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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Marnie (1964)

Alfred Hitchcock's last authentic masterpiece. A disturbed young woman (Tippi Hedren) who is sexually frigid, a pathological liar and a thief finds her match in a wealthy widower (Sean Connery) who becomes obsessed with her despite her robbing his company. He attempts to decipher the causes of her psychosis. Poorly received upon its initial release (at least here in America) and made during Hitchcock's most fertile creative period beginning with REAR WINDOW in 1954 and culminating in MARNIE ten years later, only VERTIGO offers the complex riches and layers that MARNIE contains. Visually, with its roots in German expressionism beautifully rendered by Robert Burks, the excellent Jay Presson Allen script (not a line is wasted) and the stunning Bernard Herrmann score (one of his greatest) culminate in a powerful and intricate cinematic puzzles that yields movie gold with each subsequent viewing. Hedren's performance is even more remarkable when you realize this was only her second acting role. The range of emotions would have been, under the best of circumstances, exhausting for the most trained actresses. With Diane Baker, Louise Latham, Martin Gabel, Bruce Dern, Mariette Hartley, Alan Napier and Carmen Phillips.

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