"The Hitchcock classic of 1946, with Cary Grant as a charming and unscrupulous government agent and Ingrid Bergman as a woman of low repute whom he morally blackmails into marrying a Nazi leader (Claude Rains, in a performance that makes a sad little boy of him). The virtuoso sequences—the long kiss, the crane shot into the door key—are justly famous, yet the film’s real brilliance is in its subtle and detailed portrayal of infinitely perverse relationships. The concluding shot transforms Rains from villain to victim with a disturbingly cool, tragic force."
"So many movies have ended in obligatory chases and shoot-outs that the ability to write a well-crafted third act has almost died out. Among its many achievements, Notorious ends well. Like clockwork, the inevitable events of the last 10 minutes take place, and they all lead to the final perfect shot, in which another Nazi says to Sebastian, ‘Alex, will you come in, please? I wish to talk to you.’ And Alex goes in, knowing he will never come out alive.”
Alternative Candidate Rating: A fat-headed guy, full of pain.