Dr. Rich Edwards

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

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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 either confused herself, and/or trying to confuse others, with who she is. The different IDs is the most obvious supporting evidence of this.  But I really like the use of two suitcases: one is packed very tidily whereas the other has belongings tossed in, nothing folded or much cared for. I believe it is the tidy Marnie, the fastidious version of her that’s at the train station.  I say that because of her perfectly coiffed hair and impeccable dress.

 

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

I’m no musician and unsure if I have the vocabulary to explain this accurately, but it seems to me that each music “clause” repeats itself – one for the sloppy Marnie and the other for the tidy Marnie.  I hope that makes sense!

 

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? 

Yes!  He looks right at the camera. And he appears so early on, and is so very obvious. I believe the direct look into the camera could be a form of taking his last bow. 

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1. Based on this opening scene in Marnie, we learn is very smart, methodical, probably in trouble of some sort. She keeps her back to the camera or her face hidden most of the time. We were introduced to characters this way in The Ring and The 39 Steps and Notorious. He uses this "touch" to introduce characters who are more than they seem.

 

2. This Bernard Herman score is softer and quieter than the others we've heard. Low key energy with a touch of sadness. Sort of reminds me of the musical themes in the television show Mad Men, which we already established took cues from this era of filmmaking.

 

3. Hitchcock's vanity cameos always pull me out of the picture. In Marnie, he specifically breaks the 4th wall and looks directly at us. Not sure why yet. Look forward to watching the film on Friday and finding out!

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Another essentially silent scene in this introduction.

 

First thing that struck me was the similarity of the music to that of Vertigo, with a repeating musical motif, which starts off higher, then is echoed in lower tones.

As the unseen woman washes the dye out of her hair, and we are given a full-screen reveal of "Marnie," the music swells to an almost ecstatic peak. She's someone else! She's free!

(Shades of Judy's transformation (back) into Madeleine in Vertigo).

 

In only a minute or two, we understand that this is a person who has stolen money and is changing her identity. One tell is the switch from the old clothes to the new, as she places the new clothes carefully into one suitcase, and casually tosses the old ones into another, as if in a hurry to shed her former "skin." This is confirmed when she places the old suitcase into a bus terminal locker and goes to every length necessary to dispose of the locker's key.

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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 returning to her hotel room after a very successful shopping trip, which includes a new suitcase.  She is seen filling two suitcases.  One suitcase is larger (we assume this is the new one) and it gets packed very neatly with the new purchases she has just brought back with her.  The other suitcase becomes a storage container to discard the clothes she is wearing now, along with other existing belongings.  Marnie seems to be starting over, shedding her old skin for a new one.  This seems puzzling and the viewer is still not sure of her motive.  She then pours several stacks of bills from her purse into the new suitcase.  Her motive for changing suitcases and clothes starts to take on a more criminal nature.

 

Marnie opens a compact with a hidden compartment that contains multiple social security cards -- all with a first name beginning with the letter M, all issued in 1959.  She sifts through the cards and picks one that she then uses to replace the existing social security card in her wallet.  She wants a new identity, and seems to have extensive experience in doing this.

 

She then rinses her dark hair, washing away the black color to reveal it's blonde underneath.  Not only is she changing her identity with documentation; she also wants to be unrecognizable from her previous look.

 

 

The final step in her transformation is to ditch the old suitcase in a locker at the train/bus station, and to throw away the key.

 

She has a secret that requires she become a different person in all ways, and she's a pro at doing this.

 

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

 

The music starts out slow with repetitive tones as the viewer sees a woman from behind walking through a hotel hallway.  The woman is then seen packing two different suitcases, one with newly bought clothes and one with the clothes she was just wearing.  The music during this sequence brings on a feeling of anticipation as the viewer is learning that this woman is changing her identity (new bag, new clothes, new social security number).  Cut to a shot of dark hair being rinsed in a sink and the color is getting washed away.  The music swells when the viewer sees the woman now has blonde hair - which is still covering her face.  Then the music climaxes when the woman flips her hair to reveal her face in close-up to the viewer.  The music is very loud and powerful at this point as the viewer is being introduced, face to face, to the main character of the film.  The music almost encourages the viewer to give the woman an ovation for revealing her new self.

