101 minutes, U.S.A., 1946, Black and White, D-Cinema

For filmmaker François Truffaut, this ultra-intense spy thriller represents “the quintessence of Hitchcock.” For biographer John Russell Taylor, it is “one of Hitch’s most romantic, most simple, most secret films.” American critic William Rothman sees it as “the first Hitchcock film in which every shot is not only meaningful but beautiful.” For actor/commentator Sam Neill it is simply “the best film ever made.”

Even when measured against Hitchcock’s achievements before and after it, there is indeed something very special about this film, which intricately interweaves global politics with sexual politics, and stars the two finest of all his actors, Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. In Hitchcock’s Films Revisited, Robin Wood confronts the charge of misogyny that has sometimes been leveled at Notorious, arguing that “essentially, it is Bergman’s film,” and he is surely right.

This film is screening as part of The Genius of Hitchcock: Part Three (February 2nd – 27th), which is part of a complete retrospective of the filmmaker’s work running until March 2013. 

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