Notorious (1946)
Notorious (1946)
Notorious (1946)
Notorious (1946)
Notorious (1946)
Notorious (1946)

Film Studies

Cinema Classics Seminar:

Hitchcock: Espionage!
Tuesday, July 23, 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm  
Instructor: Rachel McCabe, Ph.D., LaSalle University

Notorious (1946) has been described as one of Hitchcock’s darkest thrillers—no small feat when considering his other films. By casting two of the biggest stars of the 1940s against type, Hitchcock created a romantic drama wrought with ambiguity and betrayal. Ingrid Bergman stars as Alicia, who has been recruited to help the United States as an informant during the tense period shortly after World War II. Cary Grant plays Devlin, the mysterious intelligence agent whose mission is to ensure Alicia seduces a Nazi operative. 

This seminar will explore how the drama of this love triangle abuts the drama of the nascent Cold War, with the creation and exploration of Hitchcock’s fictional uranium plot paralleling the ongoing development of more advanced atomic weapons. Additionally, Hitchcock’s ability to control the shots completely through soundstage filming and meticulous camera work produces what François Truffaut described as “a maximum of effect from a minimum of elements”—seemingly effortless cinematography produced by cutting-edge technology. This seminar will also explore Edith Head’s costume design as the best of her collaborations with Hitchcock. Not only are the clothes stunning, but they also convey important shifts in Alicia’s character. This combination of impeccable casting, acting, cinematography, and costuming makes this film one of Hitchcock’s most celebrated productions, as well as one of the top-ranked films of its era. 

Are you interested in “just” seeing this movie? Visit the public screening page here.

Cinema Classics Seminars offer an entertaining and engaging way to learn more about some of the true classics of world cinema. All students receive an introductory lecture before the film and a guided discussion after the film. In addition, those in attendance receive a ticket to see it on the big screen, as well as popcorn and a drink. Please note: the screening associated with this seminar will be open to the public, as well.

Please email BMFI Programs and Education Coordinator Jill Malcolm with any questions.


Course Information

$25 for members, $35 for non-members


  • Tuesday, July 23 · 6:30 pm