Don't Encourage Us

Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious (1946)

Episode Summary

Journey into suspense with our hosts as they delve into the shadowy corners of Alfred Hitchcock's espionage thriller "Notorious." With their characteristic blend of wit and deep analysis, they unpack the film's complex interplay of romance and deceit, set against the backdrop of post-World War II tensions. Through their lively discussion, the duo brings to light the film's nuanced portrayal of loyalty and betrayal, highlighting the exceptional performances that bring its conflicted characters to life. They share insights into the film's groundbreaking cinematography and suspenseful storytelling, hallmark traits of Hitchcock's directorial genius. Alongside their film critique, the episode meanders through a rich tapestry of topics, from intriguing Netflix series to the personal ventures of the hosts, painting a picture of their diverse interests and engaging personalities. Whether you're a Hitchcock aficionado or simply in search of an entertaining and informative podcast episode, this episode promises an engaging deep dive into "Notorious" and its lasting impact on the thriller genre.

Episode Notes

Journey into suspense with our hosts as they delve into the shadowy corners of Alfred Hitchcock's espionage thriller "Notorious." (watch it free on YouTube here). With their characteristic blend of wit and deep analysis, they unpack the film's complex interplay of romance and deceit, set against the backdrop of post-World War II tensions. Through their lively discussion, the duo brings to light the film's nuanced portrayal of loyalty and betrayal, highlighting the exceptional performances that bring its conflicted characters to life. They share insights into the film's groundbreaking cinematography and suspenseful storytelling, hallmark traits of Hitchcock's directorial genius. Alongside their film critique, the episode meanders through a rich tapestry of topics, from intriguing Netflix series to the personal ventures of the hosts, painting a picture of their diverse interests and engaging personalities. Whether you're a Hitchcock aficionado or simply in search of an entertaining and informative podcast episode, this episode promises an engaging deep dive into "Notorious" and its lasting impact on the thriller genre.

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Watch Notorious for free on YouTube

Episode Transcription

Speaker 1: This is necking. They kiss for like one 1000, two 1000, and then they start rubbing their cheeks and their chins together and like, you know, their, their necks. And then they go back to kissing and it's like one 1000, two 1000. And then he just smears his face across the side of hers and she buries her Forehead and his shoulder and then back to kissing one 1002, 1000.

It is a complete mess, but I guess back then it was like salacious and

Speaker 2: hot. It was such an odd scene and how they walk back from the, uh, balcony back into their room. The whole thing was so awkward and stilted. And I hadn't read about that three-second rule, and I'm watching this and I'm like, this is so odd.

It's so odd happening.

Speaker 1: Welcome to Don't Encourages the show where we talk about the big ideas behind fiction projects of all different guys, books, movies, TV shows, video games, nothing. I'm your host, rusty Shackleford, and I'm here with my co-host, president Camacho. How you doing today, Mr. President? Good as ever.

Today we're discussing the Alfred Hitchcock Classic Spy Romance Notorious. But first, what's been on your list this week? Oh,

Speaker 2: um, I started watching Archive 81. Have you heard of about that? No. Tell me more. It's a series on Netflix that was actually based on a podcast, and you can, that does sound familiar.

You can find it on, on uh, Spotify. They did a great job with this one. It's about a guy, like a young guy that gets approached by this mysterious person who owns a company. And he, Mm-Hmm. And he wants this, this young guy to isolate himself in this facility where this archival footage lives. And it's the archival footage of a woman who was doing a documentary in 19 ninety-four about a building called The Visser.

And there was a fire in that building. And a lot of those tapes were really mangled and burned up in the fire. So he's hired in order to figure out what's going on, what's on those tapes, and then this mystery ensues around it. I don't want to give too much away, but it's really, really well done. The acting's great.

That sense of dread and the cliffhangers at the end of every episode are really intriguing. It's kinda like a slow burn. I'd say. It's similar to something like the Twilight Zone where you're not really ever sure what's going on. Exactly. And the reveals are really, really significant. Some really nice twists.

It never gets boring. It's a, it's a really good series. Highly, highly recommend watching it. I have no idea how it's gonna turn out. And usually in these types of series, you kind of feel like they're kind of telegraphing the ending. But in this, I have no clue. Which is a great thing in the, yeah, like I said, the acting is phenomenal.

So there's two timelines. One in 1994 and one in present-day. So you don't know who the guy is who, who hired this, this guy. And he says, I'll pay you a hundred thousand dollars to do this. He's done like a full background check on the young guy, but the young guy doesn't have any, have any knowledge of what the older guy does.

His company is completely secretive.

Speaker 1: Oh, wow. And they're not the same guy?

Speaker 2: They're not the same guy. No, definitely not. Okay.

Speaker 1: He's not paying his past self.

Speaker 2: No, no. I mean, I've been going back and forth with, you know, what's going on exactly. And I, I haven't been able to figure it out. You know, but it's got some really, really interesting moments of kind of, not that your typical jump scare, but thing, but a lot more subtle than that.

I'm trying to think if there's another movie that you could really compare it to. It's actually produced by James Wan who did Oh, okay. The, the Conjuring saw Aquaman an Aquaman. I think he did Annabelle too, as part of that Conjuring universe. 'cause there's a character in this called Annabelle. Oh. But I think you'd really like it.

I highly recommend it. Archive

Speaker 1: eighty-one. Yep. So how much money does Netflix pay you to do these promotions? Do I get my cut?

Speaker 2: We'll talk about that offline.

Speaker 1: Speaking of money, this is a really busy time of year for online retailers. So I was wondering how are things with the candle business, is this a busy time of year for you?

Speaker 2: It's, yeah. It's always a busy time of year going through and really trying to promote it. With every online retailer, there's always the issue of how do you do your branding and your marketing when you have not enough resources to really handle, let's say, paid advertising versus organic, like creating content Mm-Hmm.

Versus getting professional pictures done of your, your products. But this year we've really been concentrating on, in-person sales, so a lot of pop-ups to try to get that feedback from customers. Because we're really in early stages. Mm-Hmm. With the business, but it's been

Speaker 1: pretty exciting. That's great.

Yeah. Uh, from what I can tell from social media, because I follow your list, stoic Instagram and uh, Socials. You're also on Tik-Tok. You're trying to, uh, so you've been doing Pop-UPS in New York all around, right? Yep. Like West Elm. Is that Yep. At was, yeah. That's how, how's that been like meeting customers, like hanging out in the West Elm is, has that been fun?

Yeah, it's been really

Speaker 2: fun. You getting to meet a lot of different people, getting to meet the staff. They've all been really nice and it's great 'cause you get a lot of, you know, you get a lot of, um, customers from all over the world, especially in the Brooklyn location 'cause there's so many tourists there.

So you get a lot of different types of feedback from different, different people. And you get to kind of see like what. What do they really like and what do they not like? Which is great. So you can really modify the product as needed, you know, depending on what the feedbacks like. 'cause always, you know, like with everything, you have an idea of what people will like, but when what people actually like is often very different than your own taste.

So that's been really interesting.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Yeah. I've noticed that with the show, right? We don't have a live studio audience, uh, anymore. We, uh, can that feature, um, so we don't get the, uh, immediate feedback, right? Like, we can look at some of the metrics online, but it's really hard to tell what people responded to.

Like, do they like this segment? Do they like that segment? Which of us do they think is the better host? Right? It's hard to tell. There's always that controversy. I mean, we think we know, but right. It's always up for debate. So any interesting trends that you've seen in actually interacting with your customer base, your fans?

Like anything's stood out to you that's shaped your business? Yeah, I

Speaker 2: think one of the big things is that you really have to go with the person's first reaction for what they like and not convince them that you have other products to sell. 'cause you often will ruin the sale. So if they say, yeah, you salary, exactly, I like this.

And then if you're like, oh, but what about this and this other one and this other thing and this, they get overwhelmed. So they get analysis paralysis when if you just stay quiet and wait, you're way more likely for them to buy something or multiple things from you. But I've seen it happen, especially in the beginning of doing this since you know it's a learned skill.

Like anything else, this whole, like in-person selling, since I don't have a retail background, for me, everything's online. It's very, very different. Mm-Hmm. And you, you can't really apply the same techniques you're using online. 'cause when you're advertising online, it's so targeted. But this, you're getting such a swath of people and you'll notice things like before lunch.

You don't do very well in terms of sales. People are hungry and are looking forward to lunch. And then after that's when things start really picking up, they start lingering around the store longer, they start picking things up. They're a lot more casual and in a lot more positive mood. And I think there's studies that kind of back that in terms of people's decision-making before and after they eat.

