastian that she has no one, and he invites her to his house. Paul lends her jewelry and tells her to get names. She meets Sebastian's mother (Leopoldine Konstantin). Sebastian introduces her to six men, and she notices Emil's concern over a wine bottle. Emil apologizes to Sebastian and is escorted out.

Alicia meets Devlin at the races and reports that she has a new playmate, making him jealous. Sebastian finds them and lets her know he is jealous. At a meeting Devlin defends Alicia's character. She comes in and says that Sebastian asked to marry her. Devlin approves but says the honeymoon could delay them. Sebastian's mother is suspicious of Alicia. In his house Alicia gets keys from Sebastian for all the locked rooms but the wine cellar. She reports to Devlin on a park bench. He suggests she invite him to a party.

Alicia takes the key from Sebastian's key-ring. Devlin arrives, and she hands him the key. She says the wine may run out and tells Devlin to meet her in back. Devlin searches the wine cellar and breaks a bottle with minerals. He fills another bottle. Sebastian is coming, and Devlin kisses her. Devlin tells Sebastian he is lucky. Sebastian notices his key is missing.

In the morning Sebastian sees the key is back. In the wine cellar he finds an unsealed bottle and broken glass. Sebastian wakes his mother and says he is married to an American agent. His mother says no one must find out and that Alicia will become ill. Alicia tells Paul that she has a headache. Paul asks her to find out where the uranium comes from. Paul says Devlin is going to Spain.

Alicia tells Sebastian that she is dizzy. She meets Devlin but says she has a hangover. Alicia is ill, and one of the men invites her to the mountains. He picks up her coffee, and she realizes that Sebastian and his mother are poisoning her. She collapses and is taken to her room, and Sebastian has the phone removed. Devlin waits for her and tells Paul she is sick. Devlin goes to the house. While Sebastian is in a meeting, Devlin goes upstairs to Alicia and says he loves her. She says they killed Emil and would kill Sebastian if they knew. Devlin helps her walk out and threatens to say they are poisoning her. Devlin and Sebastian help Alicia to the car, but Devlin won't let Sebastian into the car.

This Hitchcock thriller reflects the concern about Nazis that have fled to South America and the immense danger of people getting nuclear weapons. With these stakes the men do not hesitate to let a woman prostitute herself for patriotism. Even Hitchcock thought he was being tailed during the filming because of the uranium theme.

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

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