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BFI Hitchcock Season – Notorious (1946)

Minty's Menagerie

Of the fourteen films that Hitchcock directed in the forties the critical consensus tends to focus on Shadow Of A Doubt, Hitchcock’s personal favourite of his fifty-three pictures and Notorious, the romantic spy caper which features the alluring pairing of Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant in the second of his four and her three collaborations with the master of suspense. This period was also marked with the singular set concentrations of spatial suspense in both Rope  and Lifeboat, and the first of his overt flirting with psychoanalysis and symbolism in Spellbound  the year before, but I concur with the critical fraternity that Notorious  is the high water mark of this decade of experimentation and development, with its nervous romance between the conflicted protagonists foreshadowing the similarly legendary couplings of the following decade, whilst the deployment of an Elektra driven guilt syndrome heralds more overt techniques in terms of character motivation, a developing maturity and complexity which…

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