By Dennis Hartley
(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on June 30, 2012)
Notorious – MGM Blu-ray
It’s a tough call to name my “favorite” Hitchcock movie (it’s like being forced to pick your favorite child). I would narrow it down to three: North by Northwest, To Catch a Thief, and this superb 1946 espionage thriller (no, I don’t have a man-crush on Cary Grant…not that there would be anything wrong with that). To be sure, Grant makes for a suave American agent, and Claude Rains a fabulous villain you love to hate, but it’s Ingrid Bergman who really, erm, holds my interest in this story of love, betrayal and international intrigue, set in exotic Rio. Bergman plays her character with a worldly cynicism and sexy vulnerability that to this day, few actors would be able to sell so well. To be honest, MGM’s Blu-ray was not quite what I had hoped for, vis a vis the picture quality (it’s only a marginal improvement over Criterion’s out-of-print SD edition), but it is the best looking print currently available, and it’s relatively inexpensive.