Marnie on the Platform (opening sequence)

if you don’t like Marnie (the film), you don’t really like Hitchcock; and if you don’t love Marnie (the woman), you don’t really love cinema Robin Wood

These pictures are from the opening sequence of Alfred Hitchcock’s Marnie (1964). Actually, I’ve put them in a slightly different order. In the film, we’re on the railway platform and following the girl! Just when when we catch her up, she slips away; and there’s a shout of Robbed! It turns out that the girl is not what she seems.

The film is generally recognised as Hitchcock’s last masterpiece. Marnie is a romantic melodrama (that fits into the Hollywood genre of Douglas Sirk etc) that investigates the emotional power of images. It’s like a continuation of Vertigo or The Birds…But the film is also made in an expressionist style that draws attention to the emotional power of its images. In the course of the story, nearly all those images are revealed to have been illusions.

As usual, the film involves identity issues and the havoc these play in relations between people. Basically, the film is an extended psychoanalytical investigation into the cause and effect of Marnie’s behaviour. She’s certainly got a full deck of complexes…relating to money and men.

My own feeling is that, you should never look in a lady’s handbag…

There a number of excellent blogs about Hitchcock, cinema and psychoanalysis…

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