Saturday, 16 August 2008


As I've said before, I have a lot of films in my collection, and some have been taped from the telly years and years ago, but never get watched. I'd recently watched North By Northwest for the first time, and rather enjoyed it - it took me back to my time at university, that film viewing vibe I was so accustomed to at the time ... then on the same tape, after NBNW, was another Hitchcock film - Marnie.

Quite early on, I wasn't enjoying it at all. I was bored half way out of my mind, couldn't ignore Sean Connery's complete lack of accent skill, and just how slow-paced and stilted it all felt - to me anyway. Fair play if you dig it, but I wasn't having any fun watching it - except for one sequence. When Marnie finally steals cash out of the safe at her new place of work. That sequence was classic Hitchcock suspense. Wonderfully paced, beautifully shot and edited ... what a shame the rest of the movie wasn't like that.

Also - it's a kind of messed up movie in a way, and speaks for other films of the period. There seems to have been a rather odd opinion or view of relationships during movies of this time.

For instance, in Marnie, the eponymous 'heroine' (if you could go that far) is a thief with serious mental problems (resulting from some punch up-turned-murder involving her mother, who was whoring herself to docked sailors) and gets found out by Sean Connery's sore-thumb accent. Instead of turning her over to the authorities, this twisted bastard forces her to marry him, takes her on a honeymoon cruise, forces himself upon her sexually repeatedly until finally essentially raping her ... she then tries to top herself.

Oh not so easy Marnie...she gets rescued by Connery's accent, then gets dragged back to America where she has to continue her farce of a marriage-cum-blackmail job from Connery, she ends up going nuts and breaks her favourite horse's legs - whom she then has to shoot. Then she's too messed up in the brain to even manage to physically steal money from the family safe, then she's dragged back to her mother's home and the whole truth of the sailor murder comes about.

After all that, will she get banged up in the slammer to do a stint of porridgey bird? Who knows, but in her own words, she'd much rather be with Sean Connery's accent ... ... ... what the fuck, you daft bint?! He's the sort of bloke who'll happily aide a known criminal by forcing them into a sham marriage, during which he rapes his so-called wife.

You know, when you dig even a smidge below the surface of the apparent code or morality in some of the films from this era, they are actually quite fucked up. So it's a bit odd for anyone to consider this heyday of filmmaking to be especially squeaky clean, or some how more upstanding ... just because no backpackers are getting hacked up by foreign businessmen, ha!

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