Though this Alfred Hitchcock effort is about World War II-era spies who use romance as a deadly weapon, Notorious is remembered less as a thriller than a tragic love story. I suppose that’s what happens when you have Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in the lead roles. Bergman plays Alicia Huberman, daughter of a German-American traitor who is sentenced for spying against the United States in the opening scenes. Her sympathies secretly are with the U.S., however, a fact that American agent T.R. Devlin (Grant) exploits by convincing her to work her contacts with her father’s Nazi friends, now living in Brazil. Things get complicated when one of those most-wanted friends, Alexander Sebastian (Claude Rains), asks Alicia to marry him. It’s a golden espionage opportunity, though a bit of a damper on Alicia and Devlin’s burgeoning romance. The title refers to Alicia’s reputation as a wild, hard-drinking woman with a long history of “playmates.” Bergman doesn’t quite have the carnality to communicate that, but Grant’s seething jealously helps us believe it. Although the movie’s first half charts the pair’s whirlwind romance, it is clear Devlin is holding back. When she agrees to take the Brazil assignment (partly to spite him for his lack of commitment) he bitterly interprets it as confirmation of her self-destructive tendencies. Bitterness, then, dominates the final and best third of Notorious, as Alicia repeatedly puts herself in harm’s way – mostly to make Devlin squirm – and Devlin tries his hardest not to care. Some tense set pieces remind us this is still a thriller, especially a sequence in which Alicia tries to slip away with one of Sebastian’s most guarded keys. The stars, however, turn Notorious into something different: a doomed love story as tragic in its own way as Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre.