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Daily Dose #19: Real Identities (Opening Scene of Marnie)


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#41 CaseInPoint

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 11:59 AM

  1. Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character? In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects.  Right away, we get the distinct impression that this is a woman running away from something.  She is first shown with the bright yellow bag and suitcase on a train platform.  Later, in a hotel room (once again, a hotel room as starting point of a narrative associated with theft) we see money dumped out of a bag, making the assumption that the woman must be the thief, and has expensive taste, having acquired new clothes and what appears to be a very nice new suitcase (the box inside obviously from a high end boutique with the fancy cursive 'Alberts' logo).  The stash of social security cards with varying names and issue dates as a way to visually convey a change of identity is GENIUS.  New things neatly packed, while things from the previous life tossed carelessly into the old gray bag.  So -- a woman, probably a thief, with good taste who is running away and changing her identity -- all without one word of dialogue.  I also like the comments from the professors' lecture video that the shot of washing the dark hair dye down the sink resembles the Psycho shower 'drain' shot, and also the Judy/Madeline makeover at the spa in Vertigo.
  2. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene? The score goes into a soft, almost contemplative mood as the camera follows Marnie, again from behind, we have yet to see her face.  As we see the hair dye being washed out, the tempo and volume slowly increase and climax into the opening theme's motif when we finally see Marnie's face, almost a fanfare of her introduction.  Another word about sound -- if one listens closely to the announcements being made on the public address system in the train station, the cities being announced indicate that Marnie is about to head south -- "Wilmington, Washington, Richmond, Rocky Mount, Wilson, Fayetteville, Florence, Charleston, Savannah, Jacksonville"....
  3. Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means? Hitchcock definitely looks as if he has been caught doing something naughty by the audience.  I like the comments by the others in the forum that this is the first cameo where he breaks the 'fourth wall' and seems to acknowledge the audience...never thought of that!  To this point, in my readings about Hitchcock, I have always had the impression that he was a man that was frightened of the world in many ways (fear of the police, fear of driving, etc) and always saw this cameo as (also) of a frightened Hitchcock venturing into the world, or into the world of the film's setting.

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#42 virtualmelia

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 10:56 AM

Maybe it was just me, but, during the lecture video of "Marnie" I couldn't help but get distracted by the bright red coffee mugs on the table.  :D



#43 Wizona

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 10:55 AM

1. In the opening scene of Marnie we learn some things about her. She is obviously concealing her identity. In fact, she has many identities. One might wonder if she is a spy, as she calmly packs and ditches her old clothes in one suitcase and packs brand new, still in the package clothes in another. She seems organized and methodical. There is no hesitation or panic, just calm actions.

2. Herrmann's score is sad and haunting. It builds to a crescendo when the audience finally gets to see the face of the woman we have been following. The music is beautiful to match the beautiful woman, but there is a sadness and longing in the music that signals all is not right in this story.

3. In his cameo in Marnie, there is no element of humor. He simply comes out of a hotel room door into the hallway. In other films there is usually some element of humor, sometimes overt, sometimes subtle, but always there. This cameo is devoid of humor. I think this variation means that this movie is to be taken seriously as a serious comment on whatever it's theme will be.


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#44 hussardo

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 10:20 AM

1. Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character? In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects.

Marnie is a mysterious woman. Hitchcock reveals her as this woman we don't know anything about. All we get to see from the objects that are shown through interaction is that she's probably a criminal or a spy on the run.

2. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene?

The music is definitely used in a more sophisticated, smooth and maybe even more soothing way than the previous soundtracks. The score gives you the easy romantic feeling.

3. Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means?

Most of Hitchcock's cameos are variations of a person who's kinda lost, maybe a passer by that coincidentally breaks concentration of the audience sometimes in a comical attitude. In Marnie the cameo seems more of a person trying to figure it out what the commotion is all about. Distracting but at the same time inducing the audience's curiosity.
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#45 Rosepearl

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 10:04 AM

1. Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character? In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects.

