January 14, 2017

No 'sploding heads this week, or armies of rats or boxes of plutonium.

This week you deserve something vintage. Something we keep under the counter for special friends of the boss.

This week you get Alfred Hitchcock's 1946 suspense classic, Notorious.

Sure, it's full of spies and betrayals, Nazis and wild drunken rides through the night. And yes, this is the movie that, along with Casablanca, made Ingrid Bergman immortal; the movie the late Roger Ebert called "the most elegant expression of the master's visual style".

But is it a "chiller"? After you watch that long, slow, desperate stairway descent, I would dare you to say otherwise.

Film buffs will notice how Hitchcock gets around the Hollywood "code" to produce the
“the longest kiss in the history of the movies" by making sure that while actual "kissing" never exceeded the three-second limit, that the scene carefully combines kissing with nuzzling and dialogue to make it much more intimate and sexually charged than a single, sustained kiss would have been.

And extreme film buffs with weird arithmetic compulsions will notice that during the staircase scene, Bergman and Cary Grant take more steps than there are stairs...because movie magic!

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