I heard something about a study that they did with actually convictions in court. You're way more likely to con, get convicted in or um, have a negative Yeah. Like a negative result from a judge if he hasn't eaten. Yeah, after he's gone, you always want to, you know, be in the courtroom after lunch, not before it.

Speaker 1: So you wanna drag it out? Yeah. Yeah. You gotta watch, drag it lunch,

Speaker 2: talk very, very slowly. You have like a, a 10 minute point to make. Just make it a half an hour. Get to noon. Noon. 1230, got a break for lunch. You might get a Li Life sentence, or you might get the stand. Let go

Speaker 1: over a Big Mac. That's right.

Release on bail. Just all because of the right. Yeah. Um, all right. You heard it here first. Useful life

Speaker 2: tips. This could save your life someday. No, but yeah, I think it's, it's been very interesting and it's great to, like I said, to get that in-person feedback is really invaluable. 'cause you'll hear things that you would never hear online, like, you know, changes to the product, right?

Or maybe there's a product that you think is gonna be a best seller, but, you know, it just really doesn't resonate.

Speaker 1: So you guys have broadened your offerings. You made a big move from just candles to candles and sun sprays. Yeah. Is that Yeah. Room, room

Speaker 2: sprays And also read diffusers. Mm-Hmm. So we're trying to just make it a home fragrance brand instead of just having candles.

And that's been great. People really love diffusers and they really love room sprays. And that's another big lesson. You know, we've noticed that there'll be people who will say, oh, I never like burning candles. That's not my thing, but oh, a room spray, that would be great for me. Or a diffuser that I could just set up somewhere and not worry about.

That's been, that's, that's great. Yeah. So you need to have those options when at first we were just gonna focus on the candle piece. But you realize you're losing a lot of sales if you just do that. Right. Well, it

Speaker 1: also distinguishes your brand a little bit too. When you're in person and you're dealing with customers and you've got your products in front of you.

Is there a difference between selling the candles and the diffuser and the sprays and the other things like do people gravitate towards one or the other? Is it easier to kind of demonstrate one or the other? Or is it like people come up and they seem to have one type of product in mind and you're just picking from that?

Yeah. What's the experience?

Speaker 2: That's a good question. If they, let's say, grab a candle and they're like, oh, I love this candle. It's often a really good idea to use the spray as the sample of the scent. So then you get them thinking in two different ways. Ah. So you get them thinking about the candle. Oh, that's nice.

But the scent is a lot stronger and it's a lot more visual, like a demonstration. And they really gravitate towards that. Yeah. And then they have like a tester that they can walk around the store with and oftentimes they'll come back. Because they've been smelling it the entire time. So they have that constant reminder.

Oh, interesting. So that's been interesting. What

Speaker 1: a great idea to let them take it with them a little bit and like exist with the scents. The other thing

Speaker 2: is if they handle the product, so there'll be some people that'll walk up and just lean over and smell it. They don't want to touch it, but you're much more likely to sell if they're actually handling the product.

Speaker 1: I wonder what the thinking is there. Like I don't wanna commit, if I touch it, I feel like I've committed somehow. Is that what that is? Well

Speaker 2: actually they do this in Apple stores, you know, have you ever been to an Apple store and you notice all the sirens in an Apple store and you notice all the um, the laptops are kind of folded inward, like you can't really see them.

I don't know if you've ever noticed this. Ah, they do this on, they do never do this on purpose. So that when you walk up to it, you have to hold it and push the screen up. Oh,

Speaker 1: so interesting. Okay. So that that added engagement psychologically invests people in like thinking more about it and like ownership, I guess, or evaluating it differently.

Yeah, it's like the IKEA

Speaker 2: effect. Yeah. Like I'm using it like when you build the furniture, you have the sense of ownership. This is another kind of offshoot of that, that the angle, those monitors down on the laptops. So you can't really see it. You know it's there, but you have to kind of push it up and then it gets you engaging with it.

Speaker 1: Yeah. So when customers come up and they don't pick up something and you just toss 'em a candle, literally just

Speaker 2: give it to them best immediately. And you always start with the best seller. Like for us it's Verdant growth, it's called. 'cause it's a very fresh scent. It's very gender neutral. Mm-Hmm. And it reminds you of like a spa or a boutique hotel kind of smell.

So it's very universal. So if there's a couple there, yeah, that sounds nice. You'll notice that the guy's standing kind of in the background. And what'll always happen is that his wife or girlfriend will smell it and then she'll pass it over to the boy. Oh, you'd like this. So then you get two people kind of involved in the sale and he's kind of hooked in.

So if you give them more floral scent, typically one or the other is gonna like it. So the one that says no is gonna influence the other one in terms of the purchase decision. Ah, uh, yeah. So these were all these little things that we're, we're learning over time that we didn't know at first. At first, we were just kind of pushing everything, smell this, try this, look at this, we have this, and it does just doesn't work.

It's better to just be more passive, I guess, in the way that you're selling, kind of asking questions more like, you know, what kind of sense do you like? Where will you be using this? Oh, the diffuser is better for the bathroom as opposed to a candle or a room spray. It's just like in any time type of type of thing that you can use whenever.

Like how, how would you be using it? So if they're more passive. You always lean them towards a diffuser. But if they're more active and they're like, don't mind using a product more, you push them more toward a room spray. Mm-Hmm. Or a candle, which is much more active. There's a lot to learn. And

Speaker 1: you're just beginning.

It's just starting. Yeah, I was gonna say, it's just scratching the surface. Wow. Great. I can't wait to hear more. So if you're listening to this and you're interested in checking out any of the stuff he's talking about, we'll put some links to show notes. Uh, any particular, uh, place you'd like to direct people if they wanna learn more other than

Speaker 2: just your website?

Uh, our Instagram, it's pretty active. So it's just, just atlastoic. That's where he put up a lot of, um, any new sense that come out or anywhere we're gonna be in New York is gonna be there.

Speaker 1: Great. Come meet the, uh, celebrity co-host in person.

Speaker 2: Come by and say hello if you recognize me.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Yeah. They'll have to guess which one of you

Speaker 2: is the podcast.

It won't be that tough, I think.

Speaker 1: Alright, so this week we are talking about Notorious, the 1946 Alfred Hitchcock film. Did you get a chance to watch this one? No, I didn't know.

Speaker 2: Of course I did.

Speaker 1: Well, it's, it's free on YouTube, so if you're listening to this episode and you have not seen notorious. You've had, what, 80 years or whatever to do it.

I don't know what your problem is, but if you haven't had time, uh, it is free on YouTube. So you can just Google Notorious 1946 or Alfred Hitchcock and watch this movie. That's what I did. Where did you watch it? I watched

Speaker 2: YouTube. It's also ad free, which I was very

Speaker 1: surprised about. Yes. Ad-Free. That was shocking.

I, I assumed it was on UII found it on YouTube and went, yeah, but I don't want to deal with ads. So I looked elsewhere. It was not anywhere else that I could find, not conveniently, and then, uh, no ads. Just played it straight through. It was perfect and it was decent quality looked good. I was very happy with that.

I'll try to remember to put that link in the show notes as well. So this one Stars Cary Grant. He's, I'm a fan, apparently he was kind of a jerk, but I, I like him a lot in his roles. Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains play the major roles in this film. It currently sits at a hundred percent on Metacritic.

Speaker 2: That's really interesting. I wonder if it's just. I know it's a classic now, and I know there was some, it got very mixed reviews when it came out. Do you know that?

Speaker 1: Yeah. That's, that's interesting. And before we get into that, what do you think the plot

Speaker 2: was? The plot, um, is about a woman whose father was a Nazi spy and he gets convicted and then she's approached by the Carrie grant character who's a, like a federal agent who wants to something a, I don't think they ever say, ever say no.

And he wants her to infiltrate this ring of Nazi spies in Brazil. And it's really about the infiltration of that spying. But I would argue that it's more about their romance than the actual infiltration of the spy ring. And it's really how their romance develops and how she gets more and more in, into this Into, the spy ring by way of a guy named Sebastian.

Who's, who's part of this plot? Mm-Hmm. Yeah. Claude Rains. Yeah. And his mother has a very, very big role in, uh, in what unfolds at the end. But I don't wanna give any of that away. What would he say? We

Speaker 1: are gonna give all that away. Um, yeah. So I originally picked this film because I was looking for a spy movie, right?

