Marnie (1964)

110 mins | Drama, Romance | 22 July 1964

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Producer:

Alfred Hitchcock

Cinematographer:

Robert Burks

Editor:

George Tomasini

Production Designer:

Robert Boyle

Production Company:

Geoffrey Stanley, Inc.
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HISTORY

On 26 Mar 1961, NYT announced that filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock had recently purchased motion picture rights to Winston Graham’s novel, Marnie, just two months after its publication. At that time, Hitchcock was already at work on a treatment with Joseph Stefano, who also adapted Psycho (1960, see entry) for the screen. Filming was expected to begin later that year, with Paramount Pictures slated as a potential distributor.
       By the following spring, however, Hitchcock had begun production on The Birds (1963, see entry), and a 28 Mar 1962 Var item indicated that casting for Marnie was still underway. Princess Grace de Monaco, formerly known to movie audiences as Grace Kelly, agreed to play “Marnie Edgar,” her first film role since her marriage to Monaco’s Prince Rainier III in Apr 1956. The picture would be her fourth collaboration with Hitchcock, who directed her in Rear Window and Dial M for Murder (1954, see entries), and To Catch a Thief (1955, see entry).
       Less than a month after the announcement, the 24 Apr 1962, NYT reported that Hitchcock had postponed production until the spring or summer of 1963 to allow him more preparatory time following completion of The Birds. That summer, a 7 Jun 1962 NYT news item stated that Kelly had dropped out of the project, claiming that the citizens of Monaco held an “unfavorable” view of her return to acting. Several contemporary sources confirmed the Monégasques’ objection to the princess portraying a disturbed kleptomaniac, and the 19 Aug 1962 LAT reported that ... More Less

