Monday, June 10, 2013

Movie of the Week – Marnie

This week’s movie: Marine (1964).

The romance mystery is about a young woman who goes from town to town using different identities to steal from her employers. However, using the name Marnie, she encounters something unexpected – her employer Mark Rutland has fallen in love and wants to marry her (fully aware of her exploits as a thief). With his help, Marnie might finally be able to confront her severe psychological problems stemming from her childhood.

Director Alfred Hitchcock again works with his frequent collaborators on the film, including composer Bernard Herrmann (who again produces a fabulous score, and his last for Hitchcock), cinematographer Robert Burks, and production designer Robert Boyle.

The film is Hitchcock’s second with actress Tippi Hedren (following The Birds). Sean Connery also stars, with Diane Baker, Martin Gabel, Louise Latham, and Alan Napier in support.

Marnie is one of Hitchcock’s more subversive films in terms of the male lead’s obsession with the female lead almost being really creepy (akin to Scottie’s infatuation with Madeleine Elster in Vertigo). Rutland keeps Marnie like a caged bird, determined to cure her (and thereby make her love him). If not for Connery’s supreme charm, Rutland would probably not be a very likable character and the film would not work.

The film was a critical failure upon its release (though a moderate box office success), but has since found its place included among Hitchcock’s greatest films (but more so among the director’s pundits than in popular canonized cinema). The film is also a nod to Hitchcock’s love of American writer Edgar Allan Poe, and there are many references throughout. Hitchcock credits Poe as one of his major influences in his decision to make suspense films. Marnie is a must-see for fans of Hitchcock’s work.

Trailer: Here

Available on: Blu-ray and Streaming

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