Monday, August 27, 2012

Alfred Hitchcock: Marnie

The Guardian Film Blog

A yellow handbag fills the frame. Its owner walks away from the camera, poised on high heels, suit clipping her waist, hairdo a geometrical helmet. She is abstract art, a construct of colour and couture. We don't even see her face until she washes the dye from her hair and becomes a blonde. The opening shots of Marnie are Hitchcock's ideal of visual storytelling at its purest, and the rest of the film is an underrated gem.
  1. Marnie
  2. Production year: 1964
  3. Country: USA
  4. Cert (UK): 15
  5. Runtime: 130 mins
  6. Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  7. Cast: Diane Baker, Martin Gabel, Sean Connery, Tippi Hedren
  8. More on this film
Marnie had a lukewarm reception. Audiences expected killer birds or mother-fixated murderers, not "instant psychiatry". Even Hitchcock warned fans they might not get what they expected.
Marnie (Tippi Hedren) is a serial thief: she stays in a job long enough to learn the safe combination before stuffing her handbag with cash and moving on. But there's something wrong: she can't bear to be touched, and a flash of red gladioli or a splash of red ink on her sleeve sends her into a paroxysm of terror. Marnie is caught out by new boss Mark Rutland (a dashing Sean Connery), who blackmails her into marrying him and sets about trying to analyse her.

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