Dr. Rich Edwards

Daily Dose #12: Why Do You Care How I Feel? (Early Scene from Notorious)

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I think the way we see the characters in not such "nice"lights - the true sense of what they hide from others.  I also like how the shadows of Grant in the doorway when he asks her to drink it - he's halfway in but tilted/leaning in the doorway - do we know the true sense of who is-more to come as the movie unfolds.

 

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What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie?

 

I noticed two things, the hair in Alicia's mouth when she's in the bed. When I watched the clip from Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Carole Lombard had hair in her mouth as the camera focuses on her when the maid brings the breakfast. However, the next shot of Carole Lombard the hair is pushed back from her face. As a former actor and director in the theater, I love those kind of moments. Ingrid Bergman leaves the hair in her mouth for quite a long time, then when she takes it out, there is one hair left that she has to take out of her mouth. It's that kind of business that makes a character feel real.

 

The second thing was when Alicia is in the bed and Devlin walks toward her and the camera turns upside down so we see him from her point of view. When I saw that same kind of shot in Downhill, I knew Hitchcock was repeating this interesting shot. To me, Alicia seeing Devlin upside down is a foreshadowing of what is to come with their relationship. They are going to be turned upside down, then snapped right side up with Devlin having the upper hand, then finally come to an equal footing as they do when they are standing in the doorway listening to the recording.

 

How does Hitchcock choose to light, frame, and photograph his two stars in this scene?What are some of the contrasts that Hitchcock  trying to set up between these two characters through art direction, costume, and cinematography?

 

First off, we see them in close up, or medium shots from the thighs, or waist up. Never long shots.

 

Devlin, Cary Grant, is in shadow at the beginning of the scene, plus we see him upside down as Alicia, Ingrid Bergman does. His suit is dark, and he seems emotionless. Alicia on the other hand is in full light the entire scene. The fact that she's still wearing her clothes from the night before tells us something about Devlin. Also his name seems to characterize him as "the devil". We find out later, of course, that's not true, but it does, perhaps, explain why he seems detached from his emotions. He has a tough job, and he does it well, until he meets Alicia. Then I think he begins to question whether or not he wants to continue doing this dirty job. In contrast, Alicia's clothes sparkle. That's in sharp contrast to her anger, or maybe reflects her feelings about her home has been invaded by a "cop". To me the sparkle reflects who she is both as a person and as a character.

 

Based on this scene (or the entire film if you have seen it already), reflect on the casting of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Does this scene conform to or challenge their well-known star personas?

 

I think the casting plays into their personas. Cary Grant was known for his sophistication, and in almost all his roles he exhibits a suave coolness, especially when he's being funny. He doesn't get to use humor in this film. Yet, his coolness seems to cover up deep emotions. As the film goes along we see his cool outer shell beginning to crack. First he falls in love with Alicia. Then he forgets the wine bottle in the office upon discovering what their assignment is. He pulls back from Alicia when he tells her what they are expected to do. He does this for two reasons, he knows what they are asking her to do is important, but he wants her to say no she won't do it. Then as the movie progresses and she has married Sebastian, he can't control his emotions and asks to be transferred. In the end he redeems himself by following his hunch that she wasn't drunk, but ill and thankfully saves her.

 

Ingrid Bergman was a tall, healthy natural beauty. In most of her films it seems that she wears very little makeup. There is something that illuminates her from within. She seems to be an extremely complex person with many layers of emotion. She uses most, if not all of them in this film. At the beginning she's heartsick about her father's treason, yet she loves him. And that sets up all the dueling emotions that are to come. She wants to help her country, but she's in love with Devlin. She was a party girl because she was trying to drown her pain, but she becomes an upper class wife and hostess to discover the secret. She's brave, and frightened, soft and hard. She uses the appropriate emotions when she needs them. I loved what Louella Parsons said about her performance that were quoted in the lecture notes. We are completely invested in her character and want her to succeed.

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From this early scene in Notorious we once again see fluid camera moves starting with a wide establishing shot dissolving into a close-up of Ingrid Bergman and her seltzer remedy in a room half hidden in shadows. We are given a wonderful point of view shot from Bergman’s perspective of Cary Grant within a tilted camera frame as he moves from the shadow of her doorway until he is towering over her in her bed. These are all standard elements in the “Hitchcock touch” toolbox.