I saw Marnie when it first came out and was disappointed in the film. I’ll have to watch again tonight. It’s obvious that Marnie has various identities that she uses for nefarious purposes. Her first appearance is all in dark colors as is her hair. She washes the dye out of her hair and tosses all the items relating to that incarnation into a dark suitcase, which she abandons in a train station locker, tossing away that identity with her key. Does she leave the boxes and wrapping paper of these new items in the hotel room? The items she tosses haphazardly into the left suitcase are all lighter colors except for the dark suit under which they’re concealed. Her yellow bag stood out as a lighter color more suited to her natural appearance. Does she use the yellow bag, seemingly out of place with the dark clothing, as a touchstone of her true identity? What appears to be the next “personality” starts fresh with another suitcase, tan in color, full of cash and brand new items in browns and grays. I think this represents her true self, idling in neutral. She sorts through her Social Security cards, all with the same birth year, looking at each one as if she’s not sure of who she is or wants to be. I didn’t see her put the card she had just been using back into her compact, so does she leave it behind or retrieve it out of our sight? That handy little tool to open the secret compartment acts as a symbol of her hidden personalities she keeps locked inside herself. Her hair is free flowing in her alter ego, but is very tightly coiffed in her new personality.

2. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene?
The music for the first character in black wavers back and forth in a somber, unsettling tone. It’s sort of the rhythm my mind has as I’m thinking about different approaches to a situation – ‘do I do this thing’ or ‘do I do that thing’. I can hear Marnie saying to herself in a sing-song fashion – “I used to be Marion” –“Now I’ll be Margaret”. As she lifts her head to face the mirror with her blonde hair, the music goes into a sweeping, romantic style, much like you hear when a glamourous creature emerges on the screen. It’s a more confident sound, one in which I think Marnie feels in control. And the music fades into the natural sounds of the train station as she locks her previous identity away.


3. Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means?
I don’t remember Hitchcock ever looking at the audience in his cameo appearances. It’s as if the viewer is approaching from his right. He notices Marnie as she passes, and then sees us as if we are in the hall with him. And it was also like a “did you see that?” And other than his introductions to his television shows, this is really the first time in his films that he’s peeped at his audience to let them know he’s been watching us as well.
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#46 Shannon.H

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 08:29 AM

Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character? In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects.

 

We see that Marie is running away from something maybe by changing her hair colour.  We learn that she has multiple social security numbers and we see money most likely stolen!

Also we see two suitcases - one messy and colourful the other perfect and plain.

 

How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene?

 

​The score speeds use along and almost guides us to key points - money, social security cards, the key.

 

Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means? 

 

It was in the opening scene and I find with most of his cameos he doesn't look directly at us, here is does.


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#47 RepublicPics

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 06:39 AM

In the opening scene, Marnie is revealed to be a deceitful character, but one who values quality 'things'.  Marnie gently folds and places her spoils of finer clothing, including white gloves into the nicer suitcase, while disposing of her other clothes.  Does she find identity in objects, or worship them?  As noted in the lecture, Marnie does seem to be channeling Marion Crane from Psycho -- the social security card she was using was even issued to a Marion.  (As an aside, people in earlier times did carry their social security cards, something people would hardly ever do today out of fear of identity theft.)

 

The Bernard Herrmann score is very reminiscent of his score for Vertigo, and the crescendo as Marnie's face and blonde hair are revealed blairs out "Aha".

 

As Alfred Hitchcock emerges from a hotel room, he glances toward the camera (and the other way as well), almost appearing to have a guilty look on his face.  Why?

 

 

 



#48 riffraf

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 01:28 AM

Daily Dose #19 - Marnie

 

"My name's Rutland, Mark Rutland..."

 

Looking forward to seeing this film, as I am a huge Connery fan.  The look of Tippi Hendren in the daily dose reminded me or two actresses - One a contemporary of Hendren's, the other with a strong connection.  She first reminded me of Sandy Dennis (Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf) and of course, Hendren's daughter Melanie Griffith.  

 

 

 

I can't imagine anyone else to play these parts!

 

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tumblr_n7ku0ucMyu1qbh20ko1_500_zpseypkgc


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#49 D'Arcy

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 10:28 PM

Marine is behaving with precision and total self control while changing her image. It's perfection right down to her nails. Selecting SS card allows the viewer to gain the knowledge she's done this before. I wouldn't doubt if each card represented a different hair color etc. out with old.... in with the new..... as seen with two suitcases. She is totally abandoning her old portrayed self. Interesting all first names are Mar including the films title. I've not seen the film so not sure if these last names are previous marriages or just false identity. I assume the later. The new self reserved and calculated down to hiding any evidence of old self. Our first shot of her is mysterious, I liked the expression when she came up blonde it looked resfreshed and burden lifted. Perhaps the loot may have something to do with it. The key drops down the grate gives the impression she has gotten away with a crime.

I felt a loneliness in the musical score. Longing, mystery, and a journey driven by passion or maybe pain.

