• George Young

Homage to Hitchcock-Notorious (1946)

Besides Ingrid Bergman in a nightgown, there is one other Hictchcockian gem in this film.

The MacGuffin.

As mentioned previously, a handful of Hitch’s films had this device, but not in such proverbial spades as Notorious. The term is, quite literally, associated with this movie and for good reason.

Cary Grant (sorry ladies, not in his skivvies) has to make his way to South America to uncover a sinister plot involving … well … something. He needs a cover, which is beautifully provided by the chubby-inducing Ingrid Bergman. The poor woman is in love with Cary Grant, but for purposes of exposing the, well, sinister plot, she has to marry the nearly geriatric Claude Rains.

Brilliant performance by Mr. Rains as the Nazi? Uh, Soviet? Uh, East Gebip? Uh, operative? Uh, bag man? Uh,–

You get the point. The movie sucks you in so completely you don’t care who Claude is working with to bring harm to the United States. You don’t care how he’s going to do it. You don’t even care when. You just know he’s going to, and by golly Cary better figure it out and save Ms. Bergman.

There is some intrigue in a wine cellar with a bottle filled with, er, MacGuffin? And a nuclear glow to a glass of milk.

Ultimately, the purity of the story arc carries brilliantly throughout the film and the ending, which would be a bit hard to believe were it Glenn Ford and Ava Gardner escaping Rains’ mansion as the Nazis? Soviets? East Gebipians? close in, finishes the movie with a resolution so complete, you just accept it because … 

 … you’ll have to watch it.

Rope (1948), the ultimate One-Trick Pony is next.

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© 2018 by George W Young