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I May Destroy You
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Marnie is an odd, complex and discomfiting psychological drama, with more annoying "process shots" than any other Hitchcock film I can think of, yet I couldn't take my eyes off the screen for an instant. Hedren and Connery are excellent, and Diane Baker outstanding in a small but crucial role.
The Beginning of the End.
There are, in many lives and art movements, defining moments that are ruptures, seminal changes, paradigm shifts after which nothing will be the same anymore: Marnie, the Hitchcock's movie released in 1964 after two masterpieces like Psycho and The Birds, marks the beginning of the end for the artistic developments of one of the most important and beloved directors of the XX Century.
The story of films is full of movies that, underrated by critics or ignored by the vast public, are nonetheless very beautiful and interesting, but unfortunately Marnie does not belong to this group; the negative reviews and the box-office flop appear, even after many years, the natural and inevitable outcome of a movie that not even the immense artistic credits of its director can save from a sad but heavy low mark.
Surely, keeping the artistic heights of the previous two movies was most likely impossible, but such a major fall was hard to predict as well!
The basic idea could have been intriguing and experimental: a thriller without a whodunnit, where the progressive discovery of the causes at the roots of the protagonist's pathologies was the only uncertainty, not even too difficult to detect though, could have freed the narrative to roam freely towards an in-depth analysis of the fascination of the male protagonist for ethology, delving on his ambivalent role of a therapist, aiming to heal and free Marnie from her phobias, and of a mentally ill patient, obsessed with a serial thief and a compulsory liar, possibly a screen projection of the known obsession of Hitchcock for Tippi Hedren, Grace Kelly's inadequate replacement.
Alas, none of the above is found in Marnie: Tippi Hedren's acting, already mediocre in her debut role in The Birds, becomes here plain lack of nuances and expressiveness, a handsome but rigid Sean Connery a distant, pale reflection of Cary Grant, the basic scenes and the high-school psychology handbook level of the script prevent the viewer, even the more casual or the Hitch's die-hard fan, to get involved, captured by the plot and the characters.
Along the years, many have tried to reconsider Marnie, offering benevolent analyses that justified with artistic merits the evident artificiality of some film settings or amplifying the chromatic choices of some of its scenes; even if understandable in light of the values of Hitchcock's overall body of films, mostly they appear only a nice but timid and unconvincing try that cannot succeed in offsetting the bitter aftertaste that Hitchcock's genius has entered with Marnie its Sunset Boulevard, from which the next and final four movies will not deviate, without though undermining the fundamental role and place of the British director in the history of cinema.
Hitchcock called for cinematographic trickery to cue in a thrilling mystery when underneath his caliber of a shell is practically a sympathetically directed crime drama holding a dark traumatizing past that the male objectifying gaze doesn't help besides actual counseling being guised as the urge to uncover the truth in any ways necessary. Bloated enough to be tedious as it could've been shorter despite recognized collaborative signature merits for a Hitchcock film despite the substance dragging the bag on the ground still pondering on how to justify the length, while at least benefitting from the performances. (B)
Hitchcock classic, starring Tippi Hedren (in the title roll) and Sean Connery. Universally Panned at the time of its initial release, it's gone on to achieve a much better, and better deserved, reputation as a worthy part of the upper echelon of the collected works of the master of suspense himself, Alfred Hitchcock, and one of the better films from this era in Hollywood. "Marnie" is a film that, Like most of the Hitchcock filmography, is a taut, tight exploration in mystery, pitch perfect atmosphere, style, story and stunning cinematography. But above all else, the damaged human psyche. For much of the film, Marnie herself doesn't know the truth of why she does the things she does, reacts the way she reacts or behaves the way she behaves. Like Hitchcock's Psycho in particular, this film is an early cinematic example of the exploration of a messy (and somewhat broken) human psyche, repressed memories, and the id within us all. Even (and especially) as those things that we push deep into the recesses of our brain have a way of seeping out at the seams, with odd and sometimes horrifying results, we can't help but fight in vain to keep them, and our conscious selves, in the dark. Or in this case, "the red" 😉 "Marnie" is a film everyone should see at least once in their life.
The last twenty minutes are the only thing that save this boring, slow and confusing movie.
Man did this one bore me. Marnie is about a habitual and thief played by Tippi Hedren who's just taken a bunch of money from her boss under the guise of a different person. She is eventually figured out by her new employer (and previous boss's business partner) named Mark Rutlan (Sean Connery). Mark is a bit of a womanizer, but finds himself falling head over heels for Marnie. He figures Marnie out since he recognized her from her previous job and sort of blackmails her into marrying him? His whole thing is that he believes her can figure out why Marnie is the way she is (hinted at through various flashbacks) by exposing her to certain things and eventually realizing the terrifying truth. So yeah I didn't like this one. It's incredibly long at 2 hours and 10 minutes and the pacing here just never worked for me. I didn't like the overall plot of marrying Marnie to figure her out when she obviously has some mental health issues that back in 1964 obviously they thought could be fixed by a strong man! Not so much. It's a movie that hasn't aged well, rungs too long, has an uninteresting lead and for the most part a "twist" that isn't very twist like (if that makes sense). Out of all the Hitchcock films this is definitely one I wouldn't be revisiting anytime soon.
it was a little suspenseful
It's a good movie, but some parts just didn't interest me. Other parts were great, though. Definitely not Hitchcock's best, but a good movie nonetheless.