 

Hitchcock photographs Ingrid Bergman in a fairly well lit close-up with only a few shadows around the edge of the frame to capitalize on her on her beautiful face while at the same time establishing her relationship with a terrible hangover.  Cary Grant on the other hand, is businesslike, well dressed, and upright and once he symbolically comes out of the shadows in Bergman’s bungalow he “puts his cards on the table” and explains the mission and his proposal for her and the reasons behind them.  In the first half of this scene Bergman is framed at bed level, often with her back turned to Grant as she resists his “job offer” and continues to deal with her hangover. Grant is framed in wide to medium, well-lit shots as he presents his case.  Bergman, who doesn’t want to listen to her own words against her father, stays in her room within the shadows until she hears herself claiming “love for this country”, only then do we see Grant and Bergman framed together, finally becoming a team.

 

The casting of this film, as mentioned in today’s lecture, is perfection.  Who better than Cary Grant to play a tall, dark and handsome man to play a government agent who will fall deeply in love with a female spy he has trained.  Likewise Ingrid Bergman is perfect as a European exotic who is just as comfortable being the-girl-next-door who will fall in love with Cary Grant’s character and be willing to do anything to prove her love.  This conforms to Bergman’s well-known persona to risk her career for love and have a child out of wedlock.  Cary Grant’s character certainly conforms to his persona as the thinking person’s romantic leading man.       

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1. Hitch touches - He revisits the upside down POV shot he used in Downhill. The odd, turning angles allows the viewer to get inside of Alicia's hangover. He goes for a close up of Bergman in bed, like Lombard in Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Grant is initially shown in shadow and a dark suit. It gives us the impression that he has dark edge. Even his dialogue is a bit terse.

 

2. Light, frame and photography - as mentioned above, the use of the upside down POV puts Grant in charge of the scene and Bergman helpless. The odd thing is that he needs her help! Lighting is brighter on her which increases the hangover symptoms while he appears in cool, dark shadows. Her clothing is playful stripes, much like her "party girl" persona and his clothing is a dark suit...all business. Everything is very stylish so we know that she's not living on the streets and he definitely has connections!

 

3. Bergman plays bad which is a change for her. She was always cast as a woman on the right side of the tracks. Here we see a woman who despises her own life but doesn't change it. Bergman pulls off being hung over, especially with that piece of hair stuck in her mouth. Grant has an edge reminiscent to some scenes in Suspicion, like when he tells Lina to stay out of his affairs. He can be terse...almost mean...in his use of language. He comes off as a man on a mission, not caring about Bergman. He's bent on using her for the job he needs to get done. Their repartee is caustic. Grant has played many comedic, likeable roles. Suspicion made us second guess that nice guy. Bergman was a cinematic beauty with a vulnerability that needed protecting. Here we see tarnished beauty and a vulnerability that she created. We don't feel sorry for her.

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Blatant Hitch touches include: Crazy, diagonal Germanistic Expressionistic cam <'s, drips with sub text, train whistles signals the fickle finger of fate, & Alicia says, "What angle?", best tongue in cheek line so far. Alicia is the innocent, although tainted, average Jane caught in unmitigating circumstance.

The light, frame & photography is used to contrast the Devlin character with Alicia's predicament. Devlin crosses his arms and is impeccably dressed while her hair is tussled and she is in an uncompromising position after an evening of reverie. Alicia's costume diverts our attention from Devlin's sneer while we contemplate her quandary, then our attention focuses to the phonograph needle close-up directing our attention to the problem at hand.

The casting is exquisite and fortuitous. Bravo! Hitch mentions in a Truffaut interview that he prefers the star quality cuz then the audience is riveted to a person they consider they know, and anticipate their demise 98% more.

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Further Reflections:  After watching the clip, please go to Twitter (#Hitchcock50) or the TCM Message Board (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.to continue your reflections on this clip. Here are a few discussion starters (though feel free to come up with your own):

1.     What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? Interestingly, AH uses an interesting POV from Bergman seeing Cary Grant towering over her, as if Grant is as imposing as the Statue of Liberty or Mount Rushmore. As per the video lecture AH uses a rotating camera angle as he had done in an earlier movie.
 

2.     How does Hitchcock choose to light, frame, and photograph his two stars in this scene?What are some of the contrasts that Hitchcock  trying to set up between these two characters through art direction, costume, and cinematography?  At the start of the scene Grant is in a doorway and we cannot see his face. This is juxtaposed with a close up of Bergman. This changes as the scene progresses. The lighting all have a film noir feeling.

