Review: Marnie (1964)

(Note: this capsule review is part of my farewell to the Netflix DVD service. #GetThroughMyQueue)

I confess, I haven’t seen several of the later Hitchcocks and they’re all in my Netflix queue. This is another one of movies that had a “Very Long Wait” until it was suddenly headed my way. I wonder if there was a reason I didn’t see this one as a kid.

Oh. Oh, yes. Now I see.

This is way more adult-themed. Not that Hitchcock doesn’t have many knowing aspects of that in his other films, but here there isn’t an action-laden plot to distract younger viewers. The troubled marriage story is also one that viewers of Hitchcock’s adaptation of Rebecca may find familiar. However, it’s definitely exploring the psychology of someone who seriously needs to see a therapist that might remind people of Vertigo. Why does a horse have to pay for your trauma, Marnie?

As with all Hitchcock films, there’s plenty to love from the technical craft from camera angles, expertly timed insert shots, and wide shots that show you multiple things at once. Plus, there’s a particularly nice old school use of red with the technicolor. There’s also some great supporting players from Alan Napier to Diane Baker to Bruce Dern. Plus, we get a Bernard Herrmann score with sweeping strings and that archetypal orchestral bombast fans will instantly recognize.

Alas, I found myself more interested in its present status as a period piece rather than being swept up in the story like I am with so many other Hitchcock films, so I’m giving it three out of five stars. Worth checking out for your Hitchcock completionist watch or for people wanting to see a young non-Bond Sean Connery that isn’t Darby O’Gill and the Little People. 

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