I know you like spy movies. You often indulge my choices in other things. So I thought, all right, I'll Google like, what are the top spy movies of all time? And this one came up on multiple lists, right? Like relatively legitimate web pages, as if that's not an oxymoron. Uh, and I thought, all right, great.

This must be a, you know, really a lot of intrigue and some really good spy moments. And Alfred, Hitchcock's amazing. So I figured there'd be a lot of suspense and tension and things like that. But this, in my opinion, is a romance, right? The, um, the Spying piece of it is really just an obstacle for their love.

So this is a very melodramatic romantic film. Uh, overall, what was your opinion, just broadly? Would you recommend this movie? Did you like it? I,

Speaker 2: I liked it. I felt like it wasn't Alfred Hitchcock's strongest film, but I think mm-hmm. You really have to look at it through the lens of its time in order to really enjoy it.

'cause we've seen so many film wars and spy films since that time. But when you realize like, that genre wasn't really, wasn't really a thing when it came out. I think, I think as a film, it's, it's an enjoyable film. I think in, if you're looking for something with a very complex plot or anything, it doesn't really have any of that.

You, and really to enjoy it, you really have to enjoy the two, the two leads, you know? 'cause if you're kind of, yeah, looking at the plot alone,

Speaker 1: a lot of weight

Speaker 2: on their shoulders, if you're looking at as a plot based. Spy movie. It's very, very simplistic. There's not really that much going on. But yeah, I would recommend seeing it if you want to see, you know, um, just kind of a, a freeze frame into that, into that time period.

And some of like the, the social mores too, of how people interacted. And also did you know that for the, uh, kissing scenes, they could only kiss for less than three seconds because of sensors?

Speaker 1: Yeah, I was gonna ask you about that. So that there, okay. So for those of you who don't know, uh, back then, this was before the current MPAA rating system, right?

So the, uh, motion picture production code was in effect, and that's, it was a, just an effort to self-regulate, right. To avoid a government crackdown for decency violations. They created this motion picture production code, also called the Hays code, I think, and had many rules about what you could and could not show on screen like what was deemed appropriate or inappropriate.

And one of the rules was kissing on screen should not exceed three seconds. And Alfred Hitchcock, I guess cleverly is the description, filmed the scene where Cary grant and, uh, Ingrid Bergman it. Have you ever heard the term necking? Yeah, I've heard it, yeah. This is necking. They kiss for like one 1000, two 1000, and then they start rubbing their cheeks and their chins together and like, you know, their, their necks.

And then they go back to kissing and it's like one 1000, two 1000. And then he just smears his face across the side of hers and she buries her Forehead and his shoulder and then back to kissing one 1002, 1000. It is a complete mess, but I guess back then it was like

Speaker 2: salacious and hot. It was such an odd scene and how they walk back from the, uh, balcony back into their room.

The whole thing was so awkward and stilted. And I hadn't read about that three-second rule. And I'm watching this and I'm like, this is so odd. It's so odd they're having these, I couldn't even watch. Look away. It's like cringy, you

Speaker 1: know? It's so embarrassing. Yeahs like, welcome to earth aliens, you know, try to mimic human behavior.

Now we will kiss.

Speaker 2: It was so strange. She starts talking about she's got a chicken in the icebox.

I was so funny and it was dialogue like, oh, you cook. Oh, I cook now, but I don't really know how to cook. And then like kiss, and then like there's a chicken in the icebox. Oh, but you don't cook. Oh, should we eat out? Like in between all of this is like a. A peck and they're dragging each other back into the room.

I was like, what is this scene? What are they talking about? It

Speaker 1: was so funny. It was ridiculous. Of course, now in a movie today, it would be like a seven-minute like sex scene. Yeah,

Speaker 2: it's like that. It would be like that again. That Netflix movie, different rooms that they did recently, like three of 'em, which is this like explicit, you know, sex movie that had like no plot and the acting was horrendous.

It was like, what was it called? Two weeks or something? It's got a number in the title. Uh, I dunno if you know what I'm talking about.

Speaker 1: I don't know. I I don't get a check every time I say Netflix on the podcast.

Speaker 2: Well, you should. I'll show you how to be in the Netflix affiliate when you're podcasting, which isn't a bad idea.

No. If you compare that movie. That I'm talking about to this movie. I mean, it's, it's so ridiculous how far things have changed, I guess, by

Speaker 1: Hollywood standards at the time, or audience standards at the time. If you went to a movie, like, I mean, I guess people saw this movie and they walked out like, oh, I'm gonna have to push the beds together night.


Speaker 2: were all fired. I mean, you could stop sleeping in the other room tonight,

Speaker 1: maybe just wear one room to bed, huh?

Speaker 2: Oh, and the outfits were so over-The-top in this, which I also love, like her outfits like, oh yeah,

Speaker 1: everybody fur out full fur Christmas, Sunday, like, yeah.

Speaker 2: And there's a part where she has like a, I guess you'd say like a little halter top on or something for the time.

Like you could see a little belly button. He covers it with a scarf, like he just has his scarf.

Speaker 1: Well, that was, so, that was part of her character. Right. So when we, we first meet her, she, she's living in Miami? Yeah. Miami, I guess. Mm-Hmm. Was that right? Miami? Right, right. So she's living in Miami. She's the daughter of a wealthy industrialist who, I guess he's originally from Germany and he's been secretly dealing with the Germans, undermining America.

The year is 1946, so it's after World War Two. We're in the, uh, post world War Two reconstruction period. And I guess Americans or the government is sort of hunting down the spies and the remnants of the Nazi army. So she is self pitting and self destructive. Like her, uh, father's just been convicted.

Nobody really blames her, I guess. But she's, I, I guess, lost her reputation or family has, she still has money, but she's an alcoholic. She's outta control. And I guess they didn't wanna say this, but the implication was she's kind of slutty. Yeah. Were they trying

Speaker 2: to kind of, I, I think so. I think that was like, kind of like the, um, what he was getting at every time he was kind of talked.

Oh, back to that again. Like he would say little comments to her, you know, not just about the drinking, but Yeah. Mm-Hmm. I think that's what they were getting at.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Yeah. The culture back then around a woman's sexuality like, was, was weird. It, it was sort of like. Alfred Hitchcock was holding her up as an exciting Sexy kind of bad girl a little bit.

Mm-Hmm. Like, you know, she's like, she's dramatic. She's living her life like she's vibrant, you know? But at the same time, because of the culture at the time, he kind of had to present it as like, but those things are sort of bad, at least as far as the majority of the characters are concerned. Yeah. But they very quickly kind of overlook it, you know?

Like it was hard to tell with Cary Grant whether he found her wild side Appealing or if he was sort of just putting up with it. Yeah. I think, did you get a sense of, felt like he, what the

Speaker 2: message was, I didn't really understand what the message was. 'cause he kept going back and forth, like, what did he want her to do?

Really? Yeah. Like she wants him. Right. It was not to get in with this spy ring. And he, he wants to go like right deep into it, but she doesn't, I guess he, he doesn't want her getting involved with this guy, but he has to in order to do that. So it was like exactly what he wanted. Yeah. And that car scene with her was very odd with him and her in the car.

Speaker 1: Yeah. The drunk driving. Oh my God, that is so

Speaker 2: bizarre. Weird. It was desire. She's totally drunk. He knows it. And he just lets her drive. Right. And then

Speaker 1: she's all over, over the road audience all over. This is early in the film, right? She's like, I'm, I feel like drunk driving. And he's like, okay, let's go. And she is like going a hundred miles an hour or something, swerving all over the road and the middle of the night and he's just sitting there.

Anyway, please continue.

Speaker 2: Yeah, it was just strange. And then she freaks out at him, but instead of like walking away or getting out of the car, he like grabs her arms and starts pushing her down in the seat and like, kind of like taking her by forest back to her house, you know, like a child. It was just such a strange thing.

What does he do at the end? Is he a choker out or something? Because she passes out. Okay. I was

Speaker 1: gonna ask you, did he punch her? Did he punch her? So there's a scene where she gets pulled over and the cop's like, well, you're drunk and obviously you're going to jail. And, uh, Carrie Grant hands his id, I guess that says I'm a CIA agent.

And the cop backs off is like, oh, have a nice night, uh, good luck or whatever. I was like, yeah, right. Like any cop would do that. They'd be like, yeah, nevertheless, you're, she's going to jail. Um, but anyway, the cop leaves and she gets feisty. She wants to keep driving. I. Carrie Grant sort of pulls her behind him so that the camera is to his back and she, we can't see her.

And then he like pops his arm and she goes limp. And he shoves her over into, and so, okay. She's so drunk that theoretically she could have passed out. He, maybe he just slapped her. I I, it looked to me like he punched her unconscious.