3.     Based on this scene (or the entire film if you have seen it already), reflect on the casting of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Does this scene conform to or challenge their well-known star personas?  I think the casting challenges us. Cary Grant is a hard-boiled agent who will use Bergman to gather intelligence data. He is not the witty, handsome, matinee idol. Bergman is cast as a world-weary lush who evolves into a spy who turns against her own father and against a man who loves her (Claude Rains) who will pay with his life because of her betrayal. This is a departure from the “wholesome” image that David O. Selznick wanted to craft for Bergman.

http://www.ingridbergman.com/biography/

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1. Lots of visual information about the characters in a short amount of time, film angles to show emotion or scenario (in this case a hangover), borrowing from his earlier works (Downhill), this scene did remind me of the opening to Mr and Mrs Smith because of the disheveled woman in the bed. 

 

2. I've always thought that the angle and lighting of Cary Grant in this scene made him look nefarious and "crooked" (side note: nod to Return to the Batcave- "He's crooked, chum!") and Ingrid Bergman looks a mess and in a vulnerable position from her physical position and her hair that has come off. The contrast between the smartly dressed Grant and the disheveled Bergman adds to this perception of an imbalance of power. Lots of close ups, soft focus on Bergman for beauty. 

 

3. I think that the casting is superb. Though Grant has done many comedic roles, I feel that this showcases his more serious side (especially coupled with Bergman's vulnerability throughout the film). He's direct (another feature of his work in comedies) and charming, which adds layers to his performance. Bergman is a lovely mix of vulnerability and toughness, with a side of "I'm tired of all this" pathos that must be the "European" element. This is not something new that we have seen from her.

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The scene initially seems to challenge Ingrid Bergman's star persona as an elegant, glamorous, European "good gurl." She's still European, of course, but her introduction in this scene is anything but glamorous. Her hair is a mess, and though her gown is glamorous, she'd obviously been sleeping in it - nothing elegant about that. Good girls don't get drunk or refuse to cooperate with the law.

 

Ultimately, though, the scene and then the film overall come back to Bergman's established persona. It turns out she's European AND loves America! She risks everything, including her life, for love of country and of Devlin. And, of course, her clothes are the height of glamor and elegance.

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For me, the settings of "Notorious" are just perfect: Miami Beach and Rio de Janeiro. It also occurs to me that Cary Grant plays it really dour in this film. For him anyways. Not a lot of smiles or laughter. Suffering, struggling. He does well.

 

Of course, my introduction to this film and, in fact, to MANY films of the '40's, came courtesy of Steve Martin's "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" (1982), directed by Carl Reiner. Martin - through magical editing - "inserted" his character, Rigby Reardon, into many classic films. In fact, this film was the last for two legends of classic Hollywood: Edith Head and Miklos Rozsa.

 

 

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Though Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious was produced by David O. Selznick's Vanguard Films, Selznick himself had little to do with the production, which undoubtedly pleased the highly independent Hitchcock. Ingrid Bergman plays Alicia Huberman, who goes to hell in a handbasket after her father, an accused WWII traitor, commits suicide. American secret agent Devlin (Cary Grant) is ordered to enlist the libidinous Alicia's aid in trapping Alexander Sebastian (Claude Rains), the head of a Brazilian neo-Nazi group. Openly contemptuous of Alicia despite her loyalty to the American cause, Devlin calmly instructs her to woo and wed Sebastian, so that that good guys will have an "inside woman" to monitor the Nazi chieftain's activities. It is only after Alicia and Sebastian are married that Devlin admits to himself that he's fallen in love with her. The "MacGuffin" in this case is a cache of uranium ore, hidden somewhere on Sebastian's estate. Upon discovering that his wife is a spy, Sebastian balks at eliminating her until ordered to do so by his virago of a mother (Madame Konstantin). Tension mounts to a fever pitch as Devlin, a day late and several dollars short, strives to rescue Alicia from Sebastian's homicidal designs. Of the several standout sequences, the film's highlight is an extended love scene between Alicia and Devlin, which manages to ignite the screen while still remaining scrupulously within the edicts of the Production Code. In later years, Hitchcock never tired of relating the story of how he and screenwriter Ben Hecht (who was nominated for an Oscar) fell under the scrutiny of the FBI after electing to use uranium as a plot device -- this before the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A huge moneymaker for everyone concerned, Notorious is considered one of Hitchcock's best espionage melodramas.

