Marnie (1964) – Alfred Hitchcock

Vertigo is the next big title in The Movie Book from DK Canada. As I’ve reviewed that previously, as well as a number of the films on the What Else to Watch list, I settled in for the 1964 film, Marnie, directed by the master, Hitchcock, and starring Tippi Hedren and Sean Connery.

Hedren is Marnie, a thief, and a liar, who gets jobs, robs the place, and then vanishes, changing her appearance constantly, to keep from being recognised. She has some serious issues with her mother, Bernice (Louise Latham), but Marnie has repressed the memory of what they are, which only causes her more problems.

When she goes to work for Rutland’s, she catches the eye of the owner, Mark Rutland (Connery), who in turn catches onto her, and prevents her from robbing his company. In some rather devious manipulations, he forces her to marry him, but their relationship and their honeymoon is a disaster.

For all of that, Rutland does care about her, and is determined to find a way for her to be at peace (even going so far as to hire a detective to look into her past), perhaps share in his love, and maybe, just maybe, confront her past once and for all – and put to rest the terrible events of her childhood.

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Hedren is exceptional in her role, and Hitch’s staging and framing of images makes this a moody piece with some suspenseful moments. It features a strong score by Bernard Herrmann (his last for a Hitchcock film), and while I’m not a fan of how some of the story plays out, I do like the actors and talent involved.

Despite some of his actions, it’s clear Mark does love Marnie, and truly wants her to be happy, even as those around them start to suspect something more is going on, especially Mark’s friend, Lil (Diane Baker).

The film entertains, although a number of its attitudes are out of date – and the film’s climax is top-notch (and includes an appearance by Bruce Dern).

Connery is, as always, a lot of fun, exuding cool and charm, as he moves through the moments of the film, and tries to ‘cure’ Marnie.

Hitchcock was a masterful filmmaker, and he tends to layer his films with all manner of themes, images, and ideas, Marnie is no different. If you haven’t seen it, take a look, and if you have seen it, maybe it’s time to watch it again.

Or…

You could pick up a copy of DK Books’ The Movie Book and find a classic to watch tonight!

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