Movie InfoCondemned as being a "disappointing" and "unworthy" Alfred Hitchcock effort at the time of its release, Marnie has since grown in stature; it is still considered a lesser Hitchcock, but a fascinating one. Tippi Hedren plays Marnie, a compulsive thief who cannot stand to be touched by any man. She also goes bonkers over the sight of the color red. Her new boss, Mark Rutland (Sean Connery) is intrigued by Marnie -- to such an extent that he blackmails her into marriage when he stumbles onto her breaking into his safe. Rutland is in his own way as "sick" as his wife because of his fetishist desire to cohabit with a thief. After innumerable plot twists and turns, Marnie is "cured" by a facile but mesmerizing flashback sequence involving her ex-hooker mother (Louise Latham). Among the critical carps aimed at Marnie was the complaint that the studio-bound sets -- particularly the waterfront locale where the film ends -- were tacky and artificial; curiously, this seeming "carelessness" adds to the queasy, off-setting mood that Hitchcock endeavored to sustain. Even when the direction seems to falter, the film is buoyed by the driving musical score of Bernard Herrmann (his last for Hitchcock). Among the supporting actors in Marnie are Mariette Hartley as a secretary and Bruce Dern as a sailor; twelve years later, Dern would star in Hitchcock's final film, Family Plot. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Marnie
Universally despised on its first release, Marnie remains one of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest and darkest achievements.
Marnie is the character study of a thief and a liar, but what makes her tick remains clouded even after a climax reckoned to be shocking but somewhat missing its point.
Considered a misfire at the time, it now looks like late-period Hitchcock at his most Hitchcockian.
At once a fascinating study of a sexual relationship and the master's most disappointing film in years.
Hitchcock was criticised for bring shallow psychology into the film (Hedren's character is afraid of the colour red) but some of their exchanges - the film was based on a novel by Winston Graham - are sharp and droll.
A farsighted yet unassuming thriller with brilliant desires to deconstruct a human mind.
professionally crafted film that focuses primarily on character development
Unfortunately, Marnie was released right after the masterpiece The Birds and comparisons were inevitable, but there's so much to admire about this work, textually, dramatically, visually.
A worthwhile watch for anyone who's ever enjoyed Hitchcock, but by comparison with his better known stuff it's an example style overtaking substance.
This remains a compelling Hitchcock thriller but it's Tippi Hedron's remarkable central performance which steals the show.
A masterpiece of psychological mystery that encompasses all of the director's obsessions.
Marnie's Mama's house is a masterpiece of repressed emotion, a bland domestic space of seemingly placid creams and yellow, rendered in swirling wallpaper and upholstery patterns.
...a crazed and lurid character portrait that spends most of its time psychoanalyzing itself.
A savory failure from the Master.
This messy bit of twisted psychological damage is arguably the most underrated film in Hitchcock's canon (though there's a lot of competition).
Fine, disturbing Hitchcock near classic w/Connery and Hedren in good form.
Punishingly long and, despite the professionalism on all levels, not especially moving or interesting
Viewed from the safe distance of four decades after its release, Marnie, perhaps even more than The Birds, emerges as the director's definitive late-period masterpiece.
Not Hitch's best, but still incredible.
For my money, this Freudian tale about a beautiful kleptomaniac and liar is one of Hitchcock's best accomplishments, certainly one of his most perverse.
I will never understand the rep of this among Hitch fans
Audience Reviews for Marnie
One of Hitchcock's later films, this has the beginnings of the psychologically disturbed young woman genre, surrounding one woman tormented by something she can't really remember. This was also used as a plot device in the very famous made-for-TV movie "Sibyl" and later horror films, but is used here to fuel the story of an unloved and criminally insane young woman. Marnie herself is a very interesting character, because instead of being marred by her past and becoming a timid young thing, she becomes a kleptomaniac, a rogue thief, and a sly underdog compared to Sean Connery, who arrives to calm her memories and make her whole once more. Though she is obviously a repressed character, both cunningly criminal and flawed, she is not shown as vulnerable. Instead of being truly empathetic to Marnie as a character, the film allows the character of Mark to swoop in and become her savior in a matter of minutes while also proving to be her jailer, and also her salvation. While it is true that Marnie is, again, repressed, Mark acts as a repressive force himself. He gives her a home and money, which he believes that she steals for her own survival, and acts as if he is doing her a service, while blackmailing her into marriage. He goes go on to almost rape her, hits her, and threatens her with police action and more violence. Mark also helps her confront her repressed demons, eventually becoming her love interest. By eliminating a psychotherapist from the book and replacing them with Mark, there is a lack of balance to their "relationship." Because of the lessening of characters from the book to the film, it becomes much more pointed a narrative and loses any dynamism, becoming a cretinous love story. The only relationship explored with any affinity, and shows an empathy towards Marnie's plight, is between her and her mother. Their relationship is portrayed as an embittered and loathsome one, full of lies and without the caring a mother should exhibit. That proves to be the best aspect of the film and somewhat of its saving grace, if you can get past the Neanderthal portrayal of Mark.More
Hitch considers warped feminine mystique while entertaining his own warped sensibilities (naturally, and why not? ... his are okay, yah?) in this never boring look at a soul pulled back from the cliff of the lost by the hunter/warden/lover? (Sean Connery, brooding respectable charisma). Tippi is Hitch's willing victim again, and charming at it.More
Hitchcock started to go downhill with this one, it's true, but, even though this film is a bit of a mess, it's not a complete and total loss. Basically, we've got a super disturbed woman named Marnie who is a compulsive thief ansd pathological liar. She's pretty bi-polar and has all sorts of unresolved issues.
She goes to work for a guy named Mark Rutland, and decides to rob him. Instead of turning her in, he's drawen to her, impulsively marries her, and becomes bound and determined to cure her of her mental issues. Not a whole lot of this makes much sense, and the pop psycholigy at work here is pretty bad.
Yet, despite the nuttiness and confusion of all of this, and the fact that it's really overblown and drawn out, I still sorta liked it. You've got a solid performance from Tippi Hedren, who really goes off the wall here, and Connery, though a bit creaky, does a decent enough job as Rutland.
The plot itself isn't all bad, but the screenplay is in need of some serious work. It was kinda hard for me to buy some of what was presented here, namely character motivations and the answers to Marnie's troubles. The film does look good though, and there's some excellent shots and sequences throughout, especially the safe robbery sequence. It's fairly suspenseful and pretty well done. Also, Bernard Herrmann's score (the last one he did for Hitch, I think) is also pretty nice.
The film is well meaning, but all over the place. Like I said, it's not a total failure, but it is pretty flawed. I was still entertained by it though, so take that as some sort of recommendation.
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