Archive for the ‘Sean Connery’ Category


01 Sep

Marnie – directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Psychological Drama. A young woman with a past meets up with a man who wants to free her from it. 130 minutes Color 1964.


Sean Connery is an actor who really belongs up there. Handsome, sexy, virile, strong, with a deep musical voice, great eyes, an interesting face and mouth, photogenic, at ease with himself, humorous, smart, responsive, charming, fun, physically flexible, convincing in his readings, and with a hairy chest, he is one of God’s gifts to film.

Tippi Hedren is someone who does not belong up there at all, and it is painful to watch her. She is frozen, the voice is tight and not well-placed, she is unpleasant of visage, she is no fun, has no humor, and what is worse, she has a pile of bleached blond hair on her head that distracts in every scene, much as the same hair does with Catharine Deneuve. “Which way will it be dressed now?” is the sole focus of interest with her. For she herself is completely lacking in interest, and is not an actress at all, poor thing.  Bamboozled by Hitchcock’s name, she let him make her a star, momentarily. When you see her speaking on the Bonus Features, she is a lovely woman, intelligent, well spoken, and interesting. But as an actress she is none of those things. Grace Kelly was scheduled to do it, and it would have benefitted from her breezy style and the fact that she actually was an actress, but Grace Kelly backed out.

At the point this picture is made, Hitchcock is involved in sleazy self-indulgence, combined with a falling-off of talent, combined with a failure to grow in his craft. The script is far too long, and it stalls in long conversations whose content were better taken silently. For Hitchcock sometimes is able to tell a story well, and sometimes brilliantly, as in the passage where Marnie opens a safe, while unbeknownst to her a cleaning woman approaches mopping from around the corner. But it is a passage of suspense in a film which, over-all, does not have any suspense and which is so badly told it is dumb.

For one thing, Hitchcock asks us to be involved in a relationship entirely devoted to therapy, as Connery takes on the role of the shrink – and the psychotherapy offered is twaddle. No one is going to endure this boring woman’s cure! The filming is crude and overstated. Except for Connery, the actors are bad because badly directed. Diane Baker comes across as smug; Louise Latham has a badly written part. The styles are a hodgepodge, and nobody seems to belong in the picture together with anyone else. The picture is a half hour too long. As usual with Hitchcock, the sets are unconvincing.

Hitchcock at this point in his work thinks he knows how audiences think, how they respond, scene by scene and beat by beat, and his arrogance in refusing to question this so-called mastery dooms him. You may witness the doom if you like, for Sean Connery is certainly worth the ticket.

The Bonus Features feature people making insane claims as to the virtue of this picture. “If you do not like Marnie, you do not like Hitchcock. Indeed, if you do not love Marnie, you hate film,” which is to say that if you do not love beets you hate vegetables. Well, I like vegetables. I do not love Marnie, and I do not love Hitchcock and I do not hate film. So shoot me.

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