A superbly scripted and daring politcal thriller, elevated by the fluidity of Hitchcock’s direction and his demonstrative devices of suspense. His famous ticking clock, for example, has been widdled into a paint-by-numbers for any filmmaker shooting for thrills. Claude Rains steals many a scene here, toning down his villainy with a hilarious juvenile jealousy funneled into a smirking rage. The stoic yet sensitive Cary Grant pairs with a cunning and spirited Ingrid Bergman to ignite the screen with passion stifled by duty. Their love game boils over into their espionage, thickening the plot and intensifying their romantic tug-of-war. But unlike many films of its era, the romance is not embellished. Notorious is quite firmly a suspense film, the best of its class, fitting together like a puzzle.