Dr. Rich Edwards

Daily Dose #19: Real Identities (Opening Scene 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.

 

We find out that she likes luxury. She is in a fine hotel with a bellhop carrying her purchases from a store. She is smartly dressed with a nice purse. Once we are in the room, we see her packing her bought clothes and packing her used clothes. As we see the ID cards we realize those clothes are her costumes of whomever she is choosing to be at the moment. We see her hide the old stuff and throw away the key. Possibly to never be that person again. At this point, we don't know is if she is a spy or their or a split personality. She is just changing her looks for some reason.

 

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

 

The music builds to crescendo when she tosses her hair back its like saying ta da! Here she is as she really 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 sets the stage as saying every head turns when this lady is around. Even he is caught looking. He makes it seem like a whoops moment. Like he didn't mean to be seen.

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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.

Based on the opening scene one can sense that the character of Marnie has something to hide and what is in the yellow bag is of significance to the character. Furthermore, the audience does not see the Marnie's face until her hair color changes.  Through the use of objects Hitchcock reveals that Marnie is an impostor because of the multiple Social Security cards that she has along with the two suitcases.  One suitcase holds her old clothing while the new suitcase contains her newly purchased items.  Marnie leaves the old suitcase in a locker were she purposely looses the key.

 

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

 

Hitchcock uses Herrmann's score to keep the audience intrigued 

 

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 steps out of a room and looks at the audience in almost a silent gesture to the audience to find out what is going on with this character. 

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We know by the opening sequence that Marnie is changing old clothes out for brand new and changing her identity as well. The fact that she has several Social Security cards tells us that she is a shady character and the money was probably not gotten legally. She is changing her appearance as well.

 

The Bernard Hermann score is suspenseful.

 

This variation on his cameo is that it is immediate. I read that he didn't want people to look for him in the movie which would distract them from the film so here he is right away. And it is almost like he is smiling at the camera to say, ok here I am and now watch the film more attentively.   

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Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character?

We already know that she uses disguises, she's extremely organized, does nothing halfway, and she has a lot to hide. She's also comfortable when she's in disguise and "in control."

 

In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects.

She's fastidious about her packing, her wardrobe, her hair, exchanging ID cards in her wallet. She's impeccably dressed, with hair, makeup and nails perfect. She toes the key in the grate to dismiss the fact of her criminal behavior.

 

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

It's very much background music at the opening, then as Marnie does the big reveal after washing away the hair dye, the music swells with the recurring theme and we see her face for the first time.

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

Well, Hitchcock looks straight at us (for the first time) as if to say, I'm no mystery; I know what I'm doing, and I know you're curious about this mystery person, and I know you can't resist finding out all about her.

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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 Hitchock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects?

 

The most obvious is that she is either a con artist or a thief. There is a mystery to her walk as we first see her walk down the hallway. The fact that we don't immediately see her face also adds to the mystery and allure.

 

There is also a dual way in which she packs: the suitcase to the right, the one she takes with her, is carefully packed with clothes neatly arranged. Only the money is thrown, and even still, the money is carefully packed. The suitcase to the left, the one she leaves at the train station, is all messy. She doesn't care about how things are packed and just throws clothes, underwear, and the yellow purse.

 

The way she opens the ID thingy shows a certain tact and meticulousness, and lets us know that she has done this before. When she finally leaves one suitcase at the station, there is a certain hesitation it seems, as she holds the key in her hand, but not much.

 

From the opening, Hitchcock is already presenting us with the duplicity of this character.

 

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

 

The score is glamorous and mostly subtle. There are some slight, dark tints as she reveals her IDs. But the most obvious use of the score is how Herrmann and Hitchcock go in crescendo until the reveal of Marnie's face. After that, the score feels fuller.

 

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?

 

Maybe that he looked at the camera. I don't remember any other of his cameos where he did that.

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The beginning of this film is wonderful. Excellent Herrmann music accompanies the "transformation" of the character, in a manner similar to Vertigo, especially when longer blonde head of Tippi Hedren is seen.


As always Hitchcock does not need anything more than music and images to tell us about any person, - different cards of identity (one of which was, curiously Marion)., 'tools', money, different pouches speak of profession of the character.


As for the cameo, maybe there is something different from the other cameos, Hitchcock secretly looks to one side and then seems to speak to the other, after the woman... as a prelude to the image of the room. Again we interfere as spectators in the private life of another person.

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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 changing her identity.  The social security cards, the hair.  She But perhaps she can't accept her real idenity.  She stole the money.  She would like to lock the past away like the luggage she puts in the locker and tosses the key.

