Marnie [1964]

You could call this one Hoot Along with Hitch. With the possible exceptions of Topaz and Family Plot, this is Hitchcock's cheesiest movie, visually and psychologically crass in comparison with a peak achievement like Vertigo--although it shares some of that film's characteristic obsessive themes. Sean Connery, fresh from the second Bond picture, From Russia with Love, is a Philadelphia playboy who begins to fall for Tippi Hedren's blonde ice goddess only when he realizes that she's a professional thief; she's come to work in his upper-crust insurance office in order to embezzle mass quantities. His patient program of investigation and surveillance has a creepy, voyeuristic quality that's pure Hitchcock, but all's lost when it emerges that the root of Marnie's problem is phobic sexual frigidity, induced by a childhood trauma. Luckily, Sean is up to the challenge. As it were. Not even D.H. Lawrence believed as fervently as Hitchcock in the curative properties of sexual release. --David Chute

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