Notorious Literary Elements


Alfred Hitchcock

Leading Actors/Actresses

Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman

Supporting Actors/Actresses

Claude Rains, Louis Calhern, Leopoldine Konstantin


Spy/Thriller/Film Noir




Nominated: Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (Claude Raines), Best Original Screenplay (Ben Hecht), submitted for competition in the 1946 Cannes Film Festival

Date of Release

August 15, 1946


Alfred Hitchcock

Setting and Context

1946, Miami and then Rio

Narrator and Point of View

There is no narrator and point of view switches around quite a bit, but we often see things from Alicia's perspective

Tone and Mood

Suspenseful, thrilling, romantic, sometimes comic, dramatic

Protagonist and Antagonist

Protagonist: Alicia Huberman (and TR Devlin); Antagonist: Alexander Sebastian (and Madame Sebastian)

Major Conflict

The major conflict is the task of infiltrating the home of Alexander Sebastian to discover more about what the Nazis are plotting. Another conflict is the inability for TR Devlin to outwardly express his feelings for Alicia. Yet another conflict is Sebastian's realization that Alicia is a spy and his plot to poison her over time.


The climax occurs when Alicia realizes she has been poisoned and tries to leave, and simultaneously Devlin comes to rescue her.


In some ways, Alicia's heavy drinking and the visual cues of various drinks throughout the beginning foreshadow the fact that she will be poisoned, but this is not explicit.


Devlin: Farben has men in South America, planted there before the war. They're cooperating with the Brazilian government to smoke them out. My chief thinks that the daughter of a, uh...

Alicia: A traitor?

Devlin: Well, he thinks you might be valuable in the work. They might sell their trust to you. And you could make up a little for your daddy's peculiarities.

Innovations in Filming or Lighting or Camera Techniques

The unusual camera angles (Alicia with a hangover looking at Devlin, the zoom in on the key in Alicia's hand, the shots in Alicia's perspective)


Peter Rabbit, Mata Hari


Neither Alicia nor Devlin want to declare their love for one another even though they love each other, which leads them into a sticky situation.