Speaker 2: Yeah. Yeah. 'cause she's suddenly unconscious from being completely conscious.

Two seconds. I think that's the implication, which I found very disturbing. He knocked her out, was really disturbing. Like, and so bizarre that that would

Speaker 1: happen. What do you think the audience reaction was at the time? Do you think they were like, oh my God, he just knocked her out. That is insane. Or were they like, well that's a shame, but it's for her own good.

You know, like what? I think the latter, unfortunately. Wow. Yeah, that's, uh, not how I would start a

Speaker 2: romance. Romance, but think about the sensors of the time. Right? They're worried about some kissing, but a scene like that is totally fine. There's no controversy over that, right? It's crazy. No, it's completely insane.

Speaker 1: He just knocked her unconscious, you know? No deal. That's what you do. And he's the hero

Speaker 2: of the, of the movie, right? This is a villain, right? Who's doing this? No, like in, instead of saying like, okay, I'll, he let, I'll take the cheese drive drunk. We're walking home. His, his way of doing things. It is just to knock her out.

Speaker 1: I, I, that blew my mind. I, I had a little, it took me a little time to recover. Yeah, yeah, me too.

Speaker 2: I was like, this is really crazy.

Speaker 1: So what about the, uh, age of the characters? Did you get a sense of how old the characters were supposed to be? I can

Speaker 2: never tell in these types of movies how old anyone's supposed to be.

It's hard. Because it seems so dated, right? Everyone just seems much, much older, but I know if you were to look them up, you'd be like, oh, Carrie Grant was 25 in this movie and she was 18 and Claude Rains is 32. You know, like I can't, I can't really tell. 'cause and they also cast people like the Claude Rains character and his mother looked the same age to me, like exactly the same age.

I didn't really, I didn't really know what was going on.

Speaker 1: Oh, well there was probably only like 16 years between them. Right. You know, in age, like with the characters. Yeah. So Carrie Grant turned 42 while filming this movie. And Ingrid Birdman was 30. Really?

Speaker 2: Wow. Yeah. Isn't

Speaker 1: that interesting? It's very interesting.

It really changes things. Because I, I thought her character was supposed to be like 22, right? Like 21, 22. Uh, just a bit outta control. And she's been, I don't know, uh, what's the word? Uh, you know, living life, right? Having fun with men, not yet settled down, that kind of thing. But actually the actress was 30.

I don't know, they never really gave us an indication of the age of the character. So I'm just gonna assume that audiences at the time could peg her at around 30, or they, she was famous enough that they knew that. So you have a leading man who's 42 and a leading woman who's 30, and it puts the entire story in kind of a different context.

Speaker 2: It does. Did you feel as if like that's how they wanted to set it up, as if I put it this way? If they wanted to just make her seem like an immature, naive. Woman, but at the same time also having this wild side. Do you think that was the dynamic there or were they just going for her having a wild side and not really thinking about that age gap?

Yeah, I don't

Speaker 1: know. So my initial, when I watched it before I knew how old everybody was, I sort of perceived her as a younger, more vulnerable woman who was being thrust rather unfairly into, uh, a very dangerous, very difficult situation. Uh, and she. Had feelings for Cary Grant, like maybe initially was drawn to his, um, he has like a strong sense of authority in this film.

Like he seems like somebody who knows what he's doing. Um, and so I, I felt like she needed guidance. You know, Unconsciously was seeking out that kind of guidance, you know, and had I guess some daddy issues or whatever. But she had lost her father and wanted stability. She wanted somebody to give her direction and Cary Grant gave her very, his character gave her very bad direction.

Mm-hmm. Uh, but she was doing her best as a young, somewhat naive woman to present a confident front and just, you know, but that wasn't supported by actual confidence. So anyway, now that I know her age, especially for the time, it seems more like they chose, uh, an adult, like a more sophisticated, developed woman who had chosen a path in life, you know, of not getting married or not having a family or, you know, any of those things.

And had sort of settled into being this type of person, right? And so they chose her for that reason, and she played that role, like she's manipulative and, um. You know, focused a little too much on risk and fun and danger and, you know, so she's a better choice than I would've originally have thought.

She's less vulnerable in this case and more responsible for herself. So that does change the dynamic in a way. It almost makes them a better fit. Mm-Hmm. Because they're more equal in this way. Yeah. Right. It does. Does

Speaker 2: that make sense? It's hard to tell sometimes because I don't really know. In terms of, for that time, the 1940s, where was, were casting choices always done in this way, regardless of what the character's background was supposed to be?

Was it always the older leading man and the much younger leading lady, were they ever supposed to be in more equal footing, or was it always just implied?

Speaker 1: Right. Like, what's an appropriate age gap?

Speaker 2: Yeah. Yeah. It's a, it's an interesting question. Yeah. Easily solvable, but I'm, you know, I don't know how that works.

Like in Casablanca. Was there a huge age gap there between the two leads? Or any of the other Mm-Hmm. Big movies of that time. 'cause that would, that would be really interesting to know, like how, how directors and producers and writers thought of this. Or was it another decision altogether, just marketing wise, this is a marketable actress.

This is a marketable leading man, regardless of the script. If we put them both in here, then age, age isn't the factor. Yeah. Like

Speaker 1: then the way we're looking at it, we, yeah. We want Cary Grant. So we need an actress who's Mm-Hmm. Who's 30, you know? Exactly. At least 30. Right. Otherwise there's 40 years between 'em or whatever.

You know, it's just too much. And then they just, you know, maybe edited the script a little or altered it or just said, well, Cary Grant's playing and a character who's 30 something, 32, 33 and Ingrid Bergman's, uh, playing a character who's 22. Right. And everybody who watched it was just like, right. That's fine.

Yeah. It's, it's

Speaker 2: all made believe it's interesting question. 'cause it could be. It really is. There could be a lot of different factors for it that we're not even really aware of because of the way that, you know, So society looks at, at film in general. We're just looking at it. Through our lens, you know, modern

Speaker 1: filmmaking.

Well, it's interesting to think about and uh, I've often been really fascinated with the period immediately following World War Two. It's really in a unique period in human history where there was this unprecedented time of reconstruction and reshuffling power and alliances, right. United States kind of came into being a world power around that time.

It's very dynamic, right? People focus on the few years of World War Two, but the decade after that is a really interesting period to set a story, especially dramas or even action films. Like there were a lot of things that happened. It wasn't this like wars over and then everything just went back to normal.

That's just not how it works. So I've been wanting to set a project during that period for years. Uh, I have several ideas, mostly from movies, uh, that are set in that period, just as a backdrop, right. I'm not trying to make some broad story about reconstruction, but just the, you know, I, I think it, there's a lot of, uh, there were a lot of unusual events and circumstances that occurred before the world settled into its new normal.

In the Marvel cinematic universe, there's a character they could use. Uh, union Jack who. It was a little bit like, uh, captain America for Great Britain, uh, and he had like the big union jack, uh, flag on a symbol on his chest, and it's a pretty cool outfit. But I would love to do a story about a British action spy character who was supposedly carrying a little bit on the tradition of Captain America, but set during Reconstruction.

Because if you think about it, there were probably a lot of really interesting missions that a government agent from England could go on during the Reconstruction period. Right. Like there were still enemy forces around, there were leftover munitions weapons, there were companies and organizations trying to take advantage of the chaos.

Like so many things that were happening not just in Europe but in North Africa and all over the world. There were downed planes, there were attempts to re-establish governments and monitor for bad behavior. Like, anyway, I just think it's a really rich period that isn't visited, uh, by Hollywood or by, uh, creatives that often.

Yeah, I

Speaker 2: agree. I mean, there was so many things after the war that happened that are just not as mainstream, like how Nazis escaped. Mm-Hmm. From Germany. I would always wonder that. Yeah. But they basically had like their own kind of underground railroad where they were getting falsified papers and I guess the Vatican was also involved with this.

Governments, the Argentinian government was involved Peron. To get them all into Argentina, give them safe passage. Sure. So there's a lot of, there's a lot of stories there.

Speaker 1: I think so. I, I think there's a lot of international missions that a, an agent, a government agent could explore and go on and, and conduct in that time.

That would just be so interesting, right. Because so much was in the air. So much at the time was unknown. It was just a unique period. So it was kind of cool to see this film, for those of you who didn't see it, it starts in Miami, but after Devlin, that's Carrie. Grant's character recruits Alicia. That's Ingrid Bergman's character.

