Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB. USA, 1946. RKO Radio Pictures. Screenplay by Ben Hecht, based on the story The Song Of The Dragon by John Taintor Foote. Cinematography by Ted Tetzlaff. Produced by Alfred Hitchcock. Music by Roy Webb. Production Design by Carroll Clark, Albert S. D’Agostino. Costume Design by Edith Head. Film Editing by Theron Warth. Academy Awards 1946. Cannes Film Festival 1946.
Ingrid Bergman plays the daughter of a man indicted for treason who is roped into a spy job when her father’s crime is dangled in her face by a shady operative (Cary Grant). Her assignment is to infiltrate the home of one of her father’s old pals (Claude Rains) and find out what his plans are for the crime web he seems to have control of. As usual, master filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock has strong camerawork with which to tell the story, plus he gives this excellent adventure a very sexy atmosphere: taking place in Rio de Janeiro, the film is almost dirty in its use of double entendres and steamy locales. Grant has never been more seductive (or creepy), and Bergman never more dangerous; you can see Hitchcock get a thrill out of turning America’s pure movie stars into horny devils, and the two stars have loads of fun playing it. Brilliant film noir and Rains’ best supporting role ever (yes, even counting Casablanca).