Sunday, August 16, 2009


Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Cast: Tippi Hedren, Sean Connery
Score Composer Bernard Herrmann
Psychological Thriller

My Friend Amy's The Summer of Hitchcock

Marnie is the story of a emotionally disturbed habitual thief (Hedren) whose employer (Connery) tries to understand/analyze her. Even though Marnie is considered a lesser Hitchcock film, I thought it was quite good. While the general public may not have appreciated it in the mid sixties any Hitchcock film fan will likely enjoy Marnie and see some interconnecting themes shared with other Hitchcock films, especially compulsion and obsession. Like Spellbound, Marnie is very Freudian but the naive treatment of psychological disorders in both dates the films today. Hitchcock may have been influenced by German Expressionism. Several film critics have pointed out the influence of Expressionism in the "red-out" scenes and some include in that the painted backdrop, and artificial-looking thunderstorms, while others simply think that either Hitchcock was being sloppy or didn't care about the painted backdrops because he considered it unimportant in relationship to the story. Certainly different colors were used in a symbolic way.

I'm not completely convinced that Tippi Hedren was talented enough to play the title character, Marnie, well. While she certainly gave a better than average performance, I think the role required a more gifted actress with a well developed range. You know some actresses can expressed a wide range of emotions just with their eyes. Hedren can't. Sean Connery, while easy on the eyes, was also miscast simply because of his Scottish brogue. Also, to be honest, after our somewhat recent James Bond marathon, it is hard to not see Connery as James Bond and some of us kept irrationally expecting a few Bond-like moves. It was fun to see Bruce Dern and Mariette Hartley in small roles. We immediately recognized Bernard Herrmann as the score composer, which added greatly to the film.

Marnie Edgar (Hedren): You don't love me. I'm just something you've caught! You think I'm some sort of animal you've trapped!

Mark Rutland (Connery): That's right - you are. And I've caught something really wild this time, haven't I? I've tracked you and caught you and by God I'm going to keep you.

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