 

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 looks directly towards the camera as if he has an active part in the action of the scene - he's looking to see if anyone is coming from behind and then he starts following Marnie.  Maybe it's his way of demonstrating that the viewer is going to be tailing Marnie in this story.

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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.

This is a woman that knows what she's doing. She's been shopping for a whole new wardrobe and is getting ready to travel. She washes out that black hair and we get a close up of that face! She looks radiant and in charge. She meticulously packs one bag and and carelessly throws things in another. She finds the ID she intends to use next. Is it her real name? We don't know yet.....The $$ she dumps into the suitcase and the dyed hair puts together a picture of a woman thief - a good one. Surprising at the station that she throws the key to one of her suitcases in the locker down a drain.

 

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

Swelling to beautiful crescendos, this is a beautiful piece of music. It's not as threatening as other movies but still is disconcerting. We think things are maybe not as in control as we saw earlier for the young lady.

 

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

This is the only time I can think of that he looks directly at the camera and then back to where Marnie went with a look that portends drama!

 

 

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Even before the clip begins, the initial close-up of the suitcase envelops viewers into a scene of hyper-femininity.  Marnie’s suitcase is lined in pink satin, the same color as her nails.  When the camera later zooms in, we see opulent clothes and gloves and boxes, all neatly folded and—most important—juxtaposed against the pedestrian suitcase and its common garb. 

 

Here come Hitchcock’s dualities: the suitcases, the sets of SS cards, the hair colors, the purses, the suits.  Once again, we see the quintessential Hitchcock trope of binaries and doppelgangers which anticipate the probing of a troubled psyche.

 

Also, when the scene opens with a tracking shot focused in close-up on the green purse, the locus of precious/treasured possessions and identity (a quaint metaphor, to be sure, for the mind), and then abruptly halts its movement as Marine continues her sexy stroll down the hallway, we viewers once again detach from the action and become observers. 

 

Hitchcock purposely invokes this tension:  we pull back, she moves forward (hearkens back to the signature staircase shot in Vertigo, actually).  She leaves—we watch. 

 

 

Further, Hitchcock’s departure in his cameo shot stuns.  He looks at the camera—directly into the lens with a pointed and conspiratorial look, as though together we will embark upon this journey of suspense and mystery.  More so, perhaps, Hitchcock’s gaze is now turned toward us, the viewers.  Do we in some way, on some level, become the objects of scrutiny in this film?

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In this opening scene, we get to know Marnie's character while she packs her clothes in a suitcase. She is a woman of extravagance, with all fashionable, very good quality and multiple amounts of clothes. There is nothing plain or simple in that suitcase. She is like split personalities as she casts away one set of clothes into one suitcase and all new and different clothes in another. There is duality as a theme running thru this film as was in other Hitchcock films. 

Of course, we see her empty her yellow purse of bills into the suitcase which attracts our attention. Where did this money come from. Note, there are two purses, wallets, suitcases, and two sets of clothes, two different hair colours that reflect multiple identities hidden within. This is what we are dealing with in her character. We never see Marnie's face until she becomes another identity, with newly coloured hair and then at the train station. Otherwise we see her other persona, with black hair and a different identity.

 

Bernard Herrmann's score is used throughout the scene to show the shadowy and doubtful nature, both up and down life of this character. The music is very quiet and guides us through the motions of Marnie. It becomes loudest just as she is on her way onto the train. Again, we are at the train station as Hitchcock viewers. As she locks one suitcase away and throws away the key, we hear no music, just the train station announcement.

 

This is a great scene where Hitchcock makes his cameo. Its different as here he looks at the characters, then directly back at the camera. So who is shooting the film?!  Its like he wants us to know he too is watching Marnie just as we are, the viewers. Very unique.

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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.

The audience can see that by her walk to her hotel room that she is self-assured and in control. As she is unpacking the newly bought items and placing them into the new suitcase, she is changing from one personality to another.  Just by looking at the colors, you can see a change from bright colors to more subdued colors.  Her original purse, for instance, is a bright yellow, and she changes it to a classic neutral.  After she has taken out her personal items, wallet, comb, compact, nail file, she changes again but removing the social security card in the wallet for a different one that she had hidden behind the mirror in the compact. She then washes out the black dye and goes back to her original blond hair color.  Watching her during this process shows that she has done this numerous times before and is skilled in deception.