Hitchcock immediately gave me a feeling of he's been listening in, following our character, or up to something. He is not a passerby like other cameos. Looking to see if anyone else is round. Or possibly, looking at us the audience inviting us to join the film as the details are unfolding. I felt a welcome from his presence.
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#50 BarbaraGrahamTucker

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 10:22 PM

  1. . She wants to acquire objects and the power they give her to create new selves or identities.  She is dishonest and clever about it, successful at beating the system (how did she get four different Social Security cards, the money). She can discard items even though she needs them for her rues.  She buys (steals) the best.  She wants to live high class and will do what it takes.  I would guess that she interacts with objects better than people.
  2. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene?  It gives a sophisticated feel.
  3. The cameos are sometimes cute but they get annoying, and from the perspective years later they are like Stan Lee being in the comic book movies.  In this one he looked briefly at the camera—that’s new.  It adds a level of self-awareness, winking at the camera feel. This is also done in such a way that no one would miss it. 

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#51 dianuchis

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 09:48 PM

The opening scene of Hitchcock's Marnie echoes the themes of identity and transformation seen in his past films. One in particular is Vertigo. I think the elegant and feminine piece score of Herrmann relies incredibly on Vertigo's transformation of Judy to Madeline, notice the hair color. I think Hitchcock toyed with the idea of women having the possibility of having different identities, greatly focusing on their sexuality. 


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#52 Cscharre

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 09:40 PM

Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character? In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects. Without words we discover, that she is a criminal. She stolen money, she creates a new identity from amoung her various SSN cards, she buys brand new clothes and throws away others, she rinses out her hair color for another, she hides a suite case in a locker only to purposely loose the key so no one can ever open it. She is running from something.
How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene? The first shot of Hedren is very dramatic as the score rises to a climactic resolution when we see her "new" look.
Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means? He is starting to show more of himself than just quick pecks of himself.
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#53 Marnie68

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 09:39 PM

1. We see in these scene that Marnie is a thief who has stolen a lot of money and purchased new clothes and accessories. She is neatly packing her new items in a large suitcase while tossing the old items carelessly in a old suitcase. She changes her Id card so we see she has done this before because she has several to choose from. She does not seem to be in a hurry. She is not moving in a frantic way, instead she is very poised and calm as she prepares for her getaway. She then rinses her dark hair to reveal her natural blonde hair. She puts the old suitcase with her old items in a locker. She then drops the key down a grate. she does not plan to come back for these items and doesn't want them found easily. She is leaving this identity behind and putting on the new as she makes her escape.

 

2. Bernard Herrman's score starts out as quiet and builds in intensity as Marnie is packing her new items. It picks up the tempo and gets louder as Marnie is rinsing her hair and builds up til her face is revealed and we see a beautiful blonde.

 

3. In this cameo Hitchcock looks directly at the camera, as if to say "Who was that?" He is telling us "You better keep your eye on that one".  


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#54 Craig0904

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 09:11 PM

I’ll be honest.  I’ve only seen Marnie once, many years ago.  I don’t remember being very impressed.  I think it may be time to re-watch it with a fresh perspective.

 

Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character? In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects.

Based on the opening scene, the character of Marnie is completely in control of her actions.  There is nothing hesitant in her movement.  When we do see her face, which is not often in the opening scene, we do not see fear; we see purpose.  We are instantly convinced this woman is guilty of something.

The scene is one of transformation.  She literally throws away her old life into a suitcase.   Everything is tossed haphazardly into a crumpled mess.  Her new life, her new identity is treated with care and precision.  We know already that she manages different names and social security numbers.

What’s interesting is that we see Tippi from behind.   We see her from hip to neck.  We see her hands.  And that’s really all we need to see at this point to make our initial judgements about the character.

 

How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene?

The two words that come to mind in the beginning of the scene are: thoughtful and meditative, when referring to the score.  But then I notice as we approach of the moments of her physical transformation, the tempo quickens and reaches a crescendo when she becomes the ‘cool blonde’.  After that, I notice the score disappears into thin air.  Hitchcock no longer wants Hermann to take us on the emotional ride with Marnie through the transformation.  He wants to place the character in a more realistic setting of a bus or rail terminal with the appropriate background noises.

The score takes us through Marnie’s calm, cool, calculated moves, on through the cathartic metamorphosis, and then back to a more realistic context.

 

Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means?

In the case of Marnie, it doesn’t seem to be an ‘accident on purpose’ anymore.   It’s almost like Hitch is just phoning it in now because it’s something that’s expected of him.  There’s nothing entertaining or humorous about his cameo here.  Before this he’d be walking dogs, showing up in a newspaper on a lifeboat, missing a city bus.  Here, he actually turns toward the camera as if to say ‘we good?’ 


