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Marnie

Screening on Film
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
With Tippi Hedren, Sean Connery, Diane Baker.
US, 1964, 35mm, color, 110 min.
Print source: HFA

A feverish and bittersweet fable about compulsion, repression and the perils of Pygmalion love, Marnie remains among Hitchcock's least understood major works. The film's astonishing opening shot of a mysterious woman and her "alligator purse" reveals Marnie's breathtaking formal rigor and the elaborate design shaped by Hitchcock's precisely poetic command of color, camera movement, theatrical artificiality and geometric form. A novice fashion model famously discovered in a television commercial by Hitchcock, Tippi Hedren embodies Marnie's dark paradox, oscillating between destructive cynicism and wide-eyed, traumatized vulnerability. Once a source of ardent controversy among Hitchcockians and detractors confused by the film's willful melodramatic excesses, Marnie is an offbeat and touchingly sincere expression of the strong Romantic tendency running throughout Hitchcock's rich late period.

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