Alfred Hitchcock directs Tippi Hedren, Sean Connery and Diana Baker in the psychosexual mystery where a frigid cat burglar gets cornered by a publishing tycoon who wants to get the bottom of all of her hang-ups.
Expertly crafted but incredibly iffy in its sexual politics. The “hero” is a rapist who traps his beloved like an exotic pet in a cage of blackmail. Hitch is so obsessed with finally being allowed to do whatever he wants to one of his gorgeous blonde dolls that he forgets to include any motor in the plot. The film’s sole purpose is to get into and control the immaculate ice queen’s knickers… whether by force, coercion or cod amateur Freudian therapy. It makes for an awkward, bleak and naively dated film. Yet it unlocks and emphasises Hitch’s concerns and peccadillos far more than his Vertigos and Frenzys… Marnie feels like an ornate and impressive skeleton key. Hedren should be praised as she somehow humanises her fetishistic titular part.
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