Notorious (1946)

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Roman Polanski has said that films are made of moments – and there are so many of them here in this story of adultery, espionage and post-war intrigue in South America. The alcoholic stupor of Bergman. The kissing scene (dialogue by Clifford Odets, uncredited). The keys and uranium in the wine cellar. The race. S&M, drinking, Nazis, spying … what a screenplay (by Ben Hecht from an uncredited story by John Taintor Foote) and what sublime direction by Hitchcock (originally under the very watchful eye of producer David O. Selznick). One of the first great mature Hitchcock films. Classic.


They Won’t Believe Me (1947)

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You wait for years for a Robert Young movie then two come along at once, and on the same day, no less. Unlike Crossfire this hasn’t a political bone in its body – it’s really a melodramatic film noir, with a Cain-ish undertow of infidelity and murder. It was developed from a story by Gordon McDonell, who famously originated Hitchcock’s great Shadow of a Doubt. It was shepherded into production by Joan Harrison – who had been Hitchcock’s right-hand woman. Young is atypically casts as a philandering broker and Rita Johnson – a kind of straight arrow Monroe-alike – is terrific as his tolerant wife. There’s a really marvellous twist ending. And because it’s from RKO, it boasts Jane Greer, the go-to villainness. Those were the days.