Terms for psychologists like “Analysts” are common in Hitchcock films. He seemed to be taken with the idea of the mind and its many shenanigans. Some of those caused it to commit crimes, even kill. Of course, since the films of Hitchcock we’ve had similar twists in films like Fight Club. The idea that the mind can take a plot far afield and back again is be dazzling to audiences. Hitchcock was one of the forerunners of this movie making component.
“Mark marries Marnie although she is a habitual thief and has serious psychological problems, and tries to help her confront and resolve them.” -IMDB
Winston Graham, Jay Presson Allen
Crime, Drama, Mystery, Romance, Thriller
Wed 22 Jul 1964 UTC
IMDB Rating: 7.2
Marnie is a mess. That is established early on. The question is, is she an habitual criminal or a survivor. Is there a difference in a court of law? I think not. You might be able to get someone off for their childhood trauma but more often than not, there are cases proving that judges and juries aren’t easily dismissing crime because of psychology.
This film is about layering. Hitchcock, from his first hallway cameo in the film, is working in every scene to develop the story of a tragedy. We’re not sure of what it is or the damage it has caused but it looms. We are led hither and yon: first to one possible conclusion and then to another. It isn’t until the ending scene that we have a complete picture of what happened.
Marnie didn’t receive the critical acclaim of other psychological thrillers of its time, like Psycho, but it is a deft painting of a woman with evil tendencies that the audience can’t help but find compassion for. This is a great Hitchcock film! I’m very thankful to Kristen Lopez for making me aware of it. She is set to be a guest on our podcast this week that will air sometime in January. The topic is simply “Hitchcock.” I recommend Marnie to Hitchcock fans and fans of thriller/drama movies from the 50’s and 60’s.