Uh, they go to, was it, uh, Brazil Rio, is that right? Brazil. Right. They go to Rio. Uh, because the Carrie Grant wants her, I guess Devlin wants Alicia to, um, Reconnect with a American businessman with German ties. Is that correct? No. Is he

Speaker 2: American? I don't know.

Speaker 1: So Claude Rains plays a, you know, sort of titan of industry who I guess has settled down there in Rio.

He's gotten involved with some former Nazis, current Nazis. I, I don't know what their status is. I would guess that they would always be Nazis. Right, right. Okay. So Nazis, right. And, uh, the secret of the plot is, I'm just gonna go ahead and tell you what their plan was. They had found a source of uranium in the mountains of Brazil, and they were sneaking that uranium in the form of like, uh, Pebbles or, or dust or whatever.

They were sneaking the ore out in wine bottles. Right. So they were going up to this small mountain town, they were bringing it down to Rio, and then I guess they were gonna ship it to, uh, I don't know, a lab or something. They didn't really say, but they were gonna use it to create Bombs and blow up America or something like that.

So Claude Rains is involved in this. He's not really driving. That plot, right? There are other Nazis that have more authority than him, but they're using his wealth. And Chateau, he has like this big mansion, right? And so they're in his huge wine collection and wine cellar. Uh, and they're using that as, um, this sinister, like part of that sinister plot.

And so Devlin wants Alicia to reconnect with, um, Claude Rains. Alexander Sebastian is his name. So Alicia reconnects with Alexander. He's obsessed with her. They've dated before. Then he brings her into his world, separate of course from the conspiracy, but into his home and he's dating her and so on. So, uh, that is where the rest of the film takes place.

Um, and actually interesting to me, I don't know if you noticed this, but there weren't very many sets. A lot of the scenes were limited to one location. Like they were fairly static. And I don't know if that's typical of the time, but there weren't a lot of like, we're gonna go here while we're talking and go here and go here.

It was just sort of like, they come, they sit down, they talk, and then scene's over and then you

Speaker 2: see, you know, I would think that would be due to, um, microphone technology. Ah, yeah. So when characters are moving in public spaces, you have to have really good Mm-Hmm. Microphones to pick up the sound and not pick up background sound.

So it'd just be a lot easier to be staged. Sets almost like a play. Sure. Where you can control everything. It feels like

Speaker 1: a play. Yeah. This, this movie really felt like a play to me and I, I, I think that's probably typical of the time for the reasons you're saying. Um, but it did really remind me how far movie technology has come and filming styles as a result, which we talked about in a previous

Speaker 2: episode.

And did you happen to read about. The most important shot in that film. Is that

Speaker 1: the one with the mother? Is that the shot they were talking about? Or, or no, it the one with the key. The key, yeah. That he

Speaker 2: used a crane shot from the second floor all the way down to the first floor level and zoom zoomed in on her hand with the key in it.

This was a revolutionary right thing for the time period. No one had ever done something like that, right? I guess, yeah. With Hitchcock, he was so great at like showing you exactly what it, what he wanted to show you and omitting everything else. So having the audience really focus in on these elements that he really was driving towards, like the key in general, you know, we take all that for granted as techniques of cinema now.

But then it was revolutionary, right? You know, the way he would zoom in on the key in her hand, connecting that to the zoomed-in key on the table, the realization by the character, oh wow, this is, it's because of that storyboarding that he did and how meticulously he planned all these movies. I think we discussed that in a previous episode.


Speaker 1: Yeah. So that is really interesting because when you watch this movie now, it's hard to appreciate some of why it's become a classic. Exactly right. Because for those of you who haven't seen it. Uh, once Alicia is now living with, uh, Alexander the wealthy German businessman, she's accepted a marriage proposal, so she's living with him now in this mansion.

Um, she figures out that there's something going on around the wine bottles and the wine cellar is locked. So much of the film, like key scenes revolve around her trying to get the key, trying to keep the fact that she has the key from, uh, Alexander and then returning the key and all that kind of stuff.

So the scene you're referring to is a big, if you imagine, um, the big entrance or foyer. Foyer, yes. Is it the sort? Yeah. Right. So it's a big foyer or whatever they call it. Uh, and it's a party. So there are a lot of people and Ingrid is standing there and she's nervously. Uh, sort of twirling or, or in her hands sort of, um, turning over the key to this cellar.

And Albert Hitchcock did a long shot, which starts very high up, you know, kind of almost overhead, but not directly looking at all the party people and stuff. And then it slowly zooms down all the way to her hand. And that's a very transformative, very, uh, unique concept in film. Similarly, there's a great scene where Alexander's mother, who also lives at the Mansion, is introduced to Alicia, right?

So this is the introduction of the, you know, Uber mater to, uh, our, our main character Alicia. And there's a really interesting shot. Where she almost like the, the mother like almost floats into screen from long distance and it's sort of awkward and creepy and she has a real intense presence. And I didn't feel like that was followed up for a while.

Like it was many more minutes into the film until I really got the sense that that mother character was gonna be as significant as she was. But her introduction, I felt like was a very specifically choreographed shot. Mm-Hmm. Did you pick up on that as well? I

Speaker 2: didn't pick up on it as much as I picked up on the key shot.

'cause, because that one interesting. I don't know, to me that that was really, um, that was really like very, very planned and focused in on this. One thing that was, was kind of, was. Quote-unquote, the key to the whole, the whole mystery. So it really caught my attention. Clever.

Speaker 1: Exactly. I see what you did there.

Speaker 2: Keep listening to the podcast. There's more where that came from.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Right. That that's why they re-Listen, you know, you listen three or four times. Hit that. Get those

Speaker 2: little comment. If you got another hour to spare, just listen again. Rewind.

Speaker 1: It doesn't really get good until the third re-listen. Uh, yeah.

So I wonder if that's a difference between us, because I've noticed, uh, as we do more of these episodes, you do tend to focus more on direction and I do tend to focus more on story. And so I think the introduction of the mother character was very significant. It was presented as very significant to the story.

And I was surprised that it took so long for that to pay off. Right. Uh, whereas obviously you were drawn to the most visually famous. Shot in the entire film, probably for that year. Right? It was, it was a big deal. Was big deal. Yeah. Um, so it's, you know, it's not surprising, I guess you would pick up on that and I'd pick up on the other one, but I'd be curious what other people picked up on.

Speaker 2: Yeah, I, I thought the other shot, I wonder how they did it was when she was drugged and she's trying to walk away from Sebastian, his mother. Oh yeah. And they kind of like, I guess maybe they inverted the, the film and added this like shaky effect to it in terms of like them being out of focus. It was just interesting.

I'm sure that was a big deal for the time too. 'cause I, I don't know how you do that. Yeah, it would pro that technique probably had to be invented for that, for that movie. Yeah.

Speaker 1: There were a couple other really interesting visual elements since we're on that topic. Introduction of Cary Grant. At the time, he was a huge star, but when we meet him in this film, he is a dark silhouette with his back to us.

So in the beginning of the film, she's, or relatively early, uh, Alicia is drunk. She's, uh, having a party. She's got friends over there drunk. Carrie Grant is sitting motionless with his back to us. You would not know it was Carrie Grant, right. If you didn't know he was in this and she's talking to him and he's not really speaking.

Mm-Hmm. Yeah. Right. We do. We hear him. I don't, I don't think we do. Right Don? And then she. Right. Then she gets drunk and like passes out and when she wakes up in the morning, she's like laying down. Then we see him in the doorway and isn't it like upside down or something

Speaker 2: like that? I think it's upside down.

He's like turning or something, right?

Speaker 1: Yeah. Yeah. It's very weird. It's so, I, I don't know if that was intentional to sort of play off Cary Grant's fame. Like instead of making the usual, here's our big celebrity. Right. They were trying to introduce him in a way that would kind of draw you in and feel more creative and interesting.

Um, or maybe it was meant as a way to represent the influence he was gonna have on her life. Like not necessarily positive and turn things upside down. Upside down, perhaps. Yeah. Yeah. In a way he was a threat. Yeah. So, I don't know. Any other visual elements

Speaker 2: stand out to you? Um, he was really famous for rear projection techniques, so when they're driving, like projecting the background on a screen as they're driving.

Mm. And I guess that was also very revolutionary. Mm-Hmm. Yeah. At the time, instead of having them out and about, yeah, driving and then having a, I guess a camera car in front of the car and them pretending like they're driving. But it was all like in a set. Again, very controlled, controlling the environment was his other, yeah.