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

His haunting melody is sad and melancholy; however, as she is washing out the black dye in her hair, the melody starts to swell, culminating with her standing up and revealing her blond hair. When the transformation is complete and as she puts her suitcase into the locker, the music stops and the reality of the PA announcements are heard instead of Herrmann’s haunting score.

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 cameo, Hitchcock comes out of the hotel room and looks directly at the camera.  He has not done that in any of his other films.  It is almost like saying, “Hey, look, it’s me.”  I am not sure why he would change; however, since he is always looking for new ways to do things, this is just another example of that. 

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Based on the opening sequence alone I feel what I already know about the character is that she had one suitcase and now she has two.  She is comfortably dumping her old clothes into the old suitcase and opening up brand new stuff dumping it all into the new pretty pink suitcase including all that cash from the yellow purse.  So what has she done and what is she up to?

I think Hitchcock reveals her character through her interaction of throwing away the old and stockpiling the new; by having all those different social security card identities, by the cash she dumps out and into the new suitcase, by her washing the black hair out and coming up with the blond hair, changing her look, and then by putting her old suitcase with her old identity into a locker and making sure the key is gone. Forever.

I think Hitchcock uses Bernard Hermann's score in this scene by opening with the soft music then the brilliant crescendo as Marnie comes up from the sink after washing the black out of her hair then coming up in her new blond do.  I think it is the great pivotal music moment that also tells us this woman has done something that warrants her changing identity, like did she steal that money and is now off to who knows where.

I really didn't see much variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film.  I guess I see this cameo as another one of his ham moments that he just likes his cameo appearances.  And I think they're all cute, and humorous.  

But if anything can be related to this opening maybe it's that his coming out of the room just as she passes and him looking both ways is signifying someone is always watching when we think we're free as 'a bird'.

 

 

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Like Richard Edwards said in today's lecture video that there are some similarities between Marnie and Psycho. For example it is revealed to us early in Marnie that we are dealing with a woman with more than one identity and some psychological issues and in Psycho it is revealed throughout the film that Norman Bates to has issues and in the end it is revealed that he too has more than one personality. The difference with Hitchcock's cameo in Marnie versus his other cameos is that he looks directly at the camera therefore directly at us the audience.

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Marnie carries herself as a real lady. She has a bright yellow handbag which is loaded with money. We do not know where the money came from but it is easy to assume it is Ill gotten gain. She washes the dark dye from her gorgeous blonde locks and sashays away to begin her treck to her destination.

Marnie puts the key down the grate. Forever hidden.

2. Hermanns melodies are in minor key haunting driving. They drive us on and on in elegance toward hunger for discovery. They are classic yet unique ---they call us toward yet another place and circumstance.

3. Hitchcocks cameo has now become my very favorite. Although I love to look at my master of suspense (I think he is fascinating all the time ) (wish I could have met him in person). But the brevity of this Marnie cameo does not minimize its importance. Don't good things come in small packages ? Hitch comes out of the door on the obvious right. He peers briefly. He has exited ready for the next step ! He is ever ready and I anticipate greatness because he has entered the hallway. Hmmm. Ummmm

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Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character?
 
We know that she's in hiding, she's a thief and she has a dark side. She's on the run, has many different social security cards. She's a beautiful lady and you wonder if she does this because she enjoys pulling a fast one on people and deceiving them or if there's a deeper reason for these actions.
 
In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene?
 
We are shown that she is in disguise right off the bat with a purse that has money in it. The score seems to embrace the emotion of this thieving female who has something to hit and is on the run. There's also some sexuality to the score, most pointedly the scene when Tipi flips her hair after rinsing away the dye. The music matches the scene perfectly.  
 
Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means? 
 
