Notorious Contemporary Response

Topics: Alfred Hitchcock, Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman Pages: 5 (1708 words) Published: February 27, 2013
In film Notorious (released in 1946)-a great story of love and betrayal-the director Alfred Hitchcock did a fantastic job of combining suspense and romance with an emotionally satisfying ending. It has shown that a film with a simple plot is able to stand the test of time in its appeal. Throughout the entire film this sense of anticipation was maintained, and enhanced by the dramatic irony, as the audience was able to note how both Devlin and Alicia felt about one another, yet the characters themselves were unaware due to the misinterpretation of each others actions. The use of these two aspects made me not want to stop watching the film. Additionally there were many instances where the director used understatement to his advantage, which prevented the film from becoming melodramatic or overwrought in certain scenes, as a result making it feel more realistic and therefore more pleasurable. Furthermore the characters enhanced the film greatly from Devlin’s torment between his duty and love for Alicia to Alex’s mother’s brittle and cold persona. Every shot of the film appeared to be filled with meaning, elegance and beauty, from the enchantingly lit close ups of Ingrid Bergman flawless face to the smooth and slow, expansive crane shot that begins the thrilling party sequence. Both Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman had well established acting careers prior to the release of Notorious in 1946. Each of them had been involved in numerous films beforehand that allowed them to become recognized within Hollywood. After completing her first movie in America, Ingrid Bergman developed a reputation for her “naturalness”, however; was quite intent on making the industry aware that she was not a star and wanted to prove that she could act and play more than just idealized women. This so called naturalness arouse because she refused to alter her appearance in order to obtain a more glamorous look. Her “innocent beauty” was often noticeable in each role she took, and was never downplayed or hidden, which was very much the case throughout her role in Notorious. She was known in Hollywood for being a very versatile actress, capable of playing many diverse roles. Before the release of Notorious Bergman had been nominated for and received Oscar’s for her performances in For Whom the Bell Tolls in 1943 and in Gaslight in 1944, exhibiting that her acting was well received by the public. Additionally placing high expectations on her for future roles, including Notorious. Preceding the film she had already proven outstanding at playing the blissful onrush of love, however; the controversial “lady of notably lose morals” that Bergman plays in Notorious was not an unexpected role for Bergman either as she has stated in 1945 (before the release of Notorious) that she had often played and enjoys playing characters “whose lives have been irregular, or sometimes even a little abnormal-people who have been affected by unusual circumstances or have been reared in unusual environments.” Cary Grant was the type of actor in Hollywood that developed an on screen persona/characteristics that became immediately associated with his name. His characters were often associated with “elegance, wit and sophistication”. He most frequently was involved and excelled in “fast-pace screwball comedies,” especially throughout the 1930s, and was known to have strength in sophisticated comedies. His work, however; in Notorious took him away this image, and was different than his usual role and type of film. He was rather dark, tormented and vulnerable in this film, contrasting his normal style, which would have been unexpected for viewers at the time of the release. Alfred Hitchcock managed to work in a wide range of genres from dramas to musicals, however; his name became identified with thrillers. He became arguably one of the most famous and talented directors of all time, and his certain films became known as “Hitchockian” suspense thrillers and were very popular amongst the...
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