Monday, February 14, 2011

A Notorious Kiss

Today, Holly Goes Lightly wishes it was a classic film blog. Bear with it, and watch the uber-romantical clip that features the ever-so-kissable Cary Grant.

There's a show called Notorious on television, and everytime I see it on the tv guide, I get so excited because I think it's Alfred Hitchcock's classic film noir of the same title.  I have been disappointed on numerous occasions. You'd think I'd learn.

Hitchcock, of course, is the director famous for his innovative directorial techniques, his groundbreaking camera shots, for being THE master of suspense, and for his obsession with beautiful, blond actresses like Grace Kelly, Kim Novak, and Tippi Hedren. 

My favorite Hitchcock leading lady, however, is the stunning brunette Ingrid Bergman, most famous for her role in Casablanca.  Bergman starred in three Hitchcock films:  Spellbound, Under Capricorn, and the post-World War II classic Notorious, the movie that solidified her reputation as a versatile and excessively talented leading actress.

Bergman plays Alicia, a notorious party girl plagued with anger and guilt after her father is tried and convicted for being a Nazi spy.  Cary Grant plays a federal agent T.R. Devlin, who has been employed to recruit Alicia so that the U.S. government can use her ties to the Nazi party to infiltrate a group of Nazi expatriates who reside in Brazil.  Despite being critical of Alicia's heavy drinking, Devlin falls in love with his complicated recruit.  She, of course, returns his affections, and they begin a brief but passionate affair in picturescue Rio de Janeiro... 

Which brings us to the most romantic and notorious kiss in the history of Hollywood, the scene where Hitchcock ingeniously gets around strict production codes that forbade a kiss longer than three seconds long.  Hitchcock breaks what might have been a sloppy three-minute smooch into a series of sexy, shorter kisses.  Lauded at the time as "the longest kiss in movie history," here is the famous love scene between a dashing, stoic Cary Grant and the passionate, reckless Ingrid Bergman:

This is my favorite Hitchcock film. Moments after this interlude, Devlin is called in by his superiors to discuss Alicia's next move.  He is crushed to find out that she is to woo and get "cozy" with Nazi spy Alex Sebastian, played by her Casablanca co-star, Claude Raines.  Devlin has too much pride to admit his feelings for Alicia, and when she asks him if she should proceed, he tells her she should, leading to an abrupt ending to their affair.  Of course, in true Hitchcock fashion, intrigue and suspense commence leading to a climactic scene that left movie-goers breathless.

A brilliant film, a beautiful love story... perfect Valentine's Day film fare!



Debbie said...

Cary Grant, Cary Grant, Cary Grant; oh how I love Cary Grant!

Katie May said...

Chuck Case sent me over to visit your blog, knowing how totally head over (fluttery) heels I am over Cary Grant....He was just beautiful, smooth, funny, PERFECT! And no matter what age he was, he was always fabulous....I enjoyed reading your post!

Holly said...

Thanks Katie!

I love all the roles Cary Grant played- goofy (Arsenic and Old Lace, Holiday), suave (To Catch a Thief, A Touch of Mink, Charade), but in Notorious, he is the strong silent type... so unbelievably sexy. (Sigh...)