Notorious

Movie review by
Kathryn McGarr, Common Sense Media
Notorious Movie Poster Image
Suspenseful but slow-moving Hitchcock thriller.
  • NR
  • 1946
  • 102 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The government essentially asks Alicia to prostitute herself, and the film features dated gender roles.

Positive Role Models & Representations

It's implied that Alicia has an affair with Devlin and her future husband Sebastian. Other characters frequently comment on her immoral character.

Violence
Sex

It's implied that Alicia is a "tainted" woman, but even when she's married, the beds are separate.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Guests drink at a party. Alicia drives while drunk without real consequences.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie might bore kids. It's implied that Alicia has an affair with Devlin and her future husband Sebastian. Other characters frequently comment on her immoral character, but nothing is sexually or even romantically explicit. There's a scene in which Devlin allows Alicia to drive drunk. Moreover, gender roles are antiquated in that Alicia's only value is as a sexual being and her interest in a man motivates her decisions.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 14 year old Written byTsion July 1, 2009

The Ultimate Espionage Film...

Alicia Huberman's father has recently been convicted for treason against the US. He was helping the Nazis obtain inside information in WWII. This makes A... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bywho3697cares December 26, 2008
Kid, 11 years old August 4, 2017

The mysterious movie that is Notorious still shines today

Notorious is a shockingly spine-tingling take on World War 2. It stars Ingrid Bergman as Alicia Huberman, an amzing female character. This movie was so great. I... Continue reading

What's the story?

After her Nazi father is convicted of treason, Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Bergman) gets drawn in as a spy for the American government. Her assignment is to infiltrate the inner circle of Alexander Sebastian (Claude Rains), once in love with her, who happens to be part of a Nazi plot involving smuggled uranium. Alicia and her government contact T.R. Devlin (Cary Grant) fall in love, but dutiful Alicia marries Sebastian in order to get access to top secret information. When she's discovered as a spy, Sebastian's mother urges her son to kill his new wife.

Is it any good?

Hitchcock directed it, critics acclaimed it, and Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman are only the tip of the talented cast. So what makes NOTORIOUS less appealing than other films with the same parameters? Well, it moves painfully slowly. Its snail's pace might be a filmic reflection of Alicia's drawn out suffering. Even if it can easily claim this -- and more -- in artistic merits, the film will make you downright drowsy. Do not operate heavy machinery while watching it.

Devlin and Alicia's romance is predictable given what we expect from attractive leads, but you might wonder if you missed something. Their on-screen romance is quite sudden and short-lived. Still, inevitable tension results when Ms. Huberman becomes Mrs. Sebastian. The master of suspense does deliver on that count. By the end of the film, it doesn't look so good for Alicia and, though sedated, you might be biting your nails in anticipation of a potentially unfortunate finale.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the many moral dilemmas that Alicia faces. These include her loyalty to her father versus her country, drinking and driving, and using her sexuality to be a spy.

  • Do you think her marriage to Mr. Sebastian is a good decision? When does her sacrifice become greater than her reward? What is her "reward" anyway?

  • What makes the women in this movie unequal to the men? Can you think of scenes in which male superiority is taken for granted?

Movie details

For kids who love thrills and chills

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