Talk:Notorious (1946 film)

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MI II[edit]

Removed link to Mission Impossible II. What's the connection? Clarityfiend 18:05, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

  • Clearly you haven't seen the film. It's the same damn movie. Except, you know, that it sucks. (talk) 00:44, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Lengthy kissing[edit]

I don't understand the following:

Censorship of the period limited the amount of time a couple on screen could kiss to less than three seconds. Hitchcock circumvented this restriction by having his lovers (in retained close-up shot) maintain close physical contact while moving around Alicia's apartment. Such extended close-ups of lovers became a Hitchcock trademark. Similar examples occur in Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, and North by Northwest.

'Retained close up'? Close contact while moving around? I don't understand how this works, and can't remember the film well enough. Hopefully someone can rewrite and replace it.Cop 633 15:48, 2 April 2007 (UTC)


The cover of the DVD given away in The Times says that Notorious recieved two nominations for acedemy awards. One is currently featured in the article. Snowman 13:49, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

I have written in links to both acedemy award nominations in the introduction. Snowman 08:53, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Section has no references, as such, possible original work[edit]

The following has been placed here until references are found (and if the reference used in the end is for that para or the whole section). In short, this section needs additional research. Do contact me if disagreements occur:

Style and themes[edit]

The beverage motif that has been noted by many critics includes: Alicia's alcoholism throughout; Alicia's poisoning towards the end at the hands of Sebastian and his mother; the disappearing wine bottles used as suspense in the famous wine cellar scene; the wine bottle left behind at Prescott's office being notable of the relationship between Alicia and Devlin; the wine bottles that contain uranium; and even Hitchcock's cameo has him drinking a glass of champagne. Donald Spoto has commented that beverages in Notorious are either "fradulent or poisonous."

The character of Alex Sebastian follows the Hitchcockian motif of the villain being sympathetic (other instances being North by Northwest, Shadow of a Doubt, and Psycho). It is in Notorious that Hitchcock was most successful, as the audience feels sympathetic for Alex as a lovestruck man that is witnessing the affair between the woman he loves and another man. Alex is always kind to Alicia up to the point he discovers she is a spy; in contrast, Devlin lacks much kindness until the end of the film.

Madam Sebastian is another Hitchcock motif - the dominating mother, which in this case controls Alex and orchestrates Alicia's poisoning.

Keys are used in the film as an element of discovery (such as the wine cellar and Alex realizing they are gone from, making him learn Alicia's secret).

The MacGuffin in this film is uranium, which Hitchcock and screenwriter Ben Hecht originally chose to use, writing his screenplay in mid-1945, before the use of nuclear weapons against Japan. In his book-length interview with François Truffaut, Hitchcock alleged that he was under FBI surveillance for several months because of the uranium reference. In the same interview, Hitchcock said that the original producer of Notorious, David O. Selznick, was over-budget and behind schedule on his Duel in the Sun (1946), and so Selznick sold Hitchcock, Hecht's script, and the two stars to RKO as a package for $800,000 and a percentage of the profits (Hitchcock/Truffaut, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1967). END Luigibob (talk) 21:54, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Question about motives[edit]

The article currently states:

"Alicia concludes that he does not love her, and she eventually weds Alex."

While this is true, maybe it needs reprasing.

If I remember the movie correctly, marrying Alexis the perfect way -- perhaps the only way -- for Alicia to get into Alex's house and discover the secret. Her broken heart is part of the motive, but I think that she's moved by patriotism as well.

I don't know the film very well, so I'll leave this to someone who does.

Karl gregory jones (talk) 00:36, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Done. Clarityfiend (talk) 06:14, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Ebert essay (new source)[edit]

Roger Ebert has written about the film: Great Movies: "Notorious". I'm going to watch it soon so might be able to help incorporate his analysis into this great article then. Best, --Ktlynch (talk) 13:21, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Uncited (and potentially made up) claim in the lead paragraph[edit]

I noted this line in the second paragraph of the article: "In one of his most famous shots, Hitchcock starts wide and high on a second floor balcony overlooking the great hall of a grand mansion. Slowly he tracks down and in on Ingrid Bergman, finally ending with a tight close-up of a key tucked in her hand. So arresting is the shot that an outline of the key became a graphic element in the film's promotional material." and had this bone to pick with it: Wouldn't the shot become so well known only after the film was released? And surely then, it would have already developed its promotional material? Also the key is a large thematic element in the script, and is the driving force behind several important scenes. I'd say the existence of the key itself in the story was enough to have it be such a large feature of the promotional material, not because of how famous that shot has subsequently become. --Gohst (talk) 22:32, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Rearrangement and deletion of photos[edit]

Why on earth would you rearrange the photos — which had been in chronological order — take them out of order, and then complain about "randomly placed" and too many photos in your edit summary? Fiend I'll buy; still looking for the Clarity in your peculiar edit. (talk) 05:33, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

Take for example the picture of the couple at the racetrack. Leaving aside the egregious "hubbie", what does it have to do with anything in that section? Nothing. The same applies to both photos of Alicia in the Music section, the ending scene in Reception, and Sebastian in Adaptations. They're all utterly unconnected to the surrounding text.
As for there being too many of the critters, consider featured articles such as Casablanca or Blade Runner, which have five each; most others have less than that. Of your 13, many are essentially meaningless face shots of a single character. Wikipedia is not a fanzine. Clarityfiend (talk) 22:05, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

They're not "my" 13, they just represented a nice progression that told the story visually as one progressed through the course of the article. Photos do not need to be tied to the surrounding text — their purpose can also be to lead a browser-reader deeper into an article, if they tell a story of their own. Surely you've seen articles that achieve this successfully.

Also, you replaced the "essentially meaningless face shots of a single character" — in this case the doomed Claude Raines looking off after the love of his life has left with another man — with the wide shot of three Nazis that is so wide it shows absolutely no important detail, emotional or otherwise. I hope you'll explain to me what the wide shot contributes that makes it preferable to the poignant closeup. If you look at photos in books, magazines, and even encyclopedias, the great majority of them are "face shots of a single character" — because editors know that closeups of human faces are more compelling and more effective at attracting a browser's interest. The Raines closeup also made an important point about Hitchcock's structure for the story — he chooses to end on Sebastian and not on the lovers.

I mean this next with all due respect: why don't you consider picking up a college-level textbook from a course on publishing, editorial and page design. Much of your publishing aesthetic is not as sophisticated as it might be. I would also suggest David Ogilvy's Ogilvy on Advertising. It discusses all the myriad ways and rules of thumb that editors and designers use to increase readership — which, along with enriching the reader's experience, should be the goal of every Wikipedia editor, don't you think? (talk) 03:47, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

You are so off base. Wikipedia is not advertising, nor is it Life magazine. Our primary goal is not increasing readership, but being accurate, complete and objective. A "nice progression" isn't required to entice someone to buy the product. Sticking in unsourced speculations about Hitchcock's intentions or cutesy, bolded explanations of plot details merely detracts from an encyclopedia. Clarityfiend (talk) 08:11, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

Well, there's the difference between us, perfectly put. I see being accurate, complete and objective as prerequisites to a Wikipedia article, not ends unto themselves. Wikipedia exists not for us to be the "users" — the real users are the readers who come seeking information. The more readable we make the articles, the greater service we're doing for that group of users. Whether you're selling soap or selling an idea, you're still selling. To think we're above all that here at WP is just being naive. Anyway, cheers! (talk) 11:27, 8 December 2012 (UTC)