I thought we were going to get more sly James Bond humor and wit out of Connery ? Hitchcock?s casting seemed to tease the idea, until the turning point on the boat when he begins to realize that she actually sees him as a monster, and suddenly he starts becoming the compassionate doctor trying to help her with her problem. Perhaps he?s doing it all selfishly, but he?s breaking some real ground. If it weren?t for Hitchcock?s own obsession and desire to have Tippi Hedren, he might?ve allowed her to escape him at the end, which is one of the problems I had with the film story; he should?ve divorced her and let her free at the end. I like that her red brick home is where she flees to after her initial crime, and it?s where we end up at the end of the picture, where she?s faced all her trauma, and she?s now leaving ? nice balance coming to and going away. That the exterior is such stark red is a symbol of everything that she has to face since red is the color of her trauma; her childhood victim was stained in it over a white shirt for perfect contrast, white is the salvation, red the horror. As always, Hitchcock is clever with color. When it almost seems they?ve made a breakthrough, and she?s turned to ?white? after the horror of facing ?red? in their free association exercise, she wears white the next night at a dinner gathering, looking happy to be with Rutland. But then her old boss Strutt shows up, a cruel move by the jealous Lil to get Marnie in trouble, and she begins to regress. The next scene she is wearing a black outfit similar to the thief in To Catch a Thief, owning her old monicker, and ready to blow out of this place again.
It may be brilliant, but at times it?s unenjoyable. Hitchcock is at his most strategic with technique, but his entertainment value is less after the adventure of North by Northwest, the macabre of Psycho, and the outright bizarreness of The Birds, all which had more enticing plots. This one is tough to cheer on because the protagonist?s lover forces himself on her and the protagonist herself is a thief who isn?t in one of those exciting score flicks, so she?s not doing anything to prompt us as a viewer. The film struggles to be about anything ? on the one hand we hope it?s about this fun thief and her adventures, but that?s so far in the background of this story about a girl suffering trauma that it?s nearly lost. That the one who cures her seemingly rapes her makes this a difficult sell, and perhaps too close to Hitchcock's own dark fantasies of possessing women.
- Maybe Hitchcock's masterpiece. Why? His talent is fully deployed, even sublimated, in the service of the material - and the superbly guided performances, maybe Connery's best during his 007 years, and even if Grace backed-out after committing. Imagine if Hitch had been hired to direct one of Connery's Bonds (except he didn't like location work out of the studio). It's surprising Diane Baker wasn't picked-up as a Bond girl she's so terrific and hungrily forward flirting as a Hitch femme fantastique.
At the midpoint there's a very long exposition, perhaps the only legit criticism.
A psychological ride, "Marnie" perhaps only now is being appreciated as it should've been. Dern's leg between Latham's character's legs in close-up? How did that get by the scissored censors of the day, the ones who had the camera swing to the porthole on-board the honeymoon cruise? The only lingering Q was what-was-it that engaged Connery's character with such a broken woman, especially with his sister-in-law displaying everything a virile man would want.
A film the french would and do love.
Plot is a bit too complex in the beginning, and then drifts a bit in the middle. Other than that, perfect. Hitchcock's direction is spot-on, as usual.
Tippi Hendren is superb, and gorgeous, in the lead role. Sean Connery is solid as the male lead.
Another Hitchcock classic.
The plot is not great, albeit no problems with engaging the audience. But the performances are good. Very good even.
If the expectation is not high recommended.
Lee as a thief you feel sorry for, and Connery as her gallant suitor, it's spicy and interesting with plenty to keep you fascinated.
Brilliant suspense, fast pacing, and bigger than life emotions to go along w the wildly vivid technicolor ride, all culminating into a grand time with the master, despite the one overwrought, misstep - that paint-by-number explanation at the finish.
A fantastic Rollercoaster ride of witty banter, laughs and thrills - fully satisfying, right up until with awkward jerk to a stop and the silent stroll just before it ends - it doesn't ruin the ride- just a quick spinout into an emotional mud bog before reaching the finish line.
Not to be missed as a top Hitchcock film.
4.5 out of 5