Notorious: Post-War Influence*

             Alfred Hitchcock’s thrillers never cease to keep the audience on their toes and with the 1946 Notorious he uses the political implications in America to do just this. The late 1940s was a time when the American society came under scare of Nazis infiltrating the government. Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman star in this film that is based on American spies infiltrating a Nazi sect in Brazil.

             The significance of Notorious being released in 1946 marks the beginning of the blacklist in Hollywood. Prior events in the 1940s dealing with the war and the Great Depression ultimately led up to this political enforcement in Los Angeles. During World War II, the American Nazi Party was able to reach a substantial size and influence but when the war ended views changed. The American view became almost scared of this political power, and Hitchcock used this fear in his film.

             The Nazi Party representing an evil sect that people are naturally scared of. As Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Bergman)] Bergman (Alicia Humberman) infiltrates a Nazi organization in Rio de Janerio, the film begins to reach its climax. A more suspicious T.R. Delvin (Cary Grant) begins to ruin her cover within the Nazi organization where she is forced to marry a Nazi Party member in order to keep credibility. The Nazi Party leader she marries is Alexander Sebastian (Claude Rains), whose house becomes host for many of the Nazi political meetings throughout the film. This allows her to work closely against the party in order to help the government organization she is working for. Sebastian also hosts a social gathering in the film which gives Delvin the opportunity to break into his cellar to investigate suspicious activity that Alicia had previously caught onto.

             Ultimately, Notorious stays true to the American standard of the Nazi Party by portraying them to be negatively influential and powerful. Hitchcock’s film becomes a race against time for Alicia’s life, and only T.R. Delvin can save her. Just as the American Government led society to believe about this Nazis, Hitchcock was able to portray this on screen.

Greg Humkey

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