The darkest drama Hitchcock ever directed.
Alfred Hitchcock's psychological thriller Marnie (1964) is a disturbing romance drama and crime mystery shot as a film noir. Hitchcock's direction is stylized with a moody atmosphere and unsettling tone. Hitchcock's directorial style utilizes Dutch angles, long takes, intimate close-ups, red colored filters over the lens, and flashing purple lights for a thunderous effect. The sleek and dreamy look to Marnie makes you feel at unease in every situation so that you feel truly bad for Tippi Hedren's Marnie.
I have to mention that Marnie is the last film Tippi Hedren was a part of as she refused to sleep with Hitchcock and he subsequently ended her career. It's disgusting and disappointing, but Marnie stands alone as a genuinely great film alongside Hedren's other Hitchcock classic The Birds (1963).
Notably, I do find that Marnie is oddly feminist and sexist. Hitchcock clearly wanted to punish Hedren and added the rape scene to force Hedren into a compromised position and the men in Marnie are all sleazy, stubborn, self serving, sexist, and mysogynist on purpose. They only want to take advantage of Marnie. For example, Sean Connery's complex character Mark is a caring love interest, sleazy blackmailer, and callous rapist all at once. Connery plays him charming and sincere so that you do not immediately despise his fearsome leading man, but Connery plays the well intentioned brute well in Marnie. Though you quickly realize his rich man character is just a spoiled man out for himself as he commands Marnie to do as he bids despite them ending up together.
On the other hand, Tippi Hedren's inspired performance as Marnie may be the best of her career. I love Hedren's classy heroine in The Birds, but she is genuinely devastating in Marnie. She is the coy lover, mysterious thief, troubled lady, traumatized child, ignored daughter, raped wife, and dejected woman all in one magnificent role that should have won her Best Actress at The Oscars for Marnie. Hedren takes all the insults, glares, and spite thrown her way all still delivered an all time great acting demonstration.
Furthermore, Hedren's character is remarkably feminist. She rejects all the men that try to advance on her. She speaks her mind despite men threatening her. She rejects men insisting she drink. She refuses men sex when she does not want it. Marnie is a revelation of a female character in cinema. It's too bad Tippi Hedren actually suffered at the hands of Hitchcock because she is a fantastic role model for girls. Beauty, intelligence, grace, cunning, sophistication, guile, and range. Her scream "No!" before the rape scene is haunting as is her tears recounting her childhood at the Marnie. Tippi Hedren is just amazing to me.
I also appreciate Diane Baker's sly sister-in-law to Marnie and Louise Latham's heartbreaking role as Marnie's distant mother.
It appears that Hitchcock used painted backdrops to replicate a German expressionist feel and it still works for me. Marnie is really quite haunting with its grim outlook and dark subject matter. Marnie is sublimely directed and likely the last classic from legendary director Alfred Hitchcock.
Marnie is a last for many aspects of Hitchcock's career. Marnie features the last score Bernard Herrmann composed for Hitchcock. It is romantic and dreamy with a penchant for dramatic flourishes during the exciting moments in Marnie. I adore Herrmann's score for Marnie as it may be his finest music for Hitchcock aside from Vertigo.
Jay Presson Allen's screenplay is a wonderful adaptation of Winston Graham's novel Marnie from 1961. Fair warning to any potential viewers of Marnie, Allen's script dives into theft, assault, rape, blackmail, pedophilia, abuse, phobia, and prostitution. Marnie is easily Hitchcock's darkest film and it shows in every scene. These subjects are tackled with care and subtle obscuring so that you never see too much or in any graphic capacity. The tilt down during the rape sequence is tastefully shot and horrifyingly dire simultaneously.
Robert Burks' finale role as Hitchcock's cinematographer is impressive. Burks captures Tippi Hedren's facial reactions and deep emotions with every skillfully executed close-up, but the most impressive aspect of Burks work on Marnie is his camera placement. You always see everyone from a neat vantage point that tells its own story. The symmetrical shot during the first robbery shows Marnie opening up a safe just as a lady is sweeping the floors which builds up so much suspense. Marnie is full of clever choices like this such as Hedren backing away from the thunder storms.
Likewise, George Tomasini's final role as editor before his death was on Marnie. His cuts exhibit a brilliant use of jump cutting only when necessary. He lets tense sequences play out to draw out every bit of suspense, while the action sequences follow meaningful cuts instead of rapid fire ones. The edits to faces after certain heavy lines is always fascinating. For one of Hitchcock's longer films, the pacing is deliberate and steady to keep you captivated by the intriguing mystery. Tomasini's editing for Marnie is simply perfect.
In all, Marnie may be hard to watch for most audiences, but it is rewarding as every aspect of filmmaking is immaculate in Marnie.
Brilliant movie!!! Greatly acted out, great cast, and story!!! Some of the action scenes and backdrops seems very artificial which took away some from the whole movie!!!