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1.  There are a lot of POV shots and POV tracking shots.  Rich mentioned that the upside down shot of Cary, Hitch used before in Downhill. The light focusing on the drink reminds me of the glass of milk in "Suspicion".  The close-up of her lying in the bed, peeking out of her hair, reminds me of Carole Lombard's shot in yesterday's "Mr. and Mrs. Smith".

 

2.  The contrasts between the stars is shown by Ingrid in mostly close-ups of her face and Cary in mostly full body shots.  He show Ingrid as messy and hung-over and Cary as well-dressed and upright.  He shows Cary at first coming toward her and then moving away.  He show Ingrid moving away and then coming closer.  Finally Cary comes toward her with a POV dolly shot and they end up together in a two-shot.  It's a visual representation of what is happening between them.

 

3.  I think that they are playing against type in this movie.  I've always thought of Ingrid as being the "good" girl and not the party girl that she is playing in this.  I think Cary is a bit of stinker in this.  He has played a wide range of characters in his 30-some years in the movies but I like him better with a comedic touch.

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  1. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie?

Contrasts - the disheveled Bergman vs. the impeccably dressed Grant. The smooth, emotionless Grant vs.Bergman coming out of sleep and a nasty hangover. The shot of Bergman is need reminds of the opening shot of Lombard in Mr & Mrs Smith. Bergman's perspective of Grant is askew; Hitchcock rotates the camera as Grant comes in and it reminds me of the way a room feels like its spinning around when you are intoxicated (which Bergman is). The close ups keep us fixed on the two characters and what they are saying to each other and their reactions.

 

2. How does Hitchcock choose to light, frame, and photograph his two stars in this scene?What are some of the contrasts that Hitchcock  trying to set up between these two characters through art direction, costume, and cinematography?

Pretty much covered that in question 1. You have the cool, emotionless Grant and on the other side we have the very vulnerable, somewhat confused and melancholy Bergman. Emotion vs. non-emotion.

 

3. Based on this scene (or the entire film if you have seen it already), reflect on the casting of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Does this scene conform to or challenge their well-known star personas? 

Notorious is one of my absolute favorite films - of Hitchcock and all classic movies. Three top actors at the top of their game. Perfect casting.

Grant was was seen as an impeccably dressed man off and on film. he was charming, suave. I don't recall seeing him show a great deal of raw emotion on film. He could do light comedy very well and was very likable but that aspect is completely left out of this character. So... using some pieces of the known qualities and not using some we are familiar and comfortable with.

Bergman's emotions were always visible on her lovely face. There was always an intelligence there. She did usually play good women up to this point - except maybe Jekyll/Hyde character. Americans had a very posiitive opinion of her - nice, family-centered, naturally beautiful. In Notorious she is playing a party girl that has definitiely partied hard. Somewhat loose morals. Against the character movie fans viewed her.

Rains - never gave a bad performance in his career - whether he played a villain or a good guy there was always a humanity very apparent in performances. You were interested in what he was up to in the movie.Hitch probably used his age - older than Bergman - to intensify the devoted love of a much younger beautiful  - and taller - woman.

In essence, Hitchcock chose three actors that were beloved, respected and up to a challenge.

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NOTORIOUS is an absolutely brilliant film.

The upside down camera angle POV shot is reminiscent of the film Downhill.

Bergman is so stunning even playing the party girl down to the loud stripes on her high midriff blouse.

Edith head is to be commended for the creation of the costumes on this film.

 

The odd turned camera angles lets us inside Alicia's hangover.

The stray lock of hair, that is caught awkwardly in her mouth adds to her vulnerability,and believability.

The lighting is much brighter, to show off her face, which again emphasizes her

condition.

 

Cary Grant is devastatingly handsome,(as he is in every film). He in his dark suit, and cast perfectly to play the cool Government agent; who falls so intensely in love with the female spy he has trained.

Grant's character, Devlin, almost comes off as the villain. He can be oh so mean with

his curt language.For he is all business saying: "You Better Drink That".

If you have seen the film the Claude Rains character, is the true

menace, he and his many cohorts.

 

By the end of the film both our main characters are reformed by love.

 

Bergman and Grant have such a magnificent on screen chemistry that they are a joy

to watch.

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(Hitchcock cameo at about the 1:04 point of the film?)

 

What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie?

