Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Notorious Part 4

The long overdue continuation of my play by play analysis of Notorious!

Get the DVD player warmed up-- we're at the scene when Sebastian wakes up Madame Sebastian to tell her the news of Alicia's undermining scheme.
If you're watching the 2008 re-release it's chapter 17 "Like an Idiot"
  • Note the clock striking 6 am--awfully early to be up after a party--dun dun dun!
  • Looks as if Sebastian hasn't slept at all--just thinking.
  • Alicia is sleeping like a baby. Probably helped by a quick meet up and make out session w/Dev and some champagne
  • Oh I just realized I'm re-stating these things-- well stick with me here-- Sebastian is now about to go tell his mommy.
  • I love how the same music reloops throughout the film. It's SO emotionally full.
  • The checker board floor in the foyer is not only stylish but an element of film noir. From distorted angles it appears as a web--any "spider ladies" around?
  • In the shot when Sebastian says "Mother..." he's watching her sleep-- then there are 3 versions of him. Sebastian the man is in a portrait photo, Sebastian the boy is in the seat and Sebastian the fooled is in the mirror--self reflecting--literally and figuratively.
  • Madame Sebastian is an all knowing character who has been ignored due to blind love and ambition. "I knew, I knew."
  • Extreme close up "I am married to an American agent" -- Hitch and most directors, when using an XCU are creating an element of claustrophobia and inescapable information. He wants us to feel like we too are stuck--or that we understand that Alex Sebastian is in a situation where there is no route out. Next time you watch a scary/gory/thriller movie--note when the XCU happens--you'll jump the next moment--or it will be a psych out!
  • Madame Sebastian is the creepiest lady EVER--well next to Gloria Swanson in Sunset Blvd.
  • She takes on a man's role here-- smoking a cigarette and knowing all--generally male sphere--she also has not time for emotion--time that Alex finds all the time.
  • He's betrayed his cause-- he knows his consequences
  • She calls the men stupid-- uh oh!
  • "No one must know who she is" "she will be on a leash, she will know nothing further"
  • "She will become ill, and remain ill for a time until--" in classic Hitchockian style-- we know exactly what the fate of the character will be-- now turning the fate on it's heels is the task-- Hitch wanted the audience to pay attention to what HE wanted them to see, hear and know-- so it's all very cut and dry as far as the plot is concerned--setting up the twists!
  • Oh drink that coffee-- that close up cup of coffee--right there
  • Too bad she was such a drunkard before-- they'd know right away if she hadn't had hangovers all the time, lol.
  • Uranium MacGuffin!
  • Change of contact?! WHAT?! To Spain!?
  • Devlin has such a broken heart--aww so does she. So she turns on the bitch switch-- I <3>
  • More coffee and off they go -- dizzy? look how Ingrid had to hunch over to walk next to Claude Rains.
  • Note how real the background is in the bench scene-- haha-- sweet studio drops!
  • Look how bitter and hurt she is--not to mention ill. :(
  • "No, nothing yet."
  • "Sick?" "NO, hangover."
  • I think it's hilarious that "it sort of lightens my chores" was an acceptable comment in this era. Like-- go ahead housewife-- do the Quaaludes, alcohol, sleeping pills or whatever-- just don't forget to iron my shirts. In the words of Isabella Rossellini's character on 30 Rock "The whole thing makes me want to vomit!"
  • You know there's a good chance Cary and Ingrid were both hungover for this scene-- the two were "notorious" for living it up with Hitch ;)
  • Not the scarf--that's your only piece of his stuff! Now you'll have nothing.
  • "What do you mean, goodbye?"
  • "Sit down you're still tight" -- can we start to use this term, "tight," again?! PLEASE!
  • Dr. Anderson is a great character-- he's humanized by his care of Alicia. He also reveals the issues at hand. wonderful!