The variation was very distinct in Hitch's cameo. He comes out of the door, looks down the hall, almost right at the camera. I don't really like this approach personally, because it's almost like he broke the 4th wall and it's really distracting. It's also not as fun. When he just walks by with a dog or trying to get on a bus or a train, it's fun to pick him out and the humor is simply missing in Marnie. 

Perhaps he decided to to this because he wanted to nod at the mental illness factor, like this is a serious film to him. I've heard some people felt this was almost his way of possibly taking a bow after his completion of his 49th film. Maybe he knew his career was winding down and wanted to bow out -- although he did go on to make more films after Marnie.
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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.

 

First off, we see that she has two separate suitcases. In one are thrown haphazardly old clothes. Newer clothes, taken from the boxes with the price tags still attached, are laid gently into the second suitcase. As she is unpacking her shopping, she carelessly throws the boxes in a pile. She is obviously someone who is constantly cycling through clothing and insists on it being the best.

 

We also see that she has a lot of money, which would explain the ability to purchase a whole suitcase of clothes. However, there is something off about the money. Instead of it being carefully enclosed in an envelope or wallet, there are stacks just sitting in her purse.

 

From there, we start to get a darker portrait of the woman. While it can seem natural for a well-to-do woman to go on a shopping spree, it's not exactly normal for her to switch everything in a hotel, down to her wallet. However, as Hitchcock takes us through the contents of Marion's wallet, the audience sees that she has several Social Security cards.

 

Finally, we realize that even her hair color is fake. The black hair was just a dye to suit the persona of Marion Holland, but as Margaret Edgar, she must go back to her natural blonde.

 

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

 

Herrmann's score is interesting in this scene. There isn't the frenetic intensity we've seen in some of his other collaborations with Hitchcock. It is soft yet atonal, such to indicate, without throwing it in your face, that something is not quite right with this woman.

 

What I think is most interesting about the score is the change once Marnie flips her newly-cleaned hair out of the sink. It almost reminds me of the music that would accompany a princess or other famous person who appears at the top of the staircase. In this, I see the evocation of Grace Kelly in the music.

 

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 cameo, for the first time (at least that I've noticed), we see Hitchcock actually acknowledge and look at the camera. I think that he does this to signal to the audience to pay attention to the action ahead. In other words, what we are about to see is crucial for us to gain an understanding of Marnie.

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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's carrying a lot of baggage! (Pun intended) There's a calculated precision to her character that we see as she discards one identity for another. She's prepared with a social security card, and we can tell she's done this before.

 

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

 

I feel like it builds up to us seeing her face for the first time, but I don't feel that the score does a ton for me here. It isn't bad or anything, just not as gripping as some of the other musical openers.

 

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 breaks the fourth wall. As we know, this is advertised as a sex suspense, so Hitchcock checking out Marnie then looking to us draws more attention to her, objectifies her more.

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Daily Dose #19: Real Identities

Opening Scene from Marnie (1964)

 

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's character is displayed as secretive in this opening sequence

because we really don't know who she is. She enters her hotel room with newly purchased suitcases, new clothing that she is packing into the cases and throwing a lot of money from her yellow bag into them as well. She not only changes wallet with a new identity but she has four different Social Security cards. She also changes her hair color from black to blonde. It is as if you really wonder about who she really is or what has she done and finally, what is she up to.

 

 

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

 

Hitchcock uses Bernard Herrmann's musical score in this scene to convey a mysterious echo of something happening that we know nothing about. It mounts our curiosity with her every movement especially when she washes the dye out of her hair.

 

 

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? 

 

Compared to Hitchcock's earlier cameo shots, this one seems to be not like his others. He is leaving his hotel room and looks down the hall as if accusing the woman who just passed of doing something wrong. He then does something that I don't think that I have seen him do before and that is - he looks directly at the camera.

 

I think that he is telling his crew that he can do something that he has instructed his actors and actresses not to do in his movies and that is to not look directly into the camera.

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Marnie opens on the back of the character as she walks toward her room. We do not see her face until  she washes the black dye out of her hair and tosses her, now blond, hair back to reveal her face.   She is putting new clothes into the pink suitcase and tossing the old clothes into the black suitcase. Judging by a dark and rather frumpy looking dress, the black-haired persona was less attractive than the blond. She is changing her name too. She tosses packages of money into the pink suitcase.  The black suitcase is left behind in a locker at the train station.  The blond has substituted for the black-haired persona, who, presumably associated with the theft of the packages of money, is abandoned. 

