Hollywood Classic Review – Marnie


I have always been a fan of Alfred Hitchcock’s work. As is popularly held, he is the undisputed king of suspense and has inspired (and continues to inspire) thousands of film-makers worldwide. Being a fan, I have savored almost all of his “popularly known” projects. The latest Hitchcock film I saw was ‘Marnie’.

I had high hopes from ‘Marnie’ as I do from every single Hitchcock picture I’m about to begin. You don’t say. I should therefore mention that this is the most “unexpected” Hitchcock film I’ve personally seen so far.

‘Marnie’ is about a sensual con-artist who is a habitual thief and a pathological liar. Sir Alfred Hitchcock quite surprises us with ‘Marnie’ in the most unique fashion. He actually steps into the ‘drama territory’ with this one. If you have already seen the film, you will perhaps be able to relate better to my analysis. Had it not been for the last 30 minutes or so, one would feel that they are specifically watching a film pertaining to the drama genre, with only a shade of suspense. This is the first Hitchcock film I have come across which has more elements of drama than of shock or astonishment.

‘Marnie’ (Tippi Hedren), marries someone who admires her and their struggle to come to terms with the reality of the wife being a con-artist is how the screenplay proceeds. There is a tinge of romance and the trouble the couple have to go through has been pleasantly, and in fact elaborately showcased. Now if you are a die-hard fan of the Hitchcock brand of cinema, you might not “love” Marnie as much as you may have enjoyed his other ventures that mostly contain some fair bit of action, some edge of the seat moments and impeccable thrills in abundance. Perhaps the reason why ‘Marnie’ still remains amongst the most underrated films of Alfred Hitchcock.

Hitchcock’s direction, which is par excellence, is the highlight. The camera-work is typically similar to the ones we have seen in the director’s earlier projects. His camera talks and how! As usual, the cinematography plays a vital role in keeping the viewer glued. Tippi Hedren as ‘Marnie’ is convincing and beautiful. She happens to be the stand out performer in the film, fabulously supported by Sean Connery who is utterly charming and has done justice to his role.

Marnie, in my honest opinion, is a fine watch overall and a close to excellent mixture of suspense and drama. As good as it is though, it has surely not been able to find a place in my top five Hitchcock movies till date, which in a way speaks volumes about ‘The Father of Suspense’ himself.

Personal rating – 7.5/10