The film was the official selection of the 1946 Cannes Film Festival. Notorious had its premiere at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on August 15, 1946 with Hitchcock, Bergman and Grant in attendance.
The film made $4.8 million in theatrical rentals on its first American domestic release, making it one of the biggest hits of the year. (US rentals) It earned RKO a profit of $1,010,000.
Writing in The New York Times, Bosley Crowther praised the film, writing "Mr. Hecht has written and Mr. Hitchcock has directed in brilliant style a romantic melodrama which is just about as thrilling as they come—velvet smooth in dramatic action, sharp and sure in its characters and heavily charged with the intensity of warm emotional appeal." Leslie Halliwell, usually terse, almost glowed about Notorious: "Superb romantic suspenser containing some of Hitchcock's best work." Decades later, Roger Ebert also praised the film, adding it to his "Great Movies" list and calling it "the most elegant expression of the master's visual style." On the website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an overall positive rating of 94%, with an average rating of 8.9/10 based on 34 reviews, with a consensus of: "Sublime direction from Hitchcock, and terrific central performances from Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant make this a bona-fide classic worthy of a re-visit."
Notorious is Patricia Hitchcock O'Connell's favorite of her father's pictures. "What a perfect film!" she told her father's biographer, Charlotte Chandler. "The more I see Notorious, the more I like it."
Claude Rains was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and Ben Hecht was nominated for an Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay.
In 2005, Hecht's screenplay was voted by the two Writers Guilds of America as one of the 101 best ever written. The following year, Notorious was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". Time magazine listed it among of the All-TIME 100 films (a list of the greatest films since the magazine's inception) as chosen by Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel. Entertainment Weekly also ranked it No. 66 in their book 100 Greatest Movies of All Time. In 2008, the film was voted in an Empire magazine poll as one of The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.
- The silent film Convoy (1927), co-produced by Victor Halperin, was based on the same Saturday Evening Post story.
- A Lux Radio Theater adaptation was broadcast on January 26, 1948, with Ingrid Bergman reprising her role as Alicia Huberman and Joseph Cotten taking Cary Grant's role of T. R. Devlin. Another radio adaptation was produced for The Screen Guild Theater, again starring Ingrid Bergman, although this time with John Hodiak, and was broadcast on January 6, 1949.
- The film was remade in 1992 as a TV movie of the same name directed by Colin Bucksey, with John Shea as Devlin, Jenny Robertson as Alicia Velorus, Jean-Pierre Cassel as Sebastian, and Marisa Berenson as Katarina.
- In the animated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars the season two episode "Senate Spy" is almost a line for line adaptation of Notorious, even going so far as to frame the final shot of the episode the same way as the movie.
- Mission: Impossible 2 paid strong homage to Notorious, but the plot is about a deadly virus instead of uranium, with the core story, many of the scenes, and some of the dialogue from Notorious being used.
- Freddy Blohm's song "Rio Blues" tells the story, grimly, from Sebastian's point of view.
- An operatic adaption, by Hans Gefors, premiered in Gothenburg in September, 2015, starring Nina Stemme as Alicia Huberman.
Tribute to Hitchcock
On March 7, 1979, the American Film Institute honored Hitchcock with its Life Achievement Award. At the tribute dinner, Ingrid Bergman presented him with the prop key to the wine cellar that was the single most notable prop in Notorious. After filming had ended, Cary Grant had kept the key. A few years later he gave it to Bergman, saying that it had given him luck and hoped it would do the same for her. When presenting the key to Hitchcock, to his surprise and delight, she expressed the hope that it would be lucky for him as well.