We conclude that the woman is a thief who attempts to elude detection by utilizing multiple personas.

Since the woman is hiding her identity behind a false, and anonymous,  persona, perhaps Hitchcock

wants to show the audience that it's really him.

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  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 devious.  She is also beautiful and intelligent.  In a few minutes, she will be someone else.

 

She has two suitcases.  One she puts her "discarded clothes" in, and the other, she packs with new, out of the box clothing.  She misses nothing including a new social security card and new name.  Then there is the money.  Lots of money, new money, still in its wrappers.  She puts all but the wallet and handbag in the new suitcase.  When we first saw Marnie her hair was black.  She washes out the dye and what a surprise, she is a blond.  The style goes from wearing it down to a twist worn on top and back of her head.  Her clothes are light in color,  so is her suitcase and handbag.   At the station, she takes a bin and puts her "old" suitcase inside.  Takes a coin, puts in the slot to take out the key after she turns it.  She turns around seeming to look for something.  We see a grating in the station flooring.  Marnie walks to it, drops the key on the grating.  It doesn't fall in.  She gives it a nudge or two and it drops out of sight.  

 

                                    

 

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

 

          The music is kind of melancholy  when she walks down the hall to her room.  The tune returns, it seems, when she is taking off the old.  The music lightens up briefly, kind of a light jazz rhythm, the new things come into view.  When she lifts her head after washing out the coloring, the music really takes off and swells up, but only briefly.  The melancholy music returns.  Interesting.

 

  1. 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 opens the door walks out into the hall, after Marnie passes going to her room.  He turns and looks straight at the camera, the turns and walks down the hall.  I can't honestly say what Hitchcock was up to but it did remind me of something.  Hitchcock rarely looked straight at the camera, if ever.  I remembered only one time he did.  It was in The Lodger.  Ivor Novello is hanging by his wrists because of the handcuffs around them.  It's the last scene, the police are beginning to break-up the mob.  The camera moves in to show Novello still hanging there, only showing his wrists.  Directly above him, standing on the narrow ledge of the wall in the middle of the shot and looking square into the camera is a young Hitchcock.  

 

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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 devious with numerous identities, colored hair and discards old clothes so they will not be recognized. It looks like she bought the new clothes and items with stolen money perhaps or she did something illicit to earn the money. She discards the older clothes in the terminal and dumps the locker key down the grate so no one will find them.

 

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

The beginning of the score is subdued but as we watch Marnie switch out identities the music starts to get a little faster and louder and by the time she washes the dye out of her hair and we see her as a blonde the music crescendo's.

 

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's cameo is very noticeable in this opening and it seems like he's up to something. He watches Marnie and the bell hop walk down the hallway but then looks directly into the camera.

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One item about Marnie that I was surprised was not explored in the discussion video, was the parallels of marine to Spellbound.  In both you have psychologically scarred characters, who are being investigated/examined by someone who is attracted to them emotionally and/or sexually.  The genders are reversed between the two films, but both Gregory Peck and Tippi Hedren have present issues were originated from traumatic childhood events.  With Peck, it is the guilt from the accidental killing of his brother.  For Hedren's Marnie, it is her killing the sailor in protection of her prostitute mother.  Both have psychotic episodes initiated by visual triggers - Peck from the dark lines on white background, planted from the murder of Dr. Edwards, whereas Marnie's is the color red from the blood of the sailor.  In both films, the examiner eventually discovers the source of their trauma.

 

As to the Dose questions:

1. In this opening sequence, Marnie is depicted as deceptive, and hiding behind a disguise.  The abundance of cash suggests some it is ill-gotten, as she is hiding it in a suitcase.  She then changes her appearance, even replacing her wardrobe and identify (via Social Security cards).  These deliberate acts, and the availability of these replacement objects, convey her preparedness, and thus experience, at this practice, suggesting this is not her first crime.  Her locking away the items of her former identity and discarding the key, let us know she does not want them discovered, and that she is moving on to the next identity.  She is very good at this game.

