A US poster for Alfred Hitchcock's 1946 spy thriller, 'Notorious', starring Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains (bottom). The film was produced by RKO Radio Pictures. (Photo by Movie Poster Image Art/Getty Images)
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Alfred Hitchcock Used Hollywood Magic To Hid Ingrid Bergman's Height In Notorious
While Ingrid Bergman is one of the most beloved old Hollywood actors of all time, her career met with a fair amount of pushback. The film studio executive behind some of Bergman’s first American movies, David O. Selznick, believed after first meeting her that the actress “was too tall, her name sounded too German, and her eyebrows were too thick.”
But Bergman was a talented actress, and Hollywood would use tricks to mask her height for her shorter male co-stars, such as in “Casablanca,” where Humphrey Bogart used specially made platform shoes and sat on top of cushions when acting opposite Bergman. Alfred Hitchcock had to use similarly creative solutions for the height difference in “Notorious.”
Bergman reunited with her “Casablanca” co-star Claude Rains for the film, and while the actors made a great pair, Hitchcock admitted the height difference was noticeable. Rains needed to stand on boxes for some shots, but one scene of the two walking together required another trick, with Hitchcock explaining, “What I did was to have a plank of wood gradually rising as he walked to­ward the camera.”