The daughter of a convicted Nazi spy is asked by American agents to gather information on a ring of Nazi scientists in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?


“In Notorious, characters are constantly remade and unmoored by their love. Hecht cleverly creates a dynamic wherein the mores and identities are never static. Alicia is seen as a femme fatale, but in reality she operates as the film's detective figure, victim, martyr, and muse-sometimes all at once. Characters are forever caught between categories. Devlin rushes to save Alicia once he understands she's being poisoned, but he's also cold, cruel, and controlling. Alex seems to genuinely love Alicia in a way Devlin may not, but he bends to his mother's will and projects onto Alicia to the point where he realizes her truths too late. This is a film that reveals the intimate scripts of our heart's desires. It offers an education in the erotic landscape of the psyche, what happens when the mask you're forced to wear – as a dazzling spy, a grim-faced secret agent, a war criminal whose ability to trust guarantees your undoing-doesn't match your insides.”

Angelica Jade Bastién1


“Hitchcock was known for his attention to visual details. He drew storyboards of every scene before shooting it, and slyly plays against Grant's star power in the scene introducing Devlin to the movie. At a party the night her father has been convicted, Alicia drinks to forget. The camera positions itself behind the seated Devlin, so we see only the back of his head. He anchors the shot as the camera moves left and right, following the morally ambiguous Alicia as she flirts, drinks and tries to forget.

There are more famous shots the next morning. Alicia awakens with a hangover, and there is a gigantic foreground closeup of a glass of Alka-Seltzer (it will be paired much later in the movie with a huge foreground coffee cup that we know contains arsenic). From her point of view, she sees Devlin in the doorway, backlit and upside down. As she sits up, he rotates 180degrees. He suggests a spy deal. She refuses, talking of her plans to take a cruise. He plays a secret recording that proves she is, after all, patriotic – despite her loose image. As the recording begins, she is in shadow. As it continues, she is in bars of light. As it ends, she is in full light. Hitchcock has choreographed the visuals so that they precisely reflect what is happening.”

Roger Ebert2

  • 1Angelica Jade Bastién, "Notorious: The Same Hunger," Criterion, 15 January 2019.
  • 2Roger Ebert, "Notorious,", 17 August 1997.


“Het jaar waarin de film zich afspeelt, 1946, staat te boek als een gouden jaar voor de Amerikaanse filmindustrie. Een recordaantal mensen ging naar de cinema en Hollywood deed gouden zaken. RKO, de studio die Notorious produceerde en distribueerde, had de wind in de zeilen en boekte meer dan 12 milioen dollar winst. [...] Notorious werd bovendien en van de grootste hits voor de studio in 1946. RKO had de film als 'pakket' overgekocht van onafhankelijk producent David O. Selznick, die zowel Hitchcock als Bergman op dat moment nog onder persoonlijk contract had. Het was een goede deal voor Selznick, die wekelijks respectievelijk 25.000 en 20.000 dollar mocht ontvangen voor de diensten van zin cliënten, terwijl Hitchcock en Bergman zelf amper tien procent van dat bedrag uitbetaald kregen. (Bovendien had hij voor zichzelf een percentage in de winst onderhandeld.) Hitchcock en Bergman van hun kant warn eerder blij om Selznick op afstand te kunnen houden, want hun relaties met de stressgevoelige controlerende Selznick (die met een kop vol zorgen zat over zin productie Duel in the Sun) verliepen op dat moment behoorlijk stroef. Van Notorious werd dus uiteindelijk iedereen blij.”

Anke Brouwers1

  • 1Anke Brouwers, "A Very Strange Love Affair," Cinea, 10 maart 2020.
UPDATED ON 02.03.2024
IMDB: tt0038787