2. Herrmann's score through the first half of this clip is one of repetition, indicative of procedure (adding the suggestion that Marnie has done this before), as well as a degree of mystery, as her identity is not revealed as we follow her.  the theme builds up quickly as the black hair dye is washed down the drain, in anticipation of the revealing of her identity as she is finally shown in close-up.  As she puts the suitcase in the locker, the music ends - we've gone from the subjective/artistic opening which sets anticipation with help from the music, past the reveal, to reality, moving on with the present narrative, which does not need music influence.

3. The one obvious variation to Hitchcock's cameo is he looks at the camera (and the audience), breaking the fourth wall, after stepping into the hall and looking at Marnie pass by.  It breaks the attention away from Marnie, perhaps to distract the viewer momentary from the persistent view of her from behind, unidentified.  It's an amusing inhale for the audience, before proceeding with this mysterious figure in transit.  It is almost like he caught us looking at him, when we are supposed to be following this woman of interest -  shaming Hitchcock style!  :-)

 

 

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1) From the opening this woman is quite obviously not who she says she is. She might be a spy/secret agent, a con woman, a woman on the run or perhaps a functional schizophrenic with really great taste in clothes.

We see her change her wardrobe, her hair (both colour and style) and also her identity.

Strange, but the suitcase with cash had everything neatly placed while the other suitcase (the one she placed in the locker) has everything thrown into it haphazardly. I know this must be important but I must wait to see if this has any bearing on her character.

2) The score isn't pleasant or humorous but it keeps moving with a marine, moving with purpose. That purpose? We shall have to discover that for ourselves.

3) I nstead of a cameo where the audience is trying to guess where Mr. Hitchcock will pop up, this one is done rather tongue-in-cheek with Mr. Hitchcock drolly looking at the audience.

It is done for humourous effect not unlike a good magician who draws your attention to something in order to keep you from peering too closely at the prestidigitation before you.

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Wow - lots of parallels between Marnie and Psycho - except that Marnie herself is a more complicated individual with more layers to her personality than Marion Crane (although there is some duplicity regarding identities for Marion which helped her expedite the theft). She assumes different identities in a calculated manner and is a thief with the bundles of money she packs in her "other" suitcase to prove it (Marion also stole money, but ironically is killed before she can make use of it; the money theme also surfaces in the opening sequence of Shadow of a Doubt and involves different sides to the character's personality, i.e., the superficially amiable Uncle Charlie actually is a murderer). Marnie systematically gets rid of her old clothes and identity, dropping the key to the locker and nudging it down the grate. Finally, she washes the black dye out of her hair, which like the blood during Psycho's shower scene, swirls its way down the drain. She has essentially "killed" her previous identity and assumed a new one that would be difficult, if not impossible, to detect. 

 

The Hermann score is soft, somber and slow moving (when compared to the frenetic pace for some other Hitchcock films) as the camera follows a seemingly attractive woman carrying a large yellow purse (very striking against her comparatively dark, tweed suit), but the music swells and draws the viewer's attention to the unseemly activities in which she's engaged, such as switching Social Security cards, packing new clothes with the tags still on them in another, different suitcase. It finally climaxes when, after washing out the black hair dye, she raises her head and you finally see her face and natural blond hair.

 

The cameo in Marnie was fun - definitely a different approach than previous Hitchcock films and likely a desire on Hitch's part to connect with the audience. This time, he comes out of his hotel room, but instead of going about his business - he turns and looks at the camera as if to say "wait until you see what she's up to!" I almost expect him to do a slight smirk and/or wink - although that perhaps would have detracted from the seriousness of the subject that later unfolds. In any case, I appreciated the change. He showed he still wasn't beyond trying something new!

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1.  What do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character?

 

She appears to have stolen the money that she empties into a suitcase - as she goes to great lengths to assume a new identity and it seems she has done this more than once by the appearance of about three social security cards.  She is disposing of an old identity not only with a social security card and name but also buying all new clothes, a new haircolor and hairstyle - even leaving all her old clothes and purse in a suitcase in a locker then disposes of the key.

