Essay on An Analysis of Three Key Poisoning Scenes

Essay on An Analysis of Three Key Poisoning Scenes

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In one of the Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock, USA, 1946) advertising posters, Ingrid Bergman is holding a coffee cup, and her expression is anxious. The coffee cup does not represent the normal impression of leisure time. In contrast, the coffee cup plays a key role in one of the most intense moment in the film. What is the relationship between the coffee cup and the actress? Hitchcock did not give the answer to the audience immediately. He uses it as a Maguffin to trigger the audience’s curiosity to seek the answer of the film. Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Bergman) is an American agent. An assignment requires her to spy on the activity of a Nazi organization, so she marries to Alex Sebastian (Claude Rains), the leader of the organization, in order to get information from the Nazis. Shortly afterwards, Alicia and the other agent T.R Devlin (Cary Grant) found out the Nazis are developing a nuclear project. Meanwhile, Alex also figure out his wife is spying on him. Thus, he gets lost in that situation, because he might be murdered if his colleagues knew he is a betrayer whose wife is an agent. Therefore, he seeks help from his mother, and figures out a solution: to make Alicia die slowly and without other people’s suspicious. The conversation ends with an incomplete sentence of Alex’s mother who says, “She could become ill and she may ill for a time, until…” Thereafter, a poisoning plan is practicing on Alicia without her awareness. There are three key poisoning scenes in the movie. However, Alicia awares her situation until the most significant poisoning scene which takes place in the Sebastian’s living room. The editing and sound effects did a great contribution to the scene of suspense. Hitchcock not only manipulated various shots and di...


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...he chessboard. In this poisoning scene, the audience’s psychological changes are strongly tied to the elements that constituted by Hitchcock. As a master of suspense, he puts the audience in an extreme intense condition through the whole scene, but not the audience only get shock in one particular moment. When the Mrs. Sebastian says the plan should practice without anyone’s suspicious. In fact, the audience is the one who actually suspicious the most in the game of Hitchcock. The reason why we are the one in most suspense can explain by the audience could anticipate the answer before hand, but the character in the scene does not know it. The process is a “torture” to some audiences, because it is similar to the theory that a prisoner might be executed just in five seconds, but the process of waiting for the execution maybe five minutes, five days or five years.

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