Marnie. Yes, that one.

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bryce
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Marnie. Yes, that one.

Post by bryce »

I accidentally caught the last half of Marnie the other day (yesterday?) on TCM. I say accidentally because I wouldn't watch this film if you strapped me to a seat, pried open my eyes and used it to cure me of tendencies of ultraviolence (or, in this case, lazy filmmaking or bad acting). The one and only time I've ever watched it, start to finish, was when I was a teenager and my grandmother, a big fan of Hitchcock's later years (why?!) insisted we run a marathon. I hated it then, and I hate it now, and here's why-

1) It's boring. Hitchcock is uninspired with every part of the process and it shows. Like many genius directors, when he's on, he's really got it and he crafts an incredible masterpiece, even when he was inexperienced he was still exciting, but when he's off, all of the tendencies that worked for him previously now work against.
2) It is one of the most horribly acted films I have ever seen. Look, usually when I say an actor can't act, it's a bit of a stretch - even John Wayne can act, he usually only acts like himself - but here, it's truth. Tippi Hedren and Louise Latham are awful. Just plain awful. They make John Wayne in The Conquerer look like Laurence Olivier. What was Hitchcock thinking?
3) Worst MacGuffin ever. This, again, comes down to Hitchcock probably being bored, or perhaps senile, I'm not sure, what drives one to ruin their career?, but it just isn't interesting. Maybe that's why they cast Sean Connery after Bond, because it would be SHOCKING!!! for a woman not to want him. He's trying his best, but here he's still Bond, and it's hard to believe he has real enough interest in Marnie past wanting to bed her to want to help her overcome her issues. There is absolutely nothing compelling about this story, the twist or, well, anything involved with this movie.

Combine incredibly lazy filmmaking with incredibly poor acting and what do you get? You get Marnie. Among the worst serious movies ever made. It should have ended Tippi and Louse's careers but somehow it didn't. Oh, I rue the day it didn't. The ending sequence when Connery, I can't even remember the name of his character, that's how little I care, Mark?, took Marnie to visit her mother, again, can't remember nor care about the name of the character, is the single most painful scene I've ever seen, and I spent weekends watching direct-to-video crap and 50s b-movies. Those awful accents! Those horrible facial expressions! The way Tippi looks off to the side and slightly downward as if to convey blindness and regression to a previous time and place! Horribly contrived Hollywood conventions made all the worse by being poorly utilized by the very man who pioneered them...! The horror... The horror!

Phew, I feel better. Thanks Oasis. I just had to get that out of my system.

Bryce

PS. I just realized this was on TCM. What?! Really? This is considered a "classic"? That's two hours that could've been spent on something worthwhile. Geez. Air "The Sound of Music" in Spanish for all I care. Anything but Marnie!
Last edited by bryce on September 12th, 2008, 10:12 am, edited 2 times in total.
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knitwit45
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Post by knitwit45 »

But Bryce, how do you REALLY feel about the movie?????? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

(couldn't resist) I agree, it STINKS....big time!


Nancy
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The way we cope with it, is what makes the difference." ~ Virginia Satir
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Post by Mr. Arkadin »

I just stopped by the house for a minute and logged on to check things here. Obviously, we feel very differently about the film. I don't have time to respond to everything right now, but here are some comments from a previous post (I also like that other "stinker" Topaz :wink: ):

http://silverscreenoasis.com/oasis/viewtopic.php?t=1955

I know Miss Goddess is also a fan of this one. Anyone else up for an in depth discussion?
jdb1

Post by jdb1 »

I've always thought of Hedren as tied with Suzy Parker in the "Most Beautiful Bad Actress" category. Hitch's personal infatuation with Hedren certainly got the better of his good judgment. She never got any better, but boy howdy, she sure was blonde.
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vallo
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Post by vallo »

I'll add "Torn Curtain" to that list. Hitchcock films seemed to decline in the 60's. Maybe he was getting old and concentrated more on his TV show. I think the public expected more from him after "Psycho" and "The Birds".


Bill
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moira finnie
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Post by moira finnie »

Well, gee, as Bryce pointed out in so detached a fashion ( :wink: ), Marnie has its problems. However, I can tell you that there are two things that have made me leave this flick on in the background when I'm puttering around the house:

1.) Bernard Herrmann's score, which isn't his best, but any Bernie is better than no Bernie any day of the week.

2.) Sean Connery in his strictly eye candy period. I think Connery became a good ( The Man Who Would Be King), and sometimes great actor (The Hill, The Offence), but in this early James Bond stage, interspersed with movies like this one and Woman of Straw, he was right purty and occasionally quite funny, despite the scripts he was handed.

Tippi Hedren always looked like an unhappy marionette in her movies, especially those with Hitchcock. No wonder she only trusts animals now. Hey, while we're on this subject, (sort of), can you think of good actresses who really started as photographic models and had no long term plans to pursue acting?
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jdb1

Post by jdb1 »

Miss Ina Balin. (Look to your left.)
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moira finnie
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Post by moira finnie »

Really, Judith?

I'd have thought her actress material not model material from the word "go"! Gee, I would've guessed that Ina might be the kind of girl who appeared in little theater and college productions of Blood Wedding and A Most Happy Fella, but a girl who was a clothes model only--huh? Who'd a thunk it? Neither flat chested nor blank-faced enough to have trod the runway, certainly. Ina Balin must be the exception that proves the rule's flexible, eh?

Thanks!
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ChiO
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Post by ChiO »

As luck would have it:

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/ ... 725371.ece

Just for you, Bryce.
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jdb1

Post by jdb1 »

moirafinnie wrote:Really, Judith?

I'd have thought her actress material not model material from the word "go"! Gee, I would've guessed that Ina might be the kind of girl who appeared in little theater and college productions of Blood Wedding and A Most Happy Fella, but a girl who was a clothes model only--huh? Who'd a thunk it? Neither flat chested nor blank-faced enough to have trod the runway, certainly. Ina Balin must be the exception that proves the rule's flexible, eh?

Thanks!
You're right, Moira: not flat-chested and not vapid-looking, and also probably not being blonde, and having a rather "healthy" figure, kept her from making a go of it. However, I can certainly picture Ina, done up and photographed in high fashion splendor, looking pretty impressive. There is sadly little biographical information on her, and I've never been able to establish what kind of modeling she did, only that she was one. Because she wasn't the classic high fashion type, and was tallish, but not really model-tall, she may have been the catalog and trade show type. In any event, someone, somewhere, must have told her she should try the movies, and she had much better luck there.

That whole being a model thing was, as it seems to be now as well, in itself a career to aspire to, when you and I and Ina were young. Any girl with a pretty face was told she should be a model, and most believed it.
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ken123
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Post by ken123 »

Ina Balin was IMHO gorgeous and certainly a much better actress than Melanie's mother. :D
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knitwit45
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Post by knitwit45 »

John! welcome back. hope you'll post some photos of your incredible trip.

I truly do not like "Marnie", but on the other hand, I really do like "Torn Curtain". Paul Newman and Julie Andrews??? what's not to like????


again, welcome HOME

Nancy
"Life is not the way it's supposed to be.. It's the way it is..
The way we cope with it, is what makes the difference." ~ Virginia Satir
""Most people pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it." ~ Soren Kierkegaard
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Post by movieman1957 »

Does anyone have an opinion on "Frenzy"? I think that is the only modern Hitch that hasn't come up.

(Hi John)
Chris

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