A French intelligence agent becomes embroiled in the Cold War politics first with uncovering the events leading up to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and then back to France to break up an international Russian spy ring.
Marnie Edgar is a habitual liar and a thief who gets jobs as a secretary and after a few months robs the firms in question, usually of several thousand dollars. When she gets a job at Rutland's, she also catches the eye of the handsome owner, Mark Rutland. He prevents her from stealing and running off, as is her usual pattern, but also forces her to marry him. Their honeymoon is a disaster and she cannot stand to have a man touch her and on their return home, Mark has a private detective look into her past. When he has the details of what happened in her childhood to make her what she is, he arranges a confrontation with her mother realizing that reliving the terrible events that occurred in her childhood and bringing out those repressed memories is the only way to save her. Written by
During the storm scene, Mark leads Marnie to sit on the sofa. For a moment, you can see Mark's lips moving but you can't hear what he is saying. See more »
Robbed! Cleaned out! $9,967! Precisely as I told you over the telephone. And that girl did it. Marion Holland. That's the girl. Marion Holland.
Can you describe her, Mr. Strutt?
Certainly I can describe her: five feet five, 110 pounds, size 8 dress, blue eyes, black wavy hair, even features, good teeth.
[detectives unable to restrain laughter]
Well what's so damn funny? There's been a grand larceny committed on these premises.
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Far and away my favourite Hitch and in my top five movies of all time
(yes, I'm very biased but there you go), "Marnie" stands out as one of
the most deliciously bitter, malevolent and sardonic "romance" stories
ever made, and it doesn't surprise me in the least that it is either
sworn by or passionately hated by general public. It is, however, no
less influential than any of the acclaimed and widely loved films that
Hitch made previously. Even the staunchest of Hitchcock's fans seem to
be bitterly divided over this one though, some among them simply not
being able to forgive him for being so direct and blatant in choice and
treatment of his subject matter (let alone technical inadequacies) -
and for delivering a slow, sombre, pain ridden and malignant
psychosexual drama, whereas others, myself included, revel in those
very aspects of the film. Hedren and Connery's singular coupling on
screen and their performances have also been subject to much heated
debate - in my opinion they're both excellent, in that they very
successfully portray genuinely unlovable characters and play off one
another almost instinctively and to great effect, helped by a
phenomenally sarcastic dialogue and more than memorable quips ("The
idea was to kill myself, not to feed the damned fish", as well as the
entire "You Freud, me Jane" sequence). Delightful.
Hedren is adequately surly, bitter, spiteful, troubled and fragile all
at the same time, her average acting talents and icy beauty working for
the film rather than against it, whereas Connery is nothing short of a
perverse yet suave male filthy pig dying to get in between her
treasured legs and "take legal possession" for precisely those reasons.
Unsurprisingly, the chapter in acclaimed Truffaut's book of interviews
with Hitch that belongs to "Marnie" is subtitled "Un Amour Fetishiste"
read it. It's interesting that Hitchcock had troubles with his
leading ladies in some of his best films - his disdain of Kim Novak and
endless arguments he had with her on set are all well documented, in
addition to his falling out with Hedren halfway through "Marnie". Both
films are laced with moments of electrifying energy maybe just for that
reason, and both women look spectacular on screen. In any case, it's
perfect casting for both leads in this one, in addition to a brilliant
support led by Latham and Baker, not to mention Herrmann's emotional
score, which so assuredly bounces between hysterical, pleading,
lustful, torturous, and tragic - and back again.
Aside from directorial touches of genius (who doesn't get goosebumps
when Marnie first reveals her face after washing out the hair dye) -
there are undoubtedly many, many flaws and technically weak places in
the film - the zooming in and out on the money in the Rutland safe is a
particular standout in that respect, totally over the top and downright
silly. Obviously painted backdrops and horseriding sequences have all
been slagged off to death as well (altough surprisingly these don't
seem to bother people that much when systematically applied in "The
Birds"), but they are more than compensated for by the greyish,
autumnal and trance-like feel of the film, and are very likely
deliberately calculated in to greatly enhance the overall atmosphere.
Hitch doesn't even try to win the viewer's affection by injecting a bit
of his trademark humour in this doleful story and rightly so - it would
have suffered immeasurably and would have been totally out of place.
For this is a serious film about both female and male emotional and
sexual hang ups (Hedren: "I'm sick?? Well take a look at yourself, old
dear!!...you've got a pathological fix on a woman who's not only an
admitted criminal but who screams if you come near her!!" - Connery:
"Well I never said I was perfect") - "un grand film malade", as
Truffaut affectionately put it - therefore no humour, apart from the
bitterest variety, no happy ending, no sympathetic characters we can
identify with, nothing. But the manner in which the film ends - the car
departing, exiting from screen where previously we saw no street, road
or way out - gives a flicker of hope that Marnie will eventually, with
or without Mark, be able to find her peace. You can either love or
despise the symbolism - it's entirely left to you.
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