Speaker 1: Big thing. Yeah. I found that to be a little distracting, but it wasn't terrible. It was just very obviously fake. It's, it's like when you do a Zoom call with someone and they've got some ridiculous background and you're like, yeah, that's very distract. You're not really in

Speaker 2: space. Wait a minute.

Speaker 1: Right? Like, I know your office isn't that clean.

Nice try. Right? Yeah. So, uh, I, I don't, yeah, I don't like that kind of thing, but it was okay. It only took me outta the scenes every now and

Speaker 2: then. Yeah. I'm trying to think if there's anything else about this film. That was really one thing I really like about these old films that's so different from new ones is that editing style.

Where things fade to black and a new scene starts, or they're just straight cuts. Mm-Hmm. Between scenes. Right. And you're not using really fancy editing techniques in order to go from place to place. Mm-Hmm. I really appreciate that. Right. Because it really does, isn't distracting. It's like, okay, here's a scene.

Now we're moving into a new scene. There's not some crazy jump cut or like transition, like a Ridley Scott movie or something. Or like a Man-on-fire with Denzel where there's like all different colors shooting all over the place and transitions and sound effects. Mm-Hmm. You know, it's, I think it really goes back to a really well-written story and really focusing in on, on the characters themselves.

Instead of using Trickery to kind of move the story along. They didn't really have access to that sort of, uh, to those techniques. Who knows if you would've use them, but I always really appreciate, especially if with his films, how they go from scene to scene and really move the story along. It wasn't boring.

This, this movie. I didn't find it boring. It was, that's a well-paced, even though it was dated compared to what we've Yeah, we've

Speaker 1: seen recently. Yeah. There's some older films of this period that are like super engrossing, you know, really exciting, fun to watch. Uh, and a Hitchcock has some great ones in there.

Um, but I think this one, it certainly flowed well. Like I didn't, uh, I didn't like tune out. No. You know, we've watched some other movies, uh, like the Indiana Jones movie that we were talking about a little while ago. Um, the most recent one, I thought it was fine and it moved along pretty well. But there were a couple times where I, I did have a little trouble maintaining attention, even though obviously they were using Explosions and a lot of these other techniques to like, uh, keep me engaged.

Um, but this film did not have that problem. I was definitely watching, I was, uh, invested in the characters. I was curious what was gonna happen. It's not that high-intensity, uh, machine gun stimulation that we're used to, but it's, it did a great job holding my attention, which says a lot for

Speaker 2: 1946.

Absolutely. And it's black and white where you typically lose your kind of attention. 'cause we're so, so bombarded now by color everything everywhere, you know? Mm-Hmm. So I think it says a lot for it. Mm-Hmm, for sure. Mm-Hmm. That it kept a really nice pace. And it le left a lot of questions open from scene to scene to be answered in the next scene.


Speaker 1: Which is really good story telling. Definitely a quality film. Uh, there was some interesting themes in this film, and I don't know that we need to go through it. It's not film class. Uh, I did notice though that this idea of the controlling mother, you know, like Claude Rains character had a very, um, uh, what's the word?

Domineering, I'm gonna say. I don't wanna say. Yeah. He had a domineering mother. Right. Like she had, she, she had too much control of him and had raised him to be weaker than he needed to be. Right. He wasn't as strong and independent as he was capable of. At least not the way Claude Rains played that character.

Um, and his mother undermined him. Right? And so this kind of domineering mother relationship in some ways, I think is a prelude to psycho. Mm-hmm. Right. I think Hitchcock's, uh, filmography, if I can say that word, uh, continues to explore this idea of a relationship with mothers and Psycho is maybe like the pinnacle of that, you know, the most extreme example.

But this was like an early, uh, lean in that direction thematically.

Speaker 2: What'd you think? Yeah. I think in his films, they just kind of build on each, on each other over time. I think the later films Mm-Hmm. Say like a Vertigo, you can see all of the techniques of the Mm-Hmm. Preceding films kind of put in place into that, which I think it makes him a even more of a genius filmmaker, you know?

Yeah. Yeah. It's like he's always, he's consistently learning, kind of like, um, modern day. You'd compare him to like a Christopher Nolan or something where he goes from his first film Mm-Hmm. The following. And you've got Memento. And then you've got inception, but he's using so many of those techniques that he learned in those original films in a much bigger budget way.

Speaker 1: Oh, that's an excellent example. Yeah, I was when you said that, I was trying to think who's a modern example of that, but Christopher Nolan's probably the best, if not one of the best examples of that. Yeah, definitely. So what did you think of the end of this movie? And before you answer that, just for the audience?

Uh, so as I said, Alicia has moved in with Alexander and his mother. She's been trying to figure out the Nazi plot. Devlin The Cary grant character has been checking in with her. Um, their romance is strained because of course, uh, Alicia is now, uh, engaged to and sleeping with Alexander. And, you know, they have a sort of a love affair going on.

Although it's largely faked. Cary Grant's kind of punishing Alicia for doing a good job. So that's, it's painful to watch a little bit. And Alicia is trying really hard to be a good spy. As a result, she gets caught and instead of deciding to, um, I guess kill her right away, the Nazi mother decides that they will slowly poison her and make it look like she just got ill and died.

So now Alicia is being poisoned. Cary Grant has distanced himself from her and she's in a lot of danger. Um, now that she's almost dying. She's been poisoned, I guess for a while. Cary Grants Devlin comes charging back, right? He, she doesn't show up for a meeting, so he gives her a few days and then drives out to the mansion and, uh, tries to rescue her.

How that goes down, I think is, is better executed than it would be in a modern film. And if you consider that the end, like Devlin's strategy for rescuing Alicia and that very tense walk down the stairs, that's something that if, if this interests you, go watch it. I'm not gonna spoil that. You know, maybe my co-host will.

I don't know if Netflix wants him to do that or not, but I'm not gonna spoil that. What I do want to talk about though is what you thought of the end and if it felt like an end to you. So any reactions

Speaker 2: to that? I think it did feel like an end overall. I don't wanna spoil it. 'cause now I under a lot of pressure not to say anything.

Speaker 1: I know. I mean, I think we're gonna have to. I think we're gonna have to spoil it, but maybe not describe it in such detail that it deprives people of an opportunity. Look, I'll say

Speaker 2: this, I, in a modern movie, I think the ending would've ended as a, just a Sabotage, like an explosion of some sort, someone dying, a shootout, something along those lines.

Right? Oh yeah, for sure. But the way that it ended, I think, was very classy and still leaves a lot to the imagination in terms of what's gonna happen to the characters at the end. Right. Which I think is very unique for Hollywood, especially when people want these concrete endings. So what happened to the bad guy?

Mm-Hmm? What happened to the couple and the way he ended it more? No, I wouldn't say completely open-ended, but just stopping before the actual like end of the story. Would typically be, I thought was very well done. I was actually surprised that I, yeah, I liked that and I could see where he was going, you know?

Speaker 1: Yeah. So I'm gonna spoil it now. So feel free to just jump ahead, uh, or skip this or, or be done with the, our episode and go watch the movie. Um, so you've been warned. Okay. So at the very end of the film, Devlin has gotten Alicia who's poisoned and dying into the car to drive away, and Alexander and the other Nazis are kind of left to their fate.

The other Nazis figure out that Alexander has, uh, gotten engaged with a spy, an American spy. So presumably they're gonna be upset about that, and they've already killed someone for screwing up before. So then the movie ends. So the implication is, and I think this is the, the more clear Implication that.

Alexander will be murdered by those Nazis. Another fairly clear implication is Devlin has gotten enough evidence, or I guess Alicia and Devlin have gotten enough evidence that the Americans can stop the Nazi plot, right? How they do that, we don't know. Like all we know is now the US government knows their plot to get this uranium and so on.

So presumably they stopped that. I'm okay with that so far. Here's my question for you. Do you think Alicia died?

Speaker 2: Hmm, that's a really good question. Um, if I were going to look at it in terms of that time period, I would say no because she's the leading lady of, of the movie and no one would wanna see that.

Right. And he rescued her. And he rescued her. Yeah. Yeah. So I think the implications that he rescued her. She just got to the point where she was like, sleepy. 'cause she had told him all that they're giving me sleeping medicine. So it was just a matter of her sleeping it off and not drinking that coffee anymore and she'd be okay.

That's what I got out of it. You okay?

Speaker 1: Yeah, so I thought she died. Really? And Hitchcock just didn't think it was a, like, he didn't think he could sell that ending at the time. That was the, the impression I got is that this was as close as he could get to the ending that he intended, which is Devlin was too late.

