Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Girl Who Could Fly: "Notorious" or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love a Strictly On-Screen Couple

This is the first post in the "Girl Who Could Fly" series. Happy birthday, Ingie, and rest in peace! 

The audiences loved them. Alfred Hitchcock loved them. I love them. And they loved each other.
There's no way not to love Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. 

With them both occupying second place in my favorite actors and actresses list, they were two of the first Hollywood actors I've ever fallen in love with. I first saw them separately: Ingie on Casablanca, Cary on Bringing Up Baby. I was lucky to first find out about them in such fabulous pictures, because it instantly gave me a good impression on them. It was those two pictures that motivated me to look more into them and the more I saw them on my screen, the more fascinated I was with everything about them. 
It was in a Hitchcock festival that I found out about Notorious. My favorite director with two of my favorite stars together in a thrilling picture about the spy game? Could it be too good to be true?
No, it was even better. 
Ingrid Bergman plays with all her brilliance the beautiful Alicia Hubermann, daughter of a German traitor but who had very patriotic feelings about America. When she is approached by the irresistible Devlin, played by Cary Grant, she is lured into a secret spy mission in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (!), where they must uncover an enormous operation against the United States. As they share this lofty quest, a spark of love grows between the two. To say that this is cinema gold would be an understatement.
This movie has a rather romantic scene that consists in many consecutive kisses, each one lasting no more than three seconds, in which Cary and Ingrid's characters talk, hug and even speak on the phone. It's one of the most romantic, and at the same time one of the most erotic scenes in movie history.
What was different about Cary and Ingie was that I was able to be touched, excited, thrilled and amazed by a couple on the silver screen knowing that there was absolutely nothing going on between them in real life. 
My favorite on-screen couples (Tracy and Hepburn, Bogart and Bacall, Arnaz and Ball, the list goes on) all had relationships in real life and drew chemistry from them in order to perform better. There is nothing more captivating than a look from Lauren Bacall to Humphrey Bogart on one of their love scenes and you can see it in their eyes that there is something real going on. Whenever I watch a romantic picture, I always fish for those looks and smiles because I love to be touched by an off-screen relationship on an on-screen couple.
However, with Ingrid and Cary, it was still there. That spark, that reality, that different glow in their eyes was still there, even though there was no off-screen relationship to back them up. I saw them on the screen and I fell in love with their chemistry, the way they acted together as if nothing else in the world mattered.

Of course my hopeless romantic mind scavenged the internet for so much as a hint of a real-life relationship. None. They were both married to other people at the time and were simply good friends. It was their acting, their pure talent that gave them that unmatched affinity on the silver screen. I learned to sink myself on their on-screen persona, forgetting about the fact that there was no real relationship backing it up.

Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman are movie magic. If you haven't seen "Notorious", kindly stop what you are doing and go delight yourself like you never have before.

So long,


  1. Oh my God, I've spent a ridiculous amount of time creeping on your blog today. Having run out of posts to read, I was delighted to see a new one. Thank you so much!

    As for Notorious... I'm the weirdest person ever. Because I started watching this film, yet I didn't feel its magic, you know? Everybody would swoon over it, and I just... didn't get it. I don't know. I feel so bad about it, you've no idea. Maybe I'll try one more time. I must. I need to experience things you've written about.

    Hugs, Evy.

    1. Hey, Evy! Thanks so much for this gorgeous comment! And, as for Notorious, I encourage you to try again, but if you don't like it, you don't have to feel bad about it, it just didn't tickle your fancy ;) Ingie, Cary and Hitch wouldn't want you to feel bad on their account!
      Much love!

  2. They're so perfect together, even in comedy, like they did in Indiscreet. On-screen couples that also share their off-screen lives are always lovely to watch, like Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.
    Great post! Can I give you a tip? Why don't you submit this post to Ingrid Bergman's day in SUTS blogathon? It's happeningat Sittin' on a Backyard Fence and ScribeHard on Film.

    1. Thanks so much dear! I love Indiscreet, my favorite scene is the one where Ingie runs away yelling DAMN!!! Ahahahaha
      I'm planning on submitting the next one for that Blogathon, it'll be up soon :D Thanks for the tip! Will you be submitting yourself? :)
      Muitos beijos!!

  3. I loved this, of course! I know EXACTLY what you mean. Lucy and Desi, are of course, my best and my favorite pairing, and when I watch them preform together the chemistry is incredible and you would think they had something going on off stage even if you didn't know. And like you said, it's JUST the same for Ingie and Cary. Their chemistry is just papable. It actually really disappoints me that they didn't have some kind of a love affair or something ;) because they're gorgeous together! This is just one pairing I truly wished had really gotten married, lol. They were great friends though. He picked up her Oscar for her in 1956, when she was in Italy. Though, you ought to know, Ingie wasn't happily married at the time - her then husband and her didn't have much left in their relationship, and he was staying with her for her salary/the sake of their daughter, and at the time Notorious was being made she was having an affair with the wartime photographer Robert Capa. You know a lot of those famous backstage pictures from the movie? They were taken by Capa, when she brought him back to Hollywood. It didn't last though. It's sad, really, Ingie wasn't happy in her marriage and hadn't been for a while (she married young - when she was back in Sweden) and she actually dabbled in a couple of other affairs until the Rossellini scandal in 1950.

    Anyways, though THIS POST WAS PERFECT.

    1. Thank you very much, Ri! Actually, I knew that about Capa, I don't know why I used the word 'happily', it ends up being involuntary at times... Thanks for getting my attention to it! :)
      Ingie and Cary are an absolutely perfect pairing. It's not only that they were perfect actors by themselves, but they seemed to complete each other perfectly! If they never had an affair, I'm sure there was a very, very strong bond uniting them anyways. I know what you mean: I'm frustrated myself!

  4. I love Notorious, it's brilliant. I love Cary and Ingrid!