Movie Meltdown

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 by Len Mariani

Hello.  Just so you know, I have been a big fan of the classic films for a long time.  Certain films I can watch over and over and pick up something that I didn’t notice previously.  This is one of my favorites.

NOTORIOUS – (1946) Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman & Claude Rains.

Alfred Hitchcock directed this gem.  Cary Grant is a government agent trying to get information from a tightly knit group of nazi’s in South America.  Ingrid Bergman is the girl with the not-too-squeaky-clean past whom Cary convinces to help him.  Of course they fall in love, of course they hate each other at the same time. 

Claude Rains plays one of the nazi’s who has the misfortune of falling in love with Bergman without knowing that she is an America agent. 

This is Hitchcock at his best.  The cinematography is great.  In one scene, Bergman is invited to a dinner with the high powered  nazis and told by her American bosses to remember names.  Hitchcock show each man kissing Bergman’s hand, through her eyes, not through the eyes of a third party.  My favorite scene is one where Cary is snooping around in Claude Rains’ wine cellar and pushes a bottle off a shelf.  Hitchcock shoots to Grant’s face in the split second when the bottle is on its way to the floor.  Priceless.

The suspense, in classic Hitchcock style is fantastic.  Bergman is pulled deeper and deeper into Rains’ and his equally evil mother’s web, and attempts to separate her from her only hope for salvation:  Mr. Grant. 

You can find this one on TCM from time to time and on Netflix.

Thanks for reading.


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