 

 

First, as Dr. Edwards noted in the accompanying discussion, Hitchcock uses a shot similar to one he used in Downhill, the inverted shot of Novello and Grant entering the room in their respective films.  As a bit of a spoiler, this shot in Notorious serves as a great bit of symmetry for a similar shot towards the end of the film when Grant enters the room while Bergman is lying in bed under drastically different circumstances  (not hung over this time).   I also notice Hitchcock's use of shadows and light, casting Grant primarily in shadow, just as he did when we first see Grant on screen in shadow and only from behind and partial profile.  We still don't know the role of this shadowy character (even though he did bravely? foolishly? ride with her while she was drunk), until he plays the recording and explains why he is there.  Bergman, by contrast, is cast in subtle light, accentuating her beauty and even her dilemma with her father and Grant's offer.  She doesn't trust him, as we see with Hitchcock's direction, having her turn away and then when they are in the doorway listening to the recording, Grant looks smug while Bergman conveys many expressions: guilt? indecision? mistrust?  Hitchcock uses distorted camera shots later in the film to convey Alicia's reaction to the coffee, and he also uses contrasts between light and dark, casting Sebastian and his mother in shadow to add to this idea.  One final thought and I know there is no intentional parallel here but while Devlin is arguing with his mother about giving Alicia the keys to the house, I was reminded of Marion overhearing Norman "argue" with his mother in the film Psycho
 

How does Hitchcock choose to light, frame, and photograph his two stars in this scene?What are some of the contrasts that Hitchcock  trying to set up between these two characters through art direction, costume, and cinematography?

 

 

I may have already begun to address some of these points in response #1.  Framing Grant and Bergman in the doorway while they listen to the recording greatly establishes their characters and the tension between them at this point.  To an Devlin fits the role of the noir detective or agent, I think.  He is not misogynistic, as noted in the lecture from earlier this week.  However, Grant does show the male dominance over the female by the way he speaks to her before he plays the recording.  He seems smug then, and he shows this same smugness while watching the various emotions play across Bergman's face, which she does beautifully.  I did note the numerous close-up shots already, and yes there are many more throughout the film.  Hitchcock uses these close-ups to establish characters and to convey the emotions and tension between them.  However, as I've also noted, he does not rely too heavily on this type of shot.  Rather, he nicely blends the with wider angled shots and some deep focus shots to capture the larger set and to establish the contrasts between light and shadow.   I also note the contrast in costuming for both characters.  Devlin is always dressed in a dark suit, all business all the time.  Whereas, Bergman in shown in various styles to reflect her given function or role at the time.  I think each of her outfits shows a "simple elegance" so as not to detract from Bergman's stunning beauty.  I'm sure Hitchcock intentionally did this when asking Head to design the costumes.  I notice this especially during the big party scene.  She is wearing a "simple" black gown adorned with a diamond necklace, but I notice Bergman's beauty instead.
 

Based on this scene (or the entire film if you have seen it already), reflect on the casting of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Does this scene conform to or challenge their well-known star personas?

 

 

Based on the Grant and Bergman films that I have seen (admittedly limited at this point), I think Hitchcock did a masterful job casting them in the lead roles, with a huge nod to Claude Rains as well.  Grant does a great job of playing the hardened American agent (who tends to be a bit domineering with women?), but he also has a softer, more vulnerable side, which we see when he does not want Alicia to take the assignment.  He wants to tell her no, but he has to pretend he doesn't care because he knows both of their roles in this operation.  They both show this romantic and sexual tension throughout the entire film, especially when they meet on the bench and talk either indirectly about what they know--Devlin transferring to Spain, or Devlin telling Alicia it's too late to be unhappy with Sebastian--and every time they kiss or almost kiss, the chemistry is perfect.  Bergman does a wonderful job of showing dichotomous emotions such as love and hatred for Devlin and trust and mistrust with Sebastian and the coffee.  Finally Grant's and Bergman's true feelings come out in the final scene of the film.  Overall, I loved the casting.

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Nortious 1946 ...Daily Dose #12

 

Made after WW11 & according to (Wiki) woman were to be used as spies & the things women had to do for their  country is represented by the character of Alicia (Ingrid Bergman) ..no wonder she is suffering from trauma & self-medicates. 

 

I do remember the titled & upside down camera angle from Downhill 1927 & the same shot in this film ...I like this because it makes it seem like we are looking through the characters eyes & puts us in there with the characters.

 

We see the back of T.R. Devlin's head (Cary Grant) & the face of Alicia a lot in the opening sequences

light on her face; her hair messed up & so on ...He seems critical & bossy telling her to drink more alcohol though she is already sick with it & has probably poisoned herself with it.

