Movies that are slightly off.
Thief... Liar... Cheat... she was all of these and he knew it!
Marnie is a beautiful kleptomaniac who is in love with businessman Mark Rutland. Marnie who is a compulsive thief is being watched by her new boss Mark who suspects her of stealing from him and thus decides to blackmail her in the most unusual way. A psychological thriller from Alfred Hitchcock based on a novel of the same name by Winston Graham.
Marnie bleeds like an open wound, but you cannot die from this injury. The blood keeps spilling and spilling until it becomes the background of your life and informs your own existence. There's no patching up, moving on and healing so you dig and dig into your own flesh until you're more wound than person and any small prick can cause the blood to overflow once more. Marnie has never known another feeling her entire life.
Throughout his decades-spanning career, Alfred Hitchcock has given us some of the finest thrillers in cinema that have wildly entertained critics & viewers alike, but Marnie is unfortunately not one of them. It's a tad overlong with a bit messy plot for a psychological thriller & although it has its little moments, it ultimately remains a disappointing experience for the most part.
Marnie tells the story of the troubled titular character who is a habitual thief & liar and has some serious psychological problems. After she is caught by her boss while trying to steal from her latest place of employment, he forces her to marry him despite her uneasy behaviour and, after finding out about her traumatic past, helps her to confront…
Up there with Vertigo in terms of psychological density with the occasional bluntness of Hitchcock's narrative exposition attempting to trick us into believing that he's being a lot less subtle here than he actually is. The falseness of the sets (especially around Marnie's mother's house) act as some sort of physical manifestation of the pervasive lies and deceit that serve as much of the drive - it's all just a façade, an extra shell to hide the forgotten truth. Some obvious connections to gialli in terms of form and character motivations/actions being directly linked to past trauma, and it even features a rather intense flashback scene with blood so deeply red it would impress Argento. Personally, I…
Occupies a spot almost precisely halfway between the warped glory of Vertigo and the leaden idiocy of Spellbound. I know some folks argue that we're supposed to embrace the latter in this instance, viewing Marnie's repressed trauma as a correlative to (e.g.) the Expressionistic matte painting at the end of her childhood street, but one of my many failings is an inability to take seriously any psychological case study rooted entirely in a single slice of backstory that Explains Everything. (As a counterexample, think of how the final scene of Exotica complicates that template. Or, hell, think of Vertigo itself, which gives you the traumatic incident right up front and doesn't pretend it has any bearing on Scottie's mania.)…
There are those that believe that Marnie was Hitchcock's final masterpiece - but it really wasn't.
A complex melodrama that attempts to tackle several different subjects at once, it never really makes any of them interesting enough to care much about them. The one or two of them that look as though they could be very interesting are not elaborated on at all or end up being dropped altogether. Marnie is a maddening film that ends up feeling more like Hitchcock biting off more than he can chew.
He had proved that he could tackle complex and well-woven relationship drama-thrillers with Vertigo but there is a feeling of…
"I've caught something really wild this time, haven't I?" ~ Mark
Marnie is a compulsive thief. Marnie is psychotic. Manie is a liar and a frigid man-hater. So why do we do we root for Marnie throughout this film?
For one thing, Marnie Edgar is played by Tippi Hedren, who had already earned our sympathy in her breakout debut as the female lead in "The Birds" a year earlier. Also, as director Alfred Hitchcock explains, "The average person looking at someone doing evil or wrong wants the person to get away with it. You can't go as far as murder, of course, but almost anything up to that point." So Marie steals money. She steals identities. She steals our sympathy.…
I thought Frenzy was Hitch's grossest but its probably this one. What a wonderful/horrible plot conceit, positively unnerving when taking Hitchcock's slimy proclivities into account.
Marnie is like Hitchcock thought: "Oh, you thought Psycho was Freudian? You ain't seen nothing yet."
But really, it's a real shame Marnie isn't better than it is, because there's a lot to like, but it's messy & unfocused. A bit of re-editing would do wonders.
Tippi Hedren's performance is fantastic, mind.
While some of y'all are getting into arguments about "Everybody Wants Some", I got a chance to watch Hitchcock's follow-up to "Psycho" this morning and it's an interesting film. A psychological thriller, it's gets weak at times, only for it to get better and better in the final act, with the twist smoothly connecting the 3 clues together: knocks, thunderclaps and the color red. Not one of Hitch's best but still a suspenseful watch.
Good god, this one was dark. This is sortof like To Catch a Thief, only if Grace Kelly was a pathological liar and sociopathic thief suffering from psychosexual trauma, and Cary Grant was her abusive rapist. Definitely underrated Hitchcock.
Sinfully underrated for too long.
I won't blame Hitchcock but this just did nothing for me. I think the story was less than entertaining and Tippi's performance is a step down and hilarious from The Birds.
although not exactly fitting into the normal hitchcockian mould, marnie is by far one of the best of the beast they call 'hitchcock'.
review coming tomorrow.
Week 30: July 22-July 28
Psychotronic Encyclopedia Week
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…