Marnie

MarnieSuggested by Brad Nelson • As an in-depth character study of a truly unhappy woman and the (just as pathological) man who loves her, this one is every bit as riveting and fascinating as anything Hitchcock ever did.
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4 Responses to Marnie

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Apparently this was a critical failure at the time. I first saw this movie several years ago. I had a hankering to re-watch it a couple days ago. It’s a bit different from some of Hitchcock’s films because it’s got a plot to it that does not rest on various thriller gadgetry (as much as I like that gadgetry, such as in Rear Window).

    The point is, this movie isn’t about getting from one murder to the next. There’s a story to tell.

    Tippi Hedren is terrific in this as the title character. Her portrayal is consistent with what little I know about the type (and I do know just a bit…I used to work with a Marnie who embezzled from a previous employer…not a spitin’ image but another good-looking blond).

    But I digress. Sean Connery is serviceable in the role that was obviously made for Cary Grant. I can’t say that he turned down the role. I haven’t a clue. But you see Grant as a much better fit, as much of a fan of Connery as I am. He’s fine in this, but I couldn’t help hearing Grant say the same lines better.

    But Connery does nicely play the slight scoundrel. The only weakness in this movie is that Connery’s infatuation with Marnie is never sufficiently explained. We needed just a bit of back story on his character. I don’t know if something was cut. The film is pushing it 130 minutes runtime. For 1964 that wasn’t as big of an issue then, but it still was pushing the limit already. Perhaps something vital was cut.

    Louise Latham is particularly noteworthy as Marnie’s co-suffering mother. Again, I’m a fan of Hitchcock, but generally his films are driven by the plot and his particular (and usually showy) filming techniques. I’ve never thought of his films as places where raw acting talent congregates. But Latham (and Tippi Hedren) both do a superb job. Kudos to Connery for not stepping on their toes, I guess.

    It’s all a bit too Freudian for my taste as far as the resolution. But that’s a minor point. And it’s a minor point that is irrelevant to the 90% of today’s audience for whom the large points would either make no sense or wouldn’t capture their attention. This is an old-school film for adults only.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      I enjoyed the movie many years ago. For some reason, I always associate it with that other movie, “The Chalk Garden”. Both have similar “moods”.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    A very fine movie, one I’ve seen a couple of times. (Of course, I’m a big Hitchock fan.) In some ways this follows on the psychological thriller Spellbound. There’s a very nice chapter on the movie in the book Hitchcock’s Films.

    Cary Grant probably was Hitchcock’s favorite leading man. I once read that Grant played the roles Htichcock wanted to fantasize himself as, whereas Jimmy Stewart (he and Grant each starred in 4 Hitchcock films) played the roles Hitchcock saw himself as really being. Overall I prefer the Stewart films; Rear Window and The Man Who Knew Too Much are clearly first-class films (I remember seeing the latter on TV with my mother), and possibly also Rope and Vertigo. Only North by Northwest qualifies among the Grant movies.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen Spellbound. If I have, it was a long long time ago. I can’t seem to find it anywhere to rent. Amazon has it on DVD and Blu Ray, but I don’t necessarily want to buy it just to watch it once.

      They do have it parceled out in section on YouTube. Here’s Part 1.

      I think Rear Window is not only the best Hitchcock film, it’s one of the best movies ever made. Rope is another favorite. I’m not as big of a fan of North by Northwest, although it’s certainly a classic.

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