Screenwriter Ben Hecht (Spellbound; His Girl Friday) introduces us viewers to the beautiful but troubled Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Bergman from Casablanca; her Oscar-winners Gaslight and Murder on the Orient Express) has been a party girl and a heavy drinker for some time. In fact, she’s only been along for the ride in life ever since her father was convicted of treason and collaborating with the enemy. Since then, Alicia broke family ties with her disgraced father, and made booze her constant companion, aside from partying. After another one of her parties, Alicia chats up a potential conquest, a handsome stranger. When Alicia speeds way past the speed limit without the cop him giving him a summons, she realizes the handsome stranger is a Fed, one T.R. Devlin (Cary Grant, who also worked with Hitchcock on Suspicion and North by Northwest), and boy, is she furious when she discovers he’s a Fed! Dev doesn’t let Alicia’s wildcat antics bother him—it’s just lights out for Alicia! The next morning, she wakes up at Dev’s place with a splitting headache, a glass of milk (always popular in Hitchcock movies), and bittersweet news: Alicia’s father has died by his own hand. Even Alicia herself is surprised at her own unexpected sorrow for her late father: “I don’t know why I should feel so bad. When he told me a few years ago what he was, everything went to pot. I didn’t care what happened to me. But now I remember how nice he was he once was, how nice we both were, very nice. It’s a very curious feeling, as if something had happened to me and not to him. You see, I don’t have to hate him anymore, or myself.”
|Make a note of that, Crime-stoppers!|
|Emile freaks out when it seems he’s got the wrong |
bottle of wine at dinner. Maybe he’d prefer a nice Ripple?
Or maybe cement shoes?
|A key moment in the film!|
Ingrid Bergman gives one of her very best performances as Alicia, juggling danger and romance in a relationship that’s complicated, to say the least! Dev can be glacial or sizzlingly romantic at the blink of an eye. The “Good Guys” essentially force Alicia to prostitute herself by marrying her off to suave Alex. The hell of it is that Alex, an old friend of her father’s, is far more loving and romantic than Dev, despite his insecurity about his beautiful young wife, especially with Alex’s Mother-in-Law From Hell. In any case, this sure tosses a monkey wrench into Alicia’s sizzling yet stormy romance with Dev! It’s one of the most adult movies Hitchcock ever made; despite Bergman and Rains seemingly sleeping in separate beds, this film was quite adult for its era. It’s not only a crackerjack espionage thriller, but also a moving, disturbing look into the dark recesses of the human heart.
|For goodness sakes, hasn’t |
Bing Crosby ‘s horse come in yet?
|Can't you fix it for me? For old times' sake?|
Claude Rains was only 5' 6" tall, a good three inches shorter than Bergman. They were able to hide the difference when everyone was moving about, and in scenes where they stood next to each other, he just stood on a small platform. But when he was moving and Ingrid stood still, they had to rely on strategically-placed ramps he'd walk up as he approached. Watch how much taller he gets as he walks towards the camera here!