  • Here is the tea cup shot-- Hitch used a cup 3x's the size of the original in order to have perfectly sharp focus on both Ingrid and the cup at the same time. They fight over the scene, the cup and Ingrid, of course-- Ingrid wins LOL

  • Cruise to Spain! haha--jump off and join Devlin-- nah-- not in the script. plus "I always get sea sick"
  • "Oh you're leaving? I'm sorry, I'll miss you." so monotone--creepy! She's so ill!!
  • Oh--cut off before telling where Dr. Anderson is going! --SUSPICIOUS!
  • Too bad Alicia is incredibly intelligent-- she noticed the coffee, the shut up and now the freak out.
  • OMG I love this distortion. The extreme back lighting-- check out that ring! Holy moly!
  • Even though she's dying-- she's still gorgeous-- Yes-- did you see that distortion-- and she's sweating-- AWESOME
  • like a fly caught in the web--see I told you the checker board look was important!

  • I wish the look of this movie would come back full force. Minus --Madame's hair.
  • In this scene where Madame Sebastian, Alicia and Alex are all in the shot-- it's almost like she's witnessing her own death. Very wake/coffin like and yet very beautifully shot. She knows there's no way out on her own from the bed room. It's like we're suffocating along with her.

  • Disconnect the telephone!?!!!
  • Uh-oh-- she's not there!
  • I love that Devlin just knows to come there---after two times. And Captain Prescot is so nonchalant.
  • His only warning is not to mess anything up, as he eats cheese and crackers.
  • Joseph!!
  • Cary Grant's so cute-- and always up to something.
  • Joseph is another know all character.
  • He acts like he doesn't know-- he's more of a giver of information
  • Ahh-- a meeting-- perfect timing on Dev's part!
  • They're feeling followed--they should!
  • Devlin's not waiting--F-that.
  • Up he goes- to find Alicia. Isn't it funny how a HUGE mansion has like 2 rooms?
  • She's SO happy to see him--even in dilirium-- she's still in love.
  • He's finally said "I love you!"
  • She's saved, he's saved. Alex is screwed and the Nazi's lose!

  • Hitch was such a romantic-- These are some intense love moments.
  • Of course they gave her pills to sleep--freaking bad guys!
  • She knows now that they killed Emile.

  • She's still spilling info--even when drugged and ill-- strong lady!
  • "You better tell them Sebastian."
  • Madame's totally trying to save their asses. Lol.
  • I love that they slam the lock on the car door but there's not really a window.
  • What's to prevent him from leaping onto Alicia's lap?
  • The last scene was a total fluke-- they didn't know how they wanted to finish the film.
  • The sealing of Alex's fate is in his look. 
The END! :)

Hope you enjoyed the film and the blog :)


Anonymous said...

Great series of analyses, Alexis! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I learned quite a few things about this my favourite film ever. So THANK YOU SO, SO MUCH :D
The checkerboard floor was very striking, especially when Ingrid in the black dress fainted like that. What an image!
And CREEPY how she's incapacitated on the bed and Alex and his mom are hovering over her and talking about basically her death. So powerful. And creepy. She looks frightened (to death - ha ha ha)
What can I say about that end scene starting from Cary making a social call to the house? <3 FOREVER. Raw emotion, right there.
Oh, and that bench scene where he's all bitter and she's all bitter and bitchy... that just pulls on your heartstrings, doesn't it?
I actually thought the "lightens my chores" line was a reference to how she needed to be drunk enough to stand being intimate with Alex and allow him his 'husbandly rights', as they're called...but maybe I was wrong all this time! lol.

You wrote: You know there's a good chance Cary and Ingrid were both hungover for this scene-- the two were "notorious" for living it up with Hitch ;)
And I'd just like to say this in response: omg WHAT? REFERENCES AND PAGE NUMBERS, PLEASE!! AND ANY PICTURES? lol. KTHXBYE :)

Alexis said...

No you're right about the husbandly rights thing. It's actually kind of a coating statement. I just thought it was a socially funny! You're right on though!!

HAHA-- I don't have the references for the play by play on hand-- it's from watching too much and reading too many things-- but I can give you lots of great books to read!! :) ALWAYS!!!

About Me

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An avid Ingrid Bergman fan, I am a student of her life and work as well as film, filmmaking and Classic Film in general. I have my M.F.A. in TV/Film Production from USC School of Cinematic Arts and have been making a living in the business they call show. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @alexis_morrell