Marnie brings Tippi Hedren back into harm’s way via Hitchcock, but rather than being at the mercy of lethal feathered friends, this time she’s prey to the most unconventional marriage of the century. A shifty grifter, Marnie makes her money by role-playing, stealing it from unsuspecting corporate offices — that is, until a rich, young Sean Connery, fascinated with her, offers her a most unusual arrangement: if she agrees to let him study her ways like a lab animal, he won’t turn her in. While Hedren had already undergone an excessive amount of physical and psychological anguish during the shooting of The Birds, Hitch’s legendary attempts to mind-game his actresses reached a zenith here, as Hedren constantly seems to be in the grip of a psychosexual fever dream. As well, Marnie’s aversion to the color red recalls Gregory Peck’s similar affliction in Spellbound, but here the Freudian analysis has been dropped in favor of a probing look at two deeply twisted individuals whose only hope is to heal each other. A fascinating entry in Hitchcock’s late-period body of work.
Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1964, 35mm, 130 min.

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