He was too harsh with her. He was too slow, too acknowledge his own feelings, uh, too, he, he just couldn't be vulnerable. He couldn't commit, and as a result she died. Interesting. And it's a commentary on being careless with your feelings, with other people's feelings with not Acknowledging how you feel.

Like I didn't feel really strongly, like, I didn't think that was definitive, but. Uh, my initial reaction at the end of the movie was, well, did she live or die? And then I thought about the movie and I was like, no, it's more appropriate. It's more fitting to the film. If, if she dies on the way to the hospital, I think your end, and then he has to live with that.

Speaker 2: I think your, um, Interpretation is better, but I guess the consensus at least online, is that she didn't

Speaker 1: Yeah, I mean, oh no, I disagree with the internet.

Speaker 2: No, but I, what I'm trying to say is that

Speaker 1: I think it's not like Brainiac. I mean, it's just a bunch of, you know what I'm saying?

Speaker 2: I'm not saying that they're right.

No offense to our lovely

Speaker 1: fans.

Speaker 2: I'm saying that they're right. I'm saying that that's what, that's what I guess the, uh, the general audience took from, from that ending, but your ending makes more sense. It's more interesting, but I think for that time period. I think it would be a, a situation where it's like, I don't even, there no way that she would die at the end and he ends up what alone somewhere in Spain, you know, brooding.

I think an audience wouldn't be able to handle it, you know?

Speaker 1: No, I agree. And I don't even think it's a debate because there's no definitive right or wrong. I think it's more of, usually when a, when a filmmaker leaves the ending, the certainly key important points, right? Like how, what happens to our main characters?

You know, when they leave that up in the air, it's very unsatisfying. In this case, I think it's interesting and it is very, very rare in my life to have a film that says, Hey, this is the important thing in the film. And then at the end it's not really definitive. And I walk away going, oh, that's interesting.

Like, I just, it's just not me. But for this one, I was like, Ooh, that there's different ways to look at this. And I like that. Have you

Speaker 2: watched, um, a lot of French cinema? No, because they're. Really famous for doing just that. The cut to black Mm-Hmm. Right before something really important supposed to happen, which I find very, very unsatisfying.

Like I could love the entire movie and then the ending, I remember Mm-Hmm. Watching a movie years ago, and it was something about you didn't really know if the main character was suicidal or not. I remember the ending of the movie was just her sitting on a window ledge, just looking out the window like she was just there.

Mm-Hmm. And it just cut to black. And there's so many other examples of that, but they seemed to really like to make movies that are like, you're the observer in reality and reality doesn't have this, you know, beginning, middle, and really closed loop ending, but yeah. Mm-Hmm. That, that's why it's so interesting that this movie ends the way it does.

Especially that it was a mainstream in ho Hollywood movie. And did you like that? I found it interesting, just like you did. It's interesting. Yeah. When I first saw it, and I hadn't really, really, really thought about it, I just saw it and I was like, okay, that's, that's an ending. I'm just, I was actually filling in the gaps in my head, but I was like, oh, I didn't really see that.

Right. Which I found very interesting. Yeah. Like I, I'm filling in the gaps right. Naturally, and that's a great sign. Mm-Hmm. For a movie, right? Mm-Hmm. That the audience members kind of filling in what should be happening after the point where the movie ends and not just feeling like they, you know, were completely tricked or duped by the

Speaker 1: filmmaker.

Right. I mean, the simplest explanation is showing her recovering in the hospital and them kissing for 2.95 seconds again, which you've seen so many times. Uh, and then moving. Right, and then moving somewhere else or whatever. It's, it's boring. It's anti-climactic, right? Like it's, it's not the height of the film and you don't really need it.

Um, and that's why he didn't show it, right? That's the simplest explanation. But maybe it's, maybe it's just because of the day and age, or maybe it's my personality, but it's your personality in my opinion. You can't thank you or lack thereof, right? I just don't believe that you can treat people that way and that you can handle your own emotions that way in a relationship without there being dire consequences.

So to me, a more tragic end is more fitting, um, but then I'm, you know, a bitter old man or whatever.

Speaker 2: In spite of

Speaker 1: that, we'll see happy young couples in their thirties and forties

Speaker 2: get off my lawn. Um. No,

Speaker 1: I stop necking. I

Speaker 2: said deviance. I see what you're saying. But you're right. I think the, the typical, but maybe for the time, it wouldn't be so typical to have the type of ending where he's at the hospital with her, with like, you know, the Right, the silly little one, one-liner. Like, kid, you're gonna get better.

Don't worry, you'll come see me in Spain. And she's like, oh, but only if you stay there or something, you know? And then it ends or something. That's what I would

Speaker 1: imagine it would've ended like that. Right. And he is like, your bags are already packed

Speaker 2: and then that's But you're going home. I'm going to Spain.

That's right.

Speaker 1: Start cooking dinner now. I'll be back

Speaker 2: a month. You still have that chicken in the ice box. You've

Speaker 1: got a month to learn to cook.

He's like perfect housewife. Oh, at the end.

Speaker 2: You're so silly. I can't wait to have children then it's like three months later. Yeah. She, she's in an

Speaker 1: apron. She's

Speaker 2: pregnant. Pregnant. He's smoking a cigarette in front of the tv, of course, or a

Speaker 1: pipe with the giant newspaper and not even acknowledging her.

Speaker 2: This is the real world baby.

Then it cuts. Gosh, so awful. That'll be your typical fifties ending. Right? Well, you know, actually I think your typical fifties movie ending,

Speaker 1: but that does bring up an interesting point, which is it would be a total violation of her character for the end of this film to be a non, like, she's no longer like a dramatic right person.

Right. She's now like just the perfect wife. Mm-Hmm. Or whatever. Like that would violate her character. Like the relationship these two characters would have going forward would be a mess. Right. For sure. It would be all over the place for, yeah. I mean, a big chunk of this film is them playing relationship chicken with each other.

And she ends up married to a Nazi. He's

Speaker 2: completely emotionally immature. She's emotionally immature. Right. They're not

2 Notorious Second Pass Steve with intro and music: like

Speaker 1: he's over controlled, she's outta control. There's no way the two of them are totally changed by this experience such that they live happily ever after. And it's not full of drama and, you know, complication.

But here's the

Speaker 2: question, was the audience of the time? Mm-Hmm. Supposed to think that he was just completely, fully, fully in control and the most, the mature one. And she was the one that was completely right. Appropriate. And she was completely outta control. And she needed inappropriate

Speaker 1: way. She needed some parenting and Yeah.

And, and a when in fact

Speaker 2: he was a mess. Yeah. And they might've.

Speaker 1: Right. Like right. He's a total mess. And she's slightly, she's as bad. I mean, they're both competent people and they have strengths, which makes them a good match in a lot of ways. Unlike, by the way, some of the other movies that we've watched that are supposed to have these romantic dynamics, like, was it Lost City?

Mm-Hmm. With Sandra. Bullock in that monkey. Right? So this is a great argument against that kind of film and that kind of dynamic, right? Like there, these are two Intelligent capable people and they're both flawed in ways that I guess explain why they fell in love so quickly, but certainly explain why they have so many problems once they get connected.

Mm-Hmm. None of that is fixed. So the happily ever after here is a worthy drunken drive. Exactly. On a road, you know, that's a metaphor for the rest of their relationship, which is fine, right? This, this is a movie. It's supposed to be dramatic and interesting. So any kind of post credit or post climactic scene that showed the two of them acting like healthy adults wait, would've been a total, did.

Did you see the post?

Speaker 2: A nice drive, go back and watch it.

Speaker 1: It had, uh, Tony Stark in it, right. Shows it was all the bloopers. Uh, yeah. So no, that would've been terrible. So I guess I, again, another reason why this film ends where it does, so she doesn't have to die, I guess, for it to fit the story. But there's a part of me that I don't know if I wanna say I want that, but that it does seem more fitting.

Speaker 2: Yeah. We'll have to see the part. Too notorious. Too

Speaker 1: notorious.

So how would you remake this film? What would you change? What would you keep if you were in charge of a, an update here?

Speaker 2: Good question. Um, I. I think if I was going to remake in a more modern way, there would have to be a lot more tension in that plot. 'cause the plot is so simplistic. This is like a shadowy organization.

Mm. We don't really know how they all got together. We don't know much about the Right. They're almost like NPCs in a way.

Speaker 1: The the other, yeah, their background for sure. It's just four idiots or whatever and a couple of 'em seem menacing for grand total of 25 seconds and,

Speaker 2: and that's it. Yeah. I would expand more on that 'cause I think that would be pretty interesting.

