Sunday, 10 May 2015

I've Just Seen: Marnie (1964)

Marnie (1964)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writer: Jay Presson Allen (from Winston Graham's novel)
Notable Actors: Tippi Hedren, Sean Connery

Hitchcock makes the grubby and the criminal look incredibly stylish and sexy. The acting in the film is rather unsubtle, with Hedren going from ice queen still to hysterical child in the blink of an eye. However, when you consider all the problems Marnie has, the emoting becomes more understandable: her thievery, her relationship with her mother, her fear of the colour red and her distaste for sex (and men). Poor woman! At times I wondered how everything was going to be tied together, though it is not hard to guess what has happened. The relationship between Mark and Marnie is very unhealthy: he tries to understand her, but in an infamous scene forces himself on her. He also treats her as a problem to fix, not a person who needs help.

As with many Hitchcock films the way it is filmed is fabulous. The camera angles, often looking down on the actions of the characters and tracking their movements, creates a sense surveillance and observation. There is a wonderful, suspenseful shot of Marnie in a room, stealing from the safe, unawares of the cleaner in the next room. Superb! The shot of Marnie hiding in the lady's toilet is also now one of my favourite shots in cinema history.

The film as a whole is uneven, but certainly a must-see for film lovers.

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