 

I will have  to re-watch the clip to comment further

 

I read that Edith Head (costume designer) dressed Bergman in sedate clothes because she did not need a lot of finery to be beautiful. She has beautiful soft hair & lovely skin & that is not ruined by over doing her 'look'. I agree with that.  Her hair is so wispy & beautiful.

 

NOTE:   The men in these movies come off as borderline abusive. In this movie for sure due to its theme of prostitution for your government...In Rebecca when the character of Max aka Maxim de Winter (Laurence Olivier) calls the new Mrs. de Winter (Joan Fontaine) 'a little fool' & it is explained away  ... well he is moody...the character is only called the new or young Mrs. de Winter ...does she have a first name?  Maybe I missed it?  

 

In yet another movie... Suspicion  Johnnie (Cary Grant) again calls Lina (Joan Fontaine) his wife 'monkey face' then as she tried to jump out of the car once again it is ...'little fool'...my a lot of little fools running around in these movies.

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What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie?

 

The upside shot of Grant is a touch. There is another POV shot as he plays the record for her. The set is elaborate- she is wearing her beautiful earrings and the saucer where the glass rests is exquisite. The shadows and lighting are all touches. Flashbacks occur as he plays conversations from the past.

 

How does Hitchcock choose to light, frame, and photograph his two stars in this scene?What are some of the contrasts that Hitchcock trying to set up between these two characters through art direction, costume, and cinematography?

 

She is shot while well lit, perhaps to show her vulnability, while his cast in shadows, as if to ask " who is he and what does he want?" . It casts suspicion or doubt over his character, but not hers. Her room is well lit, but when he comes in, it appears to darken. He is in a standard suit, she is in last night's clothes, very wrinkled and upset, as if to suggest he has something on her that she isn't aware of. Her shots show a weakness in her character, but those of him are very strong and powerful, almost as if he's in control of this situation.

 

Based on this scene (or the entire film if you have seen it already), reflect on the casting of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Does this scene conform to or challenge their well-known star personas?

 

I can't believe I haven't seen this film!! Ugh!! But it is Grant at his finest. He is always dressed impeccably and seems unemotional. It is a perfect role for him. I am not familiar with Bergman, so I can't speak so well in this question. She does seem to play this role beautifully and her shots show her incredible talent, so I think it suits her, as well.

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Of course one Hitchcock touch is the topsy turvy Cary Grant camera trick (as in Downhill in the 1920s, per the lecture video). Another one could be Devlin's playing the LP recording of Alicia's bugged conversation, how she feigns disinterest, then walks back into the room as she realizes her predicament. This is done deliberately by Hitchcock, as Alicia gradually realized her situation.  A seemingly ordinary life turned upside down makes me recall other Hitchcock plots.

 

Cary Grant is nattily dressed but darkly lit. There is a possibly a sinister quality to his Devlin.  Bergman is in disarray with her hair, clothing but more light is on her. She seems pretty innocent. Then we learn of her past.  The art direction is playing an important role here. Interesting stuff!

 

Some of both in these stars, conforming to and challenging their star personas. I have always seen these two as multi-dimensional in the films I've seen. I can see why they were so big in this time period. Such screen presence.

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Today's Daily Dose is an early scene from Notorious (1946). 

 

Watch the scene over at the Canvas course site, and come back here to share your insights with a special focus on the film's two biggest stars, Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman.

 

As it is Noir Crossover Week, you can also discuss what these two stars contribute to the noir style in what has come to be recognized as a classic film noir. 

 

Here are three questions to get you started: 

 

  1. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie?  Dark and subdued lighting, shadows, focused shots of Cary Grant standing in the doorway, and closeups of Ingrid Bergman in the bed, and both of them together at the end of the scene. 
  2. How does Hitchcock choose to light, frame, and photograph his two stars in this scene? What are some of the contrasts that Hitchcock trying to set up between these two characters through art direction, costume, and cinematography? The cinematography is orchestrated beautifully.  The pairing of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in its simplistic, elegant style gives it sophistication, and intrigue. The focus on single glass on the nightstand and a groggy Bergman, the phonograph dialogue elevating and revealing the suspense in the moment.
  3. Based on this scene (or the entire film if you have seen it already), reflect on the casting of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Does this scene conform to or challenge their well-known star personas? Cary Grant has the charm, elegance, and sinister way in this character he has had in other roles.  Ingrid Bergman has an elegant, classy vulnerability she often times portrays.  There is this feel of melancholy seen in her closeups that comes naturally.  A perfect casting of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in this film.

