Call#: Van Pelt Library PN1998.A3 H573 1984
Call#: Van Pelt Library PN1998.A3 H565 1983
In regards to Notorious specifically, Spoto makes several arguments. First, he suggests that the portrayal of Mrs. Sebastian, the first matriarch to appear in a Hitchcock film after his mother's death, as evil and controlling was directly related to this death and to Hitchcock's resulting emotional release. Spoto also argues that the overt sexuality in the film, embodied by Ingrid Bergman, was a result of Hitchcock's repressed and largely unexplored sexuality. Finally, Spoto parallels the film's theme of conflict between love and duty with similar conflict in Hitchcock's own life between his personal desires (embodied by Alex) and his public image (embodied by Devlin).
The author's further psychoanalysis in essence declares that Hitchcock's Notorious is a work that is a result of context - of place, time, and circumstance in Hitchcock's own life. The film cannot be understood fully without understanding Hitchcock's personality and his personal life at the time of the film's creation. Spoto's chapter also shows that the film must be examined in a historical context outside of just Hitchcock - it must be seen in relation to Hollywood in the 1940s and to World War II-era America.
Call#: Van Pelt Library ML2075 .S89 2006
In Chapter 9 of his work Hitchcock's Music, Jack Sullivan discusses the score of Notorious and its role in the movie and the audience's experience. Sullivan argues that though the movie's score, composed by Roy Webb, is often overlooked by Hitchcock scholars, it is one of the best scores of any Hitchcock movie. Although Hitchcock had hoped for a more well-known composer than Webb, in the end Webb's subdued, non-flashy style and his use of dissonance and jagged rhythms fit well, even perfectly, as Sullivan argues, with Hitchcock's vision for the movie. The music, which often meshes so well with a scene that it seems to fade imperceptibly into the background, enhances the drama and danger that is written into the plot and that Hitchcock works so painstakingly to portray in the film through careful use of the camera and coaching of his actors.
The chapter provides a clear example of one of the many unexpected and unconventional elements of Notorious that, when combined with the other building blocks of the movie, creates the classic suspense for which Hitchcock is so well-known. The music is in no way a typical Hollywood film score - the tunes are not particularly catchy or melodramatic. However, Webb's varied and sometimes unsettling style works in the moment and matches the movie's plot, with its characters buried in layers of unresolved conflict and life-threatening danger, and its audience immersed in the uncomfortable coexistence of personal and political conflict embodied by both Devlin and Alicia's love vs. duty conflicts.
Call#: Van Pelt Library PN1994 .K294 2006
The fourth Chapter of Inga Karetnikova's text is devoted entirely to Hitchcock's Notorious. The author begins by providing a brief biography of Hitchcock, outlining both his early endeavors in the film industry and the movies made at the end of his career. Karetnikova also brings Ben Hecht, Notorious' screenwriter, into the picture, describing his relationship with Hitchcock and giving careful detail about the duo's creative process for the movie. Step by step, she moves through different story lines and plot twists considered by Hitchcock and Hecht until they finally arrived on what became Notorious. Lastly, Karetnikova briefly summarizes and then analyzes each scene in the movie, pointing out symbolism, themes, and created suspense.
Karetnikova's scene-by-scene analyses prove particularly useful for looking at the film critically since they show Hitchcock's active and deliberate decision-making that leads to the creation of his signature suspense. He used the camera to create suspense by allowing shots to grow long and linger, and by showing the audience information not available to the characters. Karetnikova's analyses also show how Hitchcock uses perceived time to his advantage, in this case creating suspense by cutting to shots of the diminishing number of wine bottles at Alicia and Alex's party, signaling to the audience that it won't be long before someone has to go down into the wine cellar where Devlin is snooping. Finally, her treatment of symbols in the film, such as keys and wine bottles, clearly shows another way in which Hitchcock masters the art of suspense in this film.