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"Marnie" on DVD

Not your average suspense flick

Universal Home Video's "Marnie" is about a mentally ill woman ('Tippi' Hedren) and the millionaire (Sean Connery) who loves her and tries to help her.

Marnie (Hedren) is a really messed up individual. When we first see her she appears to be nothing more than a common thief and liar. As the movie unfolds, however, we learn that there's a lot more below Marnie's icy surface than meets the eye.

She catches the eye of Mark Rutland (Connery), who hires her and then, when she tries to rob his company, pressures her into marrying him. It's definitely not a match made in heaven, however, but Rutland's determined to make it work and pulls out all the stops to dig into Marnie's past and find out the cause of her deep emotional problems.

This is not your average Hitchcock film. It isn't a real nail biter of suspense, though you get drawn into the characters and pulled along by the story, and it isn't really a mystery of any kind - except for the mystery of what made Marnie the way she is.

It's more a psychological character study, but as one might expect from Alfred Hitchcock, it's a fine one. Hedren is very good as Marnie, going from confident con to shattered waif depending upon the scene. Connery comes across as a loving and decent man, a far cry from his James Bond character that was taking hold at the time.

Supporting actors include Diane Baker as Rutland's sister in law and Louise Latham as Marnie's mother. Latham has a fairly minor role near the film's end, but it's a powerful and important part and Latham plays the character to perfection.

The "Collectors Edition" DVD is presented in widescreen, and the audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 channel mono. Picture and sound quality are very good, though we prefer it when the mono signal is sent to the center channel rather than the main stereo speakers.

As with other Universal Collectors Edition DVD's, there are plenty of extras to keep you thumbing that remote control. There's an excellent original documentary on the film ("The Trouble with Marnie") as well as a section of stills called "The Marnie Archives." Also presented for your approval are the theatrical trailer, production notes, cast and filmmaker info.

Marnie is a lesser known Hitchcock film that wasn't greeted with the usual applause. It goes outside the mould for the most part - and that's good.

It's also a gripping and engrossing character drama that really should be seen.

Marnie, from Universal Home Video
131 minutes, Widescreen (1.85:1), Dolby Digital 2 channel mono
Starring Tippi Hedren, Sean Connery, Diane Baker, Martin Gabel, Louise Latham
Written by Jay Presson Allen, Directed by Alfred Hitchcock


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Updated May 13, 2006