 

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Daily Dose #12

Daily Dose #12: Why Do You Care How I Feel? 
Early Scene from Hitchcock's Notorious (1946)

 

1. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie?

In this scene, it is possible to see again the importance of POV shots that in this case not only sets the audience in the Alicia's perspective but also turn out a marvelous introduction moment for Devlin. The camera also conveys extra emotion with the travelling made during the listening of the recorded discussion between Alicia and her father. It really gets us in the drama of Ingrid Bergman's character and this is another element part of the Hitchcock signature.

 

The pressence of big stars such as Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in the main roles and the ambivalent or obscure characters is very common in Hitch's movies, especially in his noir genre films. I would like to add that I feel like Hithcock's stories are gaining progressively a sense of intimacy focusing on the complexity of relationships and Notorious feels like one of the peaks in this matter.

  

2. How does Hitchcock choose to light, frame, and photograph his two stars in this scene?What are some of the contrasts that Hitchcock trying to set up between these two characters through art direction, costume, and cinematography?

From the very beginning, the audience can see Ingrid Bergman in a close-up with a soften light despite beign a little bit obscure and Cary Grant almost completely light with a dark light. In that way, Hitch is setting the differences among them. She seems vulnerable and he has the control of the situation. Regarding the costumes and hair styles, Alicia looks a messy hair with bright colured clothes which oppose to the impeccable black suit and hair of Devlin. When their conversation begins, there is a slight contrast of light and shadow in Alicia's face while Devlin looks correctly illuminated.

 

Despite the kind of chaos projected by Alicia, it is interesting that the sparks of her blouse combinated with the light create a glow that gives her certain elegance. So, Hithcoch is using this scene to show and flaunt his stars (probably that is the reason why Ingrid Bergman is always going to look great no matter her part in the story), but at the same, he is building characters, giving information about them and encourage the audience to identificate with the movie. 

 

3. Based on this scene (or the entire film if you have seen it already), reflect on the casting of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Does this scene conform to or challenge their well-known star personas? 

In my opinion, as it is expressed in the lecture notes and the lecture video as well, Ingrid Bergman have this combination of darkness, melancholy, elegance and innocence, so definitely the character of Alicia matchs perfectly, because she evolves throughout the whole movie from a party indifferent and frivolous girl, to give everything for love and in some way also for patriotism. In the case of Cary Grant, he was always considered as a graceful gentleman who was also cold or distant which is the case of Devlin too who turns out to become in a emotionally driven man.  

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1. Hitchcock uses the POV shot from Alicia's angle and giving a mysterious persona to Devlin.

 

2. I think Hitchcock tried to convey that these two stars would eventually become colleagues through Close-ups.

 

3.  I think this scene was both Challenging and rewarding for both their careers.

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The upside down shot was great, but it was the first angle shot of grant that makes it hitch. Other films could use color, but not this one the black and white photography is outstanding, especially the backdrop of the driving scene. What atmosphere. Done in color would ruin it.

 

From art design to costume, it's designed for its effect. Look at her belly showing is it there just because, no, it's not. It's

 

Two of the most beautiful ppl ever seen on screen, fall in love, amidst murder and treason,

All the while we can't wait to the ending. Casting for this one outstanding, and just to think without a blonde.

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July 13, 2017 – Hitchcock lecture Part 12

 

1. We see a strong character POV of Alicia, who is upside down and fuzzy brained. The camera rotates to an upside down position and becomes sharper focus as she wakes up. Immediately, if I may count this as a "Hitchcock touch," we see two of his favorite actors, and both have a good share of close-ups so that the audience can read their emotions. 
 

 

2. Cary Grant’s character is dressed in a suit, implying that he's all business in this scene. Bergman is dressed a little more casually, and her hair is in disarray as she wakes up, implying that she’s not “ready for the job” yet. Every time we see Bergman, the lighting and or lenses are softer and more diffuse—implying that she is a romantic interest.

 

3. I watched the film before, but I’m not too familiar with Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman’s star personas. I’m guessing, based on the lecture notes, that the former is the case. Ingrid is a “natural beauty”, with a touch of vulnerability. And Cary Grant fulfills his role as the leading man, not completely invulnerable, but a little stronger in terms of his personality and how he expresses his emotions. 

