I have great pleasure today in welcoming Nuwan Sen to the Alfred Hitchcock Blogathon that Rob and I are hosting.
Notorious (1946); starring Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains and Leopoldine Konstantin; is set just after the war, where Alicia Huberman (Bergman) has gained notoriety for her father’s crimes. An American Intelligence agent, Devlin (Grant), recruits her to spy on a Nazi collaborator, friend of Alicia’s father, Alexander Sebastian (Rains), in turn risking Alicia’s life, as a modern day Mata-Hari.
In Notorious, we see Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Bergman), a beautiful Hitchcockian blonde, being used by the American intelligence, as a modern day Mata-Hari; while Huberman only risks her life, less for patriotic reasons, and more for the man she loves, Devlin (Cary Grant), to the extent of marrying the enemy, Alex Sebastian (Claude Rains). Devlin is an adamant, cold shouldered, character, who not only does not talk Alicia out of it, but he also never conveys his true feelings towards her, until the slowly poisoned Alicia is bedridden and unable to save herself from the physical and psychological entrapment befallen her. Sebastian is ruthless, yet a typical mama’s boy, who can never seem to say no to his mother (Leopoldine Konstantin). When he discovers, his wife is an American agent, the Nazi collaborator, runs straight to his mother for help. Sebastian is both jealous, of the debonair looking Devlin, and broken, to believe he fell for an American Agent, Alicia Huberman. It hurts his male chauvinistic ego. The Matriarch, Madame Sebastian, Huberman’s mother-in-law, rules the Nazi household. She controls Sebastian’s every move, except for his choice in marriage. When her son comes running to her, after realising he is married to a spy, she is the pragmatic one, who schemes to kill her daughter-in-law slowly, by poisoning her coffee daily, so as nobody else suspects, while Alex Sebastian, just wants to kill her off at once and be done with it. Notorious is a beautiful, unpredictable and tense movie, one of the best of Hitchcockian-noir-cinema.