 

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

 

As the scene opens focusing on the yellow purse and up until the time Marnie reveals her face for the first time with her new identify and new hair color, the music remains mysterious, suspenseful - with an edge to it.  However, as she lifts her head from the sink, revealing her new look (plus showing her face for the first time), the music softens, which does tend to make one sympathetic to Marnie, as Dr. Edwards mentioned in the lecture.  At the time, you don't know why you are feeling this emotion for someone who obviously has something criminal to hide. That feeling stays with you and is enhanced as you watch more of the movie.

 

3.  Any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film....?

 

I noticed with this movie and with The Birds the cameo is right at the beginning of the film and impossible to miss.  As in both films, you are already looking directly at the scene at hand and he just steps into the scene.  Most of his other films you have to really concentrate on where he might be in the crowd - or in a newspaper ad that one of the characters is holding in a particular scene, in the background - profiled in a neon light.  I really appreciated the easy spot of the cameo - again so I could just enjoy the film and not worry about missing anything. 

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1. The scene opens with the yellow purse tucked a woman's arm as we see as the camera pans up to reveal a dark-haired femme in dark brown tweed suit leaving the train platform. Then we her unpacking in a hotel room. (Notice that her new wardrobe was not in bags. In the yesteryears, shopping for clothing is packed into boxes.) We come to know this woman is in a hurry. Then we see her washing out her dark color in the sink and voila she becomes a blond-a new identity. And she sports a new color palette of clothes along with a new sleek hairdo. We know from this transformation that Marnie is not who she is and she is running away.

 

Her reaction to objects is of nonchalant and uncaring. She tends throw things away as something of disposal as last year's clothes or lover. The key in which she locks the suitcase of loaded cash is seen be thrown away into the street grate. She seems not to care about the cash that is now left behind the train station. (Hitchcock loves those trains!!!) She is a sociopath if ever there is one. All her actions are done without empathy. It is about her and her needs at that moment. 

 

2. Herrmann score is perfect to the tee. It demonstrates so well in the opening scene throughout the train platform. The score has a soft romantic tone. But as the scene progress to her washing out her hair the score gets louder and stronger. It fits the scene as the character dramatically changes from one  persona to another.

 

3. Hitchcock's cameo is at the beginning with the master uncharacteristically looking into the camera. I believe it was his winking at us the audience for being naughty for following Marnie as she swayed down the hall admiring her view. We the audience is still voyeur de riquer.  

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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 likes to portray herself as different people. She has multiple social security cards, packed a suitcase full of new clothes and colored her hair to alter who she makes herself appear to be. She's definitely more than what she appears. What's her backstory? Why does she have all these identities? This is a film of Hitch's that I haven't seen, so I look forward to finding out these answers. 

 

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

 

It's soft at the beginning, then it gets more dramatic as we get a closer look into who Marnie is. 

 

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 came through the door are looked briefly toward the direction of the camera.. it seems as though he as well may be up to no good like Marnie. 

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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.

 

The audience automatically knows that something is up with this woman. First, she has way too much stuff, some of it she may not need. We assume that she has a penchant for materialism, but as we all know, there is more to it than that.

 

In terms of visuality, we see her looking at social security cards, clothes, and especially money. She seems to be thrilled that she has all of these items, but we start to realize that none of it is really hers. More importantly, near the end of the opening scene, she takes the key, and deliberately drops it down a sewer. Obviously, we the audience wants to know why this beautiful woman does what she does. 

 

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

 

The score is used to illustrate the mystery of what's taking place. At first the music is subtle and acute, but then it slowly builds up to a climax where 'Tippi' Hendren lifts up her hair in an almost pleasureable stance. Herrmann's music doesn't appear in the film that much when you think about it. In some moments, there is simple silence, especially where Marnie's kleptomania comes in. The music is exactly at the right place at the right time. It's isn't as threatening as the music from other Hitchcock films, but it's still haunting and methodic.

 

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? 

 

At first I thought that it was just another fun cameo, and a sort of wink to the audience. But now that I think about it, Hitch's cameo seems to be there for an important reason. He looks at the camera as a way to let the viewer know that we need to pay close attention to what type of person Marnie really is. 

 

 

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