 

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

 

More great music from Herrmann.  The strings are mysterious, mournful.  We know she is troubled from 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? 

 

Yeah, Hitchcock broke the fourth wall.  It was intentional.  I'm not sure what it means.  My thought would be that this is fantasy.  Maybe her identity is fantasy as well.

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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.

We learn that she has recently spent a lot of money on a shopping spree. As she is filling the second suitcase with a new wardrobe, she is carelessly tossing other items into the first suitcase. When she sorts through the different social security cards hidden in her compact mirror, we understand that this wardrobe she is assembling is for a new identity and she intends to discard the old one. She has multiple social security cards so we can assume that she has done this before. Considering the cash she is carrying, we can assume she is on the run, most likely in trouble with the law.

 

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

The most dramatic moment comes when Tippi Hedren flips her newly-blond hair back and there's a swell in the music. This is the first time we are seeing Marnie's face and the moment is memorable. The music is less jarring than previous scores. It's more in line with the music in a melodrama than previous horror-type films. It implies to me there will be a romantic element to the story.

 

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 most notable thing about this cameo is that Hitchcock looks directly at the camera. He looks at Marnie after she has passed by and then he looks at the audience and then away again quickly. He seems to acknowledge us. It's different from most of the other cameos in that regard.

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As was noted in the lecture notes, Hitchcock's use of the Bernard Herman score is to elicit a very specific emotion: Sympathy. Juxtapose Herman's use of strings here: subtle, romantic and soft versus Psycho: the strings are almost like a frenetic, high pitched wail.

 

Hitchcock's appearance in the film is almost a direct breaking of the fourth wall. In previous films his cameo was a sly nod to the viewer, here it is almost an actual nod. 

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1. We're meeting a woman who is practiced and polished, she's switching identities as someone might change their shirt. She's comfortable not only with becoming someone else, but leaving the previous person behind, reinforced by the fact she doesn't put the old social security card back in the deck, it's quickly discarded, and we never go back. Although, keeping that life in a suitcase at the train station does give her an out, if she ever needed it, but not too easy of an out, as she has to recover the key from the grate, which wouldn't necessarily be an easy task. She also has certain items in the suitcase as if to say, she's adept at this switch, she's done it before, and can easily do it again. This is not normal human behavior, and even eludes to the sociopathic nature of a kleptomaniac on the run.

2. It's slightly foreboding, but also soothing, perhaps even serene, symbolizing her comfort with the process of becoming someone else, while leaving her old self behind, like a pair of old socks. Even as she dumps a large sum of money in the suitcase, the music gets slightly softer, as if to say, this is normal for her. There's no trepidation or tension surrounding the money, or where it came from, as compared to the focus on the money in Psycho, which immediately puts us on edge, as we worry about what's going to happen to Marion for taking it.

3. Once again it's out of the way quickly, and as someone mentioned, it seemingly breaks the fourth wall, a feature I always like. Otherwise it's brief, and somewhat unassuming.

 

Note: I got the thrill of a lifetime a few years ago, when Ben Mankiewicz and Tippi Hedren came to Albuquerque for a screening of Marnie at the historical KiMo Theater. There was a Q and A session, and she told some wonderful behind the scenes stories, so cool, oh and we got to see Marnie on the big screen, did I say, so cool!!

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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.

Well, she’s fake. She has four social security numbers, with four different identities. She is changing her clothes from one messed up baggage to another, tidier, and selecting only the best clothes We can imagine that she has multiple personalities, and Margaret ‘Marnie’ Edgar is the fancier one. We can definitely tell something is wrong with her.

 

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

The score is suspenseful, yet not as suspenseful as the score of Psycho. We can sense a crescendo as Marnie changes her things from one purse and one baggage to the other. The climax of the score happens as her face is revealed, the real blonde Marnie is seen: it’s like a revelation. And, as she walks the train station, I can identify a sequence of notes that Herrmann used again in “Taxi Driver”.

 

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? 

It is too simple for my taste. Surely, Hitchcock was getting older, but not less creative. But something is interesting: even though the cameo lasts one second, maybe two, it’s the first time I remember seeing Hitchcock looking straight to the cameras in one of his cameos. It may be him acknowledging the audience, or the approximation he got through his TV show being translated to the big screen.

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1.  She is an illusion. Everything about her is fake from her clothes to her hair, to the multiple social security cards she hid's behind the compact mirror. She is definitely hiding something.

