For our 49th review of Alfred Hitchcock’s film, I am pleased to present a review by Table9Mutant of Cinema Parrot Disco of Marnie. If you don’t already follow her blog, I urge you to do so, she has some great stuff including CPD Classics, IMDB Top 250 Challenge, lots of great movie art and of course excellent movie reviews!
Thanks for taking part Mutant!
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Running time: 130 minutes
Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
Mark marries Marnie although she is a habitual thief and has serious psychological problems, and tries to help her confront and resolve them.
Look at that plot synopsis. Sounds like MY marriage! Bwahaha! Okay, my hubby is now nodding his head in agreement. (To be fair, I’m not a thief…)
Okay – I’m a big Alfred Hitchcock fan. When I started my IMDB Top 250 Challenge, one of the first things I did was finish watching the Hitchcock films in the Top 250 that I’d actually not yet seen. When Rob & Zoe announced a Hitchcock Blogathon, I knew I’d want to grab another one of the few I had yet to see. So I picked… Frenzy! That’s right – I’ve not seen Frenzy. Still. Because someone came along later & threatened to strangle me with a necktie if I didn’t give up my chosen movie. (You know who you are!) 😉
I was intrigued by the fact that Marnie stars Sean Connery. I’ll be honest – I’ve not seen him in THAT much (including his James Bond movies). He certainly had a sexy sort of suave thing going on so I can see why he played that famous misogynist. In Marnie, I thought he fit his role quite well. Like with James Bond, though, there are times I found his character’s treatment of Marnie disturbing. I find it very hard to review Hitchcock films as I think it’s especially important to avoid spoilers, so… All I’ll say is that he’s fascinated by the study of psychology and animal behavior and Marnie feels like just another thing that he can study. Is he sincere? Does he love her or is he using her? I’ll leave that for you to find out…
Tippi Hedren does a good job here in a role very different from the confident woman she played in Hitchcock’s The Birds. It’s of course a mystery as to why Marnie has so many psychological problems, such as a fear of thunderstorms and the color red, and I felt that the film had a satisfying explanation & conclusion (unlike a lot of thrillers nowadays). In true Hitchcock form, we don’t know who to trust and what the true intentions are of either of the two main characters. Once again, Hitchcock keeps us guessing (and hooked) until the very end.
I’m not sure why Marnie isn’t quite as big as some of Hitchcock’s other films. It’s indeed another great psychological thriller from the “master of suspense”. I always enjoy movies that explore the mind & someone’s descent into madness and Marnie certainly fits the bill. Although I did think the two main stars did a decent job, I do feel they both lack the charisma of some other Hitchcock favorites (James Stewart, Cary Grant, the stunning Grace Kelly…). Also, as I’ve said, some of the ways in which Connery’s character treats Hedren’s are a little uncomfortable but I know it was a different time and that the same can be said of other Hitchcock films (and a modern movie would handle certain things far less delicately). It’s a very solid story and I really enjoyed it. It’s no Rear Window or Psycho but, hell, those are pretty hard to top! I’d definitely recommend Marnie to Hitchcock fans but, to those without much Hitchcock experience, I’d suggest starting with some of the more well known films first.
My Rating: 7.5/10