137. Notorious

This Alfred Hitchcock film is part espionage thriller and part romance, and shows the director at his best on both counts. Which is to say, the suspense is edge-of-the-seat material, and the romance is muddled, steamy, and a bit unhealthy. Cary Grant plays the American agent who enlists Ingrid Bergman, a German emigre with a low reputation and a convicted father, to spy on some of her father’s old friends.  They’re both beautiful people, and naturally waste no time falling in love.  But when Bergman is asked to make the moves on one of the Nazi ringleaders, it puts both her and her relationship in jeopardy.  Both performances are wonderful, especially Bergman’s, and everything about the movie feels stylish, from the posh settings to the slow pans of the camera.

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