Wednesday, September 2, 2015

#565: Marnie

1964, TSPDT Rank #338

After the release of his 1963 film, The Birds, Alfred Hitchcock's reputation as a filmmaker quickly went downhill and never completely returned until years after his death - although Francois Truffaut's 1967 book detailing a series of interviews with the master helped to spark the beginnings of countless critical reappraisals. Nevertheless, Marnie was not well received by audiences or critics at the time, and seemed to signal to the world that Hitchcock was finally losing his touch. Today, public and critical opinion regarding Marnie is generally the complete opposite, with the film now being considered a crucial part of Hitchcock's pantheon of masterpieces - despite being a notch below well-established classics like Psycho or Vertigo. Tippi Hedren's portrayal of an icy and disturbed, yet strikingly beautiful, woman is perfectly offset by Sean Connery's unbridled performance as her suave yet primally frustrated husband. Promoted as an erotic thriller at the time, the way that Hitchcock portrays sex in this film is blunt and uninviting - nowhere near as erotic as earlier films like North By Northwest or Vertigo, despite its heightened boldness. In fact, this might be one of the first major thrillers to incorporate psychoanalytic themes, even if the script's approach to these themes may seem somewhat dated and inaccurate to today's audiences. In any case, audiences in the 1960s were not receptive to Hitchcock's attempts at probing the human psyche, or the many ingenious set pieces and striking use of colors (particularly red) employed in this film. Marnie, however, turned out to be just as influential on the thriller genre as any of Hitchcock's earlier classics, and has justly earned its current reputation as a masterful psychosexual thriller.

No comments:

Post a Comment