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#55 LThorwald

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 09:08 PM

1.  I've seen this movie twice before, but I never noticed how well this first scene works.  What we know about Marnie is that she is a secretive woman, and not only comfortable but adept at changing her look and identity.  The many close-ups of objects, handled with such precision and care, show us that this is clearly not the first time she has changed things up.  It is interesting how many of these objects do evoke earlier Hitchcock films, something that must be deliberate.  

 

2.  Herrmann's musical cue begins with a repeated motif that evokes a feeling of intrigue or suspense.  It builds to a climax at the moment when Marnie is completing her transformation, and there is actually a brief moment where I think Herrmann is almost quoting from his Vertigo score, when Judy is becoming Madeline.  It is not exact, but reminiscent, and appropriate since we are watching another transformation here.  

 

3.  Hitchcock's cameo is a bit different here.  I have always thought that this was both his most self-aware cameo, and perhaps his most inappropriate.  Self-aware because he almost looks at the camera.  Inappropriate because the audience attention is forced on him;  he is the only person on screen, unlike many of his previous cameras.  He has a look of guilt on his face, as if he committed a crime in the room he is leaving.   Audiences loved (and still love) looking for Hitchcock, and I would imagine he intended this to be humorous, but it seems a bit at odds with the emotional tone being established in setting up the Marnie character.


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#56 TheRut53

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 08:56 PM

Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character? In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects.
She is a sophisticated thief...not a common one. She is calculating and thorough. She has done it so often, the objects she steals seem to have no effect on her emotionally. She doesn't linger or study over them. She simply coldly packs them away.

How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene? It's a smooth and cool..does not evoke an emotion as the objects stolen have the same effect on Marnie.

Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means? I believe this is the first cameo in which he actually interacts with the protagonist by observing her briefly...then looking at the camera, then looking at her again. As if to tell us,to pay close attention to this person.

#57 debbi-c

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 08:29 PM

We can tell in these opening scenes that Marnie is a thief, she's good at it, done it before (multiple SS cards), she's cold, calculating, with a plan that has worked in the past.  You just have to wonder, what is up with that?  What makes her this person?  She's cool & calm as she places her new items of clothing in the new suitcase, & tosses the old clothes into the old suitcase.  She further sheds her old skin/identity when she rinses the dark hair dye out of her hair.  I hadn't thought of the Psycho connection, but when Dr. Edwards mentioned it, it definitely clicked for me.

 

Bernard Hermann's score is very moody, flowing back & forth in almost a hypnotic affect.  It draws you into the film & makes you want to know more about Marnie's character.

 

Hitchcock's cameos are often easy to miss.  He's usually in the background, though not always.  Here, he walks right out toward the camera.  He wants you to see him.



#58 shamus46

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 08:12 PM

  1. Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character? In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects. She is a con-woman with multiple identities. In this scene she is shedding her character by throwing things in the gray suitcase that she is discarding. She neatly packs the items she intends to take with her.
  2. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene?  The music is soft and captivating  during the sorting of items but swirls and swells in crescendos as we see her face and her blonde hair of her new, and perhaps, real identity.
  3. Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means? He comes out into the hall, directly into the scene, hesitates, and looks back at the camera.  Perhaps he's just getting the cameo shot out of the way so the audience can focus on the movie, and does it in a way that no one can miss it.


#59 merrittson1

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 07:19 PM

I just read Steve Vertlieb's article: Herrmann and Hitchcock:The Torn Curtain, and found it informative and fascinating about the relationship of these two great artists. I think there is a movie in this working collaboration. I'm so sad that egos got in the way towards the end of their careers. I am grateful for their contributions and their artistic respect for one another when things were in synch. 


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#60 Auburnrebecca

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 06:20 PM

1.Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character? In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects.
We learn Marnie has multiple identity cards, revealing that she is fake. She changes her hair color, which reveals that she is running from something, as she also has several identities to choose from. She rather mysteriously leaves a suitcase of money in a locker and then drops the key in the grate. There is an air of mystery surrounding her.
2.How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene?
The music gets higher and higher, adding an element of anticipation.
3. Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means?
In this clip, he faces the camera, unlike other shots, where his face is seen from the side. He also closes the door only and we don't see him exit. In previous scenes, he crosses the screen, but not this one.
I believe he's telling us that this film is going to be different from his others. He faces the audience, as if to say, " I'm not hiding anything in this one", yet in true Hitchcock form, his opening scene introduces us to a very mysterious character. But then again, it could be that he simply got tired of the cat and mouse with the audience and wanted to get his cameo over quickly, as in The Birds, so as not to detract from the film.




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