Okay. I think in terms of their back and forth in terms of their relationship, I probably cut down on all the weird hokey dialogue between them, you know? And yeah. And I think I would just put more tension into that uranium or. Plotline. 'cause I think that would really improve it. Yeah. In terms of the spy side of things.

But of course like their relationship. Right. You'd probably have to rewrite it completely for it to make any, yeah. Any sense. It's almost as if like she sees him instantly in love. He's instantly attracted to her.

Speaker 1: Yeah. That was weird. And she's, it's like, just 'cause they're both attractive people. They were like, I guess we're gonna fall on this.

Yeah. And then she's

Speaker 2: kind of, I don't know, her being drunk is kind of like a really strange device. I think It's kind of kind of a compound, you know, like that that's supposed to build so much of her character or lack of character that just seems

Speaker 1: kind of, yeah. So much of who she is is explained as her having an alcohol problem and I guess a sex problem sort of.

Yeah. So

Speaker 2: it's really, her character isn't really that well drawn. Yeah, and I think you'd need to really kind of, I dunno, there's a lot of work I think you'd have to do with this movie if you were going to redo it with a modern sensibility. It's almost like you'd have to start from scratch. Yeah. If you're, it wouldn't be the same movie you'd have.

Like, that's the problem. A skeleton,

Speaker 1: that's, that's the real problem, right? Like, in some ways the characters are, they have traits that are really pronounced and very immediately you get it. Like, you know, they, you meet the character, you're introduced to some of these traits that define them, and you get that, but they're not, uh, completely drawn as people, right?

Like there's a lot of mystery around Devlin and Alicia's history isn't really explored and Alexander isn't really explained beyond, you know, the fact that he's rich and successful and apparently lonely and is, he's a bit weak. You know, he is looking for a stronger woman. And, and that's it. Right. And I think that it kind of works on a, it certainly works on a, on a level, but in a modern film, I'm afraid that they would take the Alicia character and turn her into a cliche like him to empowered, which would ruin the dynamic and the danger that she's ultimately in wouldn't really make sense.

And Devlin's role as her almost like torture and her savior wouldn't make sense either if you empower the Alicia character too much. But I don't know that modern audiences would tolerate. Uh, a woman, a main female character being treated that way and portrayed that way. So, I don't know. I mean, I asked you how you would remake this film, but the correct answer is no one should remake a movie that's, you know, well received the first time.

Right. You should find movies. You should only remake movies that could have been good, but didn't quite get there. Right. So I think it's a bit of a trap to try to remake this movie, but it's also a really interesting challenge. Can you find elements that you can, that could still work now, and how do you present them without alienating the entire audience or big chunks of it?

Right. It's very, very

Speaker 2: delicate work. Yeah. And you have to change so much of it. That at the end. Is it even Oh yeah. A remake? Or is it just like, you know, when you take, let's say Homer's Odyssey and you turn it into an action film? 'cause there's elements of of the Odyssey that you really enjoy. It's not,

Speaker 1: yeah.

And it's set in an elementary school or whatever.

Speaker 2: Exactly. Yeah. I mean, I think this would be a big challenge. You need to leave well enough alone sometimes I think and say, okay, this is a movie that's of its time. And look at it that way as opposed to, yeah, going the remake route. I think the remake really only, I think it really only works well if you're in that general time period when the original was made.

Because so many things happen. So there's so many societal shifts that happened between 1940s America and 2023 America, you know, it's so monumentally different. In so many ways that Right. I think you'd need to just, you know, scrap it. If you like the element about the Uranium ore and the idea of there being a Nazi spy ring, you keep it, you keep the idea of someone getting recruited, which is almost like the Jason Bourne series.

Kind of combine those two. But you've got a totally different movie. It's not film nor anymore,

Speaker 1: right. Not so much. So it just needs a Jason Bourne character. Yeah, it'd be fine. Uh, yeah. Well, so I would say yes, I agree with that. And I would add that if we went through films released in that time period or around then and we found films that weren't as well received, I'll bet that we could remake some of those to great success these days.

Because they were in a way near misses, or they had good aspects, right? They had pieces of the skeleton that were good. And if people aren't really gonna be married to the story, or it isn't a intricate functional organism as it is, it's a lot easier to grab chunks and then add new pieces in.

Frankenstein a better film out of it. I think you can do that, but in this case, it's hard to imagine doing that because the pieces fit together in such a machined, perfection way. You know that if you pull out a, a, you know the wrong gear, then the whole thing just doesn't work. Exactly. So I agree with you, but I do think that you can take films from this period and you could remake them and make them better the, at least the ones that weren't, that didn't really work initially.

I think that's possible, right? In

Speaker 2: theory. Yeah. I'm just so unfamiliar with the films that didn't work. Because I'm only familiar with the classics. Mm. You know, and that's what everyone focuses on. Of course. Yeah. But obviously so many films were made during this period and maybe if you went and rewatched them now, they would be amazing.

Or there'll be a certain, you know, a certain chunk of

Speaker 1: them. Right. Or aspects of it. Right. Or you'd be like, oh, I really like what they did here and I think this dynamic is interesting and you know, this theme, you could really play up and it would really resonate with audiences today. So what if we take another look at this one and, you know, remake it, but make some major changes?

I do think that is is much easier. Yeah. And more likely to succeed. I know typically success is defined by box office and the name recognition of a film like this one that's been popular for so many decades with so many generations and the name Alfred Hitchcock and things like that will sell more tickets and also result in harsher judgments, but make more money Nevertheless, even if it's not a good film, simply on name recognition.

Right. But. You know, in terms of quality, producing a quality project, I would prefer to choose something that was, had really good ideas in it. There were good, like they're sort of buried nuggets, you know, it's a lot of dirt and worthless Minerals, but there's some gold in there that you could pull out and build a different structure around and it would be beautiful.

Right. So I think that's possible. Yeah. Maybe a movie

Speaker 2: that was ahead of its time that wasn't really understood by that audience, you know, that just kind of fell to the wayside. I'm sure there's plenty of those. Mm-Hmm. From that time period. 'cause they were turning movies out. Yeah. Constantly.

Speaker 1: There's gold and them there hills there.

Is the Hollywood Hills. Anything else about this movie before we put it back to rest? No, I think we're

Speaker 2: gonna put it back to rest. It's a great talk. Good. Any

Speaker 1: questions for the audience? Do you

Speaker 2: think a movie like this would work well? Could this be an audio series would be my question? Mm-Hmm. Because I think it could be, and I think it would work well, maybe even better than the movie.

Speaker 1: Hmm. The visual piece wouldn't be an obstacle. Right. You know, the, it's very easy to just sort of introduce those elements and describe them and people's imaginations can fill in the rest. It's like there, for those of you who haven't seen it, there are quite a few scenes that are shot sitting on a park bench with a, like city backdrop.

It's very much like a play that's not real hard really. Yeah. It is very much like a play. Yeah. Which would translate

Speaker 2: well, I think to an audio series.

Speaker 1: That's an, it's a really good point. Yeah. So I'd be curious if other people think that too. Uh, I'd, I'd like to hear people's thoughts on the ending. You know, I would imagine most people watched it and felt pretty confident that they knew what happened next.

I'd like to hear people's thoughts on what preceded what I talked about, like the, um, like Devlin's efforts to get Alicia out of the mansion and how that scene went down because we're, we're not explaining that, but it's very interesting. It's almost worth even just watching that scene alone if you understand who the characters are and their relationships to each other.

Then watching how Devlin gets Alicia out of the mansion and how the other characters get pulled into that. That's, that's real Hitchcock to me. Yeah. It was

Speaker 2: really well done. Really well done.

Speaker 1: It was, and I think Tarantino has tried or has succeeded in his own way of making similar scenes and they're more dramatic and longer and more modern.

But Hitchcock I think is, I don't know how say it's where it started, but he certainly is one of the first to do it the best. And this scene is really good. Uh, so I, I would recommend people go back and watch that. I'd like to know what you thought of it and then the very end what you thought of that too.

Uh, I think there are a lot of interpretations there. Very good. All right. So thank you to the people who made this project that we talked about today. Thank you to the listeners. Thanks for sticking around to the end. As always, stay away from those like and subscribe buttons. Unless you want us to keep doing this.

Uh, you can reach the show at, don't encourage us at You can flame us on YouTube. You can hit us up on Instagram or Twitter. Don't forget to check out the show notes for a link to the film, to information on Listoic's latest offerings and personal appearances by my famous co-host here next week with a.