On 26 Mar 1961, NYT announced that filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock had recently purchased motion picture rights to Winston Graham’s novel, Marnie, just two months after its publication. At that time, Hitchcock was already at work on a treatment with Joseph Stefano, who also adapted Psycho (1960, see entry) for the screen. Filming was expected to begin later that year, with Paramount Pictures slated as a potential distributor.
       By the following spring, however, Hitchcock had begun production on The Birds (1963, see entry), and a 28 Mar 1962 Var item indicated that casting for Marnie was still underway. Princess Grace de Monaco, formerly known to movie audiences as Grace Kelly, agreed to play “Marnie Edgar,” her first film role since her marriage to Monaco’s Prince Rainier III in Apr 1956. The picture would be her fourth collaboration with Hitchcock, who directed her in Rear Window and Dial M for Murder (1954, see entries), and To Catch a Thief (1955, see entry).
       Less than a month after the announcement, the 24 Apr 1962, NYT reported that Hitchcock had postponed production until the spring or summer of 1963 to allow him more preparatory time following completion of The Birds. That summer, a 7 Jun 1962 NYT news item stated that Kelly had dropped out of the project, claiming that the citizens of Monaco held an “unfavorable” view of her return to acting. Several contemporary sources confirmed the Monégasques’ objection to the princess portraying a disturbed kleptomaniac, and the 19 Aug 1962 LAT reported that Kelly attempted to have the script “watered down.” Hitchcock, in turn, countered that his “busy summer schedule” prevented him from filming the picture during her planned holiday in the U.S. In his 2005 book, Hitchcock and the Making of ‘Marnie,’ Tony Lee Moral offered a more political reason for Kelly’s departure, obtained from a memorandum in the Hitchcock Collection at the AMPAS library: In the spring of 1962, France renounced its “Good Neighbor” policy with Monaco, leaving Prince Rainier to negotiate the terms of a new deal that “altered the privileged status of his principality.” For the sake of preserving French-Monacan relations, Kelly was forced to relinquish the role, and abandoned any further plans to return to Hollywood.
       As filming of The Birds continued in Northern California, Hitchcock asked the screenwriter, Evan Hunter, to attempt the script for Marnie. The two immediately disagreed over how to approach the novel’s rape scene, in which “Mark Rutland” forces himself on Marnie during their honeymoon. Hunter felt it would be difficult to redeem Mark, especially in the eyes of female viewers, and wrote an alternate version for Hitchcock’s consideration. The director disagreed with Hunter’s concerns, however, and Hunter was dismissed from the picture. Although Joseph Stefano stated that Hitchcock approached him again in 1963, he was already committed as producer of the science fiction television series, The Outer Limits (ABC, 16 Sep 1963—16 Jan 1965), and was unable to return. Screenwriting duties were assumed by Jay Presson Allen, who reportedly took no issue with the contested scene and honored Hitchcock’s desire to include it in the shooting script. A 21 Aug 1963 Var article indicated that the writing process was nearly complete.
       One week later, LAT and Var announced that Universal Pictures had picked up the project for distribution. Impressed by her performance in The Birds, Hitchcock gave the leading role to Tippi Hedren, a one-time television commercial model whom he had signed to a multi-year contract. Hedren was to play opposite Sean Connery, fresh off the success of Dr. No. (1962, see entry).
       Principal photography was repeatedly delayed throughout the fall of 1963. Although finally set to begin 25 Nov 1963, the production was stalled once again as the nation stopped to mourn President John F. Kennedy, who had been assassinated three days earlier. According to documents in the Hitchcock Collection, filming took place 26 Nov 1963—14 Mar 1964 at the Universal Studios lot in Universal City, CA. A 6 Nov 1963 Var item credited psychiatrist Dr. Thomas J. Myers as a technical advisor. The 8 Nov 1963 LAT stated that Everett Sloane was signed for a “featured role” as Mark Rutland’s business partner, but he does not appear in the final film.
       According to a 5 Aug 1964 Var article, Marnie was removed from the Montreal Film Festival lineup amid reports that sneak preview screenings had garnered a “less than satisfactory” response.
       The film opened 22 Jul 1964 at the Palace Theatre in New York City, where it played on a double bill with the Pat Boone comedy, Never Put It in Writing (1964, see entry), before expanding to Los Angeles, CA, on 5 Aug 1964. At the time of release, the 23 Jul 1964 NYT review called Marnie “a clear miss,” citing the inexperience of the lead actors and an “amateurish” script, but the picture has since gained recognition among critics as one of Hitchcock’s most notable works.
       In 2000, Universal released The Trouble with Marnie, an hour-long documentary about the making of the film, which is featured on the DVD release. Several modern sources, including Donald Spoto’s 1983 biography, The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock, have detailed Hedren’s troubled relationship with the director during production of both The Birds and Marnie that resulted in her refusal to work with him on future projects. The behind-the-scenes story became the subject of the 2012 Home Box Office (HBO) television movie, The Girl, starring Sienna Miller and Toby Jones.
       Marnie marked the first credited theatrical film role of actor Bruce Dern. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
15 Nov 1963.
---
Daily Variety
6 Dec 1963
p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
19 Aug 1962
pp. 9-10.
Los Angeles Times
28 Aug 1963
Section C, p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
8 Nov 1963
Section D, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
23 Jul 1964
Section C, p. 8.
New York Times
26 Mar 1961
Section X, p. 9.
New York Times
24 Apr 1962
p. 30.
New York Times
7 Jun 1962
p. 30.
New York Times
23 Jul 1964
p. 19.
Variety
28 Mar 1962
p. 7.
Variety
21 Aug 1963
p. 3.
Variety
28 Aug 1963
p. 3.
Variety
6 Nov 1963
p. 14.
Variety
11 Dec 1963
p. 18.
Variety
5 Aug 1964
p. 11.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Miss Hedren's and Miss Baker's cost des
Cost supv
Women's cost
Men's cost
MUSIC
Mus comp
MAKEUP
Makeup
Makeup
Makeup
Miss Hedren's hairstyles created by
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
Asst to Mr. Hitchcock
Scr supv
Pictorial dsgn
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Marnie by Winston Graham (London, 1961).
DETAILS
Release Date:
22 July 1964
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 22 July 1964
Los Angeles opening: 5 August 1964
Production Date:
26 November 1963--14 March 1964
Copyright Claimant:
Geoffrey Stanley, Inc.
Copyright Date:
22 July 1964
Copyright Number:
LP29190
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
110
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Marnie Edgar, a young woman who loves only her crippled mother and her horse Forio, and who has a hysterical fear of thunderstorms and bright red colors, is a compulsive thief with a string of successful thefts to her credit. Her method is to obtain a secretarial position, establish a reputation for honesty, diligence, and devotion, and then loot the safe. Changing her name and appearance, Marnie finds a job with publisher Mark Rutland, who falls in love with her. Marnie panics at the thought of an entanglement and rifles the safe, only to be caught by Mark and given the choice of marrying him or going to prison. She chooses marriage, but on the honeymoon her frigidity results in Mark's forcing himself on her, then having to resuscitate her after she attempts suicide. Later, at his family estate, Mark unsuccessfully tries amateur psychiatry on Marnie. The situation reaches its climax when one of her former victims turns up and recognizes her. The next day Marnie goes riding. The sight of a red riding coat so disturbs Marnie that she takes Forio on a wild gallop that results in the horse's death. Distraught, she goes to Mark's office but finds that she cannot bring herself to steal the money for her getaway. Mark follows her and forces her to accompany him to her mother's house in Baltimore. There, during a thunderstorm, Marnie relives the traumatic childhood experience which caused her neuroses. Her mother had been a prostitute whose leg was broken during a thunderstorm by a sailor client in the presence of young Marnie. To protect her mother, Marnie had killed the sailor with a poker blow on the ... +


Marnie Edgar, a young woman who loves only her crippled mother and her horse Forio, and who has a hysterical fear of thunderstorms and bright red colors, is a compulsive thief with a string of successful thefts to her credit. Her method is to obtain a secretarial position, establish a reputation for honesty, diligence, and devotion, and then loot the safe. Changing her name and appearance, Marnie finds a job with publisher Mark Rutland, who falls in love with her. Marnie panics at the thought of an entanglement and rifles the safe, only to be caught by Mark and given the choice of marrying him or going to prison. She chooses marriage, but on the honeymoon her frigidity results in Mark's forcing himself on her, then having to resuscitate her after she attempts suicide. Later, at his family estate, Mark unsuccessfully tries amateur psychiatry on Marnie. The situation reaches its climax when one of her former victims turns up and recognizes her. The next day Marnie goes riding. The sight of a red riding coat so disturbs Marnie that she takes Forio on a wild gallop that results in the horse's death. Distraught, she goes to Mark's office but finds that she cannot bring herself to steal the money for her getaway. Mark follows her and forces her to accompany him to her mother's house in Baltimore. There, during a thunderstorm, Marnie relives the traumatic childhood experience which caused her neuroses. Her mother had been a prostitute whose leg was broken during a thunderstorm by a sailor client in the presence of young Marnie. To protect her mother, Marnie had killed the sailor with a poker blow on the head, producing a shocking flow of blood, and her mother had taken the blame for the crime. Having confronted her fears, Marnie anticipates an improved relationship with Mark. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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