 

2. The score builds and builds in intensity until the final revel of the blond Marnie.

 

3. I think this cameo is a little more on the nose than his previous ones. Usual Hitchcock's cameos fit seamlessly into the background of the scene and sometimes they are even difficult to catch if you aren't looking. This cameo had more of a wink to the camera feel to it.

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1. We learn that Marnie carries herself in a very self-assured manner, and knows exactly what she is doing when it comes to changing her identity. She has evidently done this before because she is very calm and deliberate in her actions, seems to be in no hurry or panic. It's as if she is packing for a business trip in a routine manner. Her interaction with the two suitcases represents this change: the "discarded" identity is signified by the grey suitcase into which used clothes are thrown in a messy jumble; the new identity of the pink suitcase is neatly packed with brand-new items and primed for a fresh start.

 

As a side note, I wish it were that easy to dye ones hair blonde from jet black, without the colour turning green, but that's part of the fantasy of forming a new identity ;)

 

2. There is a somber, mysterious feel to the score with a slow and steady rhythm as Hedren moves about her business, which builds to a crescendo when we finally see her face and the reveal of her died blonde hair. The flip of her hair to the flourish of the music gives the impression of a baptism--the promise and hope of a new beginning.

 

3. Hitchcock comes into the hallway of the hotel or apartment, watches Hedren walking from behind, gives a sheepish glance at the camera and quickly looks away, as if he had been caught looking at something forbidden. He is acknowledging his own identity as a voyeur.

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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.

 

We know she uses multiple identities, by the number of SS cards she has.  We know she changes her appearance, we can assume with her identity, as she goes for quick changes.  (Fyi, that black dye would never rinse out like that, leaving bright blonde.)  She has expensive taste.  We know she's leaving one life behind.  She tosses her old clothes into the suitcase she leaves at the station, and she throws away the key.  The clothes for her newest life are neatly placed into the other suitcase.  

 

 

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

 

The music is very low key until she starts rinsing the dye out of her hair.  Then it picks up in volume and gets more dramatic as we witness her transformation.

 

 

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 time he looks at the camera, towards the viewer.  A little cheeky!  Almost a nod to the audience.

 

 

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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. She's obviously a mysterious character. She has multiple IDs and other items that seem to be saved for a specific identity. 

 

2. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene? It crescendos when we finally see her and is mysterious while we aren't able to see her.

 

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? It was quick and he looks right into the camera. Something I don't think he ever really did. 

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This scene opens with a woman in a tailored tweed suit and heels walking down a hotel corridor with a bellboy carrying a large stack of boxes and what looks like a new suitcase still wrapped up.  While the suit looks of good quality, the style and color are a little dowdy.  Then we see her in the hotel room in a robe with two suitcases on the bed.  She is unwrapping new clothes from the boxes and packing them in, what I assume, is the new suitcase.  She is also tossing her old clothes and shoes into another suitcase.  She takes a wallet, compact, and some other items out of her large yellow purse and then dumps the remaining contents (which is a large amount of bundled money) into the new suitcase.  The yellow purse then joins the "old" clothes.  She then removes the Social Security card, reading Marion Holland, out of her wallet.  She has three other Social Security cards hidden in her compact and she removes one reading Margaret Edgar and places it in her wallet.  She does all of this very quickly and systematically, but she does not appear to be rushing or in a panic.

 

We then see her rinsing the black hair dye out of her hair and see it swirling down the drain (reminiscent of the blood swirling down the drain in "Psycho").  We still have not seen her face, but as the music soars, we suddenly see her stand up and throw her now blonde hair back off of her face.  It is a very dramatic moment!

 

Now we see her legs walking through a train station (reminiscent of "Strangers on a Train").  She is carrying both suitcases and is wearing a very stylish, fitted suit with her hair elegantly styled.  She puts the "old" suitcase in a locker and holds the key in her hand (like Alicia did in "Notorious") as she walks away.  When she gets to a grate, she intentionally drops the key and pushes it through the grate with her foot (again reminiscent of Bruno's dropping the lighter through a grate in "Strangers on a Train," although he did it accidently).  She appears very self-confident and pleased.  It seems like her personality has changed with the change of clothes and hairstyle.  It is also obvious that she has performed this kind of change in identity before.  We learn all of this about her without any dialogue, just watching her pack and changing her name and appearance.

 

Bernard Herrmann's score starts out soft and slow, a little sad and mysterious.  As she is rinsing the black dye from her hair, the music builds and seems more romantic and exciting.  Then, it climaxes as she throws her blonde hair back and reveals her face!  As