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  1. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie

 As mentioned in the lecture video, the point of view shots of Grant is one. The extreme close-up of Bergman's face while lying in the bed harks back to Hitchcock's early films--The Lodger, The Pleasure Garden, and also Carole Lombard in bed in Mrs. and Mrs. Smith.  The lighting, Grant's character--the well-dressed stranger trying to involve Bergman in the McGuffin.  Also, as in The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes, and even Rebecca, the romantic leads are adversarial to each other.  There are also close-ups of Grant.

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2. How does Hitchcock choose to light, frame, and photograph his two stars in this scene? What are some of the contrasts that Hitchcock  trying to set up between these two characters through art direction, costume, and cinematography.

Bergman's character has more lighting, close-ups, and her costume literally has black and white stripes, symbolizing her character's ambivalence.  The close-ups and point of view shots for Bergman make the audience identify more with her, I think.  There is a softness to her.  Grant is dressed in a dark, tailored suit and is all-business and the camera shots telegraph him much more objectively than Bergman.  Grant is calling the shots here.

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3. Based on this scene (or the entire film if you have seen it already), reflect on the casting of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Does this scene conform to or challenge their well-known star personas? 

 

I think this scene conforms to Grant's and Bergman's star personas.  Grant is the man who's confident, in-charge, fearless.  He also looks impeccable and extremely handsome, debonaire and worldly.  Bergman is beautifully dressed, but not at her best moment in this scene in which she is hungover and being verbally "assaulted" almost. She appears vulnerable and there are tears in her eyes and on her cheeks when Grant

recites her father's traitorous acts and plays the recording of her patriotic reaction.  As mentioned in the lecture notes, Bergman has a "niceness" to her, despite her party girl life.

 

I agree with Prof. Gehring, this film is tough to watch because I am always so frightened for Bergman.

 

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  1. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie?The use of two Hollywood Stars Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant.also Claude Raines....in filming the shadowing of Grant as he stands in the door way  of bedroom...the close up of Bergman laying in the bed ...but most of all how Bergman sees Grant....as Grant walks in the bedroom the turning of the camera

     

  2. How does Hitchcock choose to light, frame, and photograph his two stars in this scene?What are some of the contrasts that Hitchcock  trying to set up between these two characters through art direction, costume, and cinematography? The shadowing of Devlin in the door way....he is neatly attired business like....Bergman is in disarray.....very hung over from her drinking....she appears not in control to Grants controlled demeanor....she is angry and he is very calm and measured

     

  3. Based on this scene (or the entire film if you have seen it already), reflect on the casting of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Does this scene conform to or challenge their well-known star personas?  I do not think of Bergman as a "lush" or tormented person but she plays it well....Grant is sophisticated, handsome....I am sure many people wanted to see a Hitchcock film but having these two stars in the movie sealed the deal along with Claude Raines....finishing out the casting of the film....Perfection
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1. Hitchcock touches noticeable in this scene are the POV camera angles and close-up shots. The shot of Devlin (Cary Grant) from Alicia's (Ingrid Bergman's) point of view is classic Hitchcock. In addition, the close-up of Bergman lying in the bed is another Hitchcock touch. Bergman seems to be an ordinary person (except for her beauty) awakening with a hangover. This ordinary person is being asked to participate in an extra-ordinary spy job. This is a Hitchcock touch as well.

2. Hitchcock uses interesting framing for Grant when the audience (from Bergman's POV) first sees him framed in the doorway. The canting angles we see him from give the impression that Bergman's character is attempting to figure him out, understand who he is and what he really wants. Grant is very suave and elegant (as always) with his perfectly cut suit and immaculate hair. Meanwhile, Bergman is at a definite disadvantage, she is in bed, ill from a hangover, hair and face disheveled. She has slept in her clothes. I have not seen Notorious before, but I get the feeling that Bergman is going to be at the mercy of Grant for the entire movie. That somehow he is always going to have the advantage over her.

3. This scene conforms to what I know and have seen about Cary Grant. He is always handsome,  immaculately dressed, and with a sense of self-confidence and control. The scene challenges my knowledge and perceptions of Ingrid Bergman. I am most familiar with her from Gaslight (one of my favorite movies). The opening of this scene shows her in an unflattering light. Her hair and make-up disheveled. Her clothes wrinkled and slept in. She is suffering from a hangover. This is not typically the way a Hollywood actress of the 1940s would want to be filmed. 

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