Notorious

I had a long day of preparing lectures and dealing with students. What I discovered when I got home was that I had left the electric cord for my computer in the office. I did pass on the Flashback Feature, which was “Predator,” so that I could go home and watch Hitchcock’s “Notorious” again. It was on Blu-ray, but the quality of the print wasn’t that great. I enjoyed how Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains were in it, a few years after “Casablanca.” I thought that Cary Grant was great in the movie. His character had a sharper edge than usual. I thought that Ingrid Bergman was at her best, too. I wondered what the audiences of 1946 thought of her character, who as supposed to be a drunken tramp. When Alicia is driving drunk, it’s obvious that it’s shot with projection, and it looks like a video game. The wind going through her hair doesn’t match the speed of the car. Alicia calls Devlin a buzzard, and he punches her. Cary Grant could do that in 1946, but I don’t know if he could do that in a movie today. The bit with the horse was too suspicious. I thought that Alicia’s hairdo in the party sequence looked odd, giving her the look of an animal. Alicia should have been more careful about the key. The expression on Sebastian’s face when he first suspects Alicia is quite frightening. Talk about an uncomfortable household. The overbearing mother is a character we would see later. Rains and her mother should have been equally suspicious of Devlin. Alicia calls Rio a dull town. This movie has one of the most famous kissing scenes in cinema history, but I hardly ever think about it whenever I watch this film. I think I can relate to the idea of being slowly poisoned. I feel that the food I eat does that to me. Devlin confesses his true feelings when Alicia is close to death. That’s what it takes to pierce his defensive stubbornness. The last scene is very tense, one of those situations that calls for fast thinking and fast talk. The final moment with Sebastian having to face his fate is very chilling. I thought the sky looked lighter from inside the house than it did when they got to the car. Watching this movie reminds me of how incredibly productive Hitchcock was from “Rebecca” through “Marnie.” I could watch most of those movies over and over again without getting sick of them. I thought of how Cary Grant would appear in movies for twenty more years after “Notorious,” but he would live for another forty. Hitchcock died in 1980, Bergman in 1982, and Grant in 1986. The strange thing about this disc was that I couldn’t get to the special features. One of them was a 1948 radio play featuring Joseph Cotten and Ingrid Bergman. I wonder if it would be worth it to buy the Blu-ray edition of “Rebecca.” I haven’t since it since the death of Joan Fontaine. The two Hitchcock movies I think I should watch on Blu-ray are “Rear Window” and “Vertigo.” I saw in the record store the Blu-ray Criterion Collection edition of “In Cold Blood.” I would like to take a look at that one. That was my first memory of Robert Blake. I hated seeing the movie with commercial breaks and the ruined ending on television this week. I watched Jane Fonda on the Stephen Colbert show. She said that she was experiencing the happiest time in her life right now. She said that she felt old when she was twenty years ago, but she feels young now. I kept wondering if she had done something with her face. Two people who died on November 20 were Leo Tolstoy (1910) and Robert Altman (2006). Today is a birthday for Bo Derek (59), Joe Walsh (68), Joe Biden (73), and Estelle Parsons (88). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for November 20, Isaac Hayes had the Number One single in 1971 with “Theme from Shaft.” In 1982, Drew Barrymore hosted Saturday Night Live when she was seven years old. In 1983, ABC aired the controversial TV movie “The Day After,” which drew more than 100 million viewers. In 1992, “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” was released.

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