Notorious (1946)

Notorious is a 1946 American thriller film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Cary GrantIngrid Bergman and Claude Rains as three people whose lives become intimately entangled during an espionage operation. It was shot in late 1945 and early 1946, and was released by RKO in August 1946.

Notorious marks a watershed for Hitchcock artistically, and represents a heightened thematic maturity. His biographer, Donald Spoto, writes that “Notorious is in fact Alfred Hitchcock’s first attempt—at the age of forty-six—to bring his talents to the creation of a serious love story, and its story of two men in love with Ingrid Bergman could only have been made at this stage of his life.”

The film is known for two scenes in particular. 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. Hitchcock also devised “a celebrated scene” that circumvented the Production Code’s ban on kisses longer than three seconds — by having his actors disengage every three seconds, murmur and nuzzle each other, then start right back up again. The two-and-a-half minute osculation is “perhaps his most intimate and erotic kiss.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notorious_(1946_film)

IMDB Ratings: 8.2/10, A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038787/

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Rebecca (1940)

Rebecca is a 1940 psychological/dramatic noir thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock as his first American project.

The film is a gothic tale about the lingering memory of the title character, Maxim de Winter’s dead first wife, which continues to haunt Maxim, his new bride, and Mrs. Danvers. The film won two Academy Awards, including Best Picture out of a total 11 nominations. Olivier, Fontaine and Anderson were all Oscar nominated for their respective roles. Since the introduction of awards for actors in supporting roles, this is the only film named Best Picture that won no other Academy Award for acting, directing or writing.

It was the opening film at the 1st Berlin International Film Festivalhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebecca_(1940_film)

 

IMDB Ratings: 8.4/10, When a naive young woman marries a rich widower and settles in his gigantic mansion, she finds the memory of the first wife maintaining a grip on her husband and the servants. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032976/

It Happened One Night (1934)

It Happened One Night is a 1934 American romantic comedy film with elements of screwball comedy directed by Frank Capra, in which a pampered socialite (Claudette Colbert) tries to get out from under her father’s thumb, and falls in love with a roguish reporter (Clark Gable). The plot was based on the story Night Bus by Samuel Hopkins Adams, which provided the shooting title. It Happened One Night was one of the last romantic comedies created before the MPAA began enforcing the 1930 production code in 1934. In spite of its title the movie takes place over several nights.

The film was the first to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Screenplay), a feat that would not be matched until One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) and later by The Silence of the Lambs (1991). In 1993, It Happened One Nightwas selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_Happened_One_Night

IMDB Ratings: 8.3/10, A spoiled heiress, running away from her family, is helped by a man who’s actually a reporter looking for a story. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0025316/