Another quiet day, save for two very notable exceptions. Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious, long considered one of his greatest, pits Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant against fugitive Nazis in a tale of romance and danger. Its dark and complex sexual politics helped it stand out from other thrillers of the day, as well as providing Bergman with a welcome alternative to the nice-girl roles she was known for at the time. It also featured one of Hitchcock’s most famous MacGuffins… and possibly the most memorable kiss in movie history. Notorious opened today in 1946.
Fred Astaire movies usually don’t amount to much in terms of story or direction. We’re there for one reason… well, okay, two reasons. Watching Astaire sport his moves, especially with his longtime partner Ginger Rogers alongside him, constitutes the sheer joy of watching the human body in movie. Top Hat, which finds the couple falling in love and sashaying their way through Europe, remains their biggest box office success and an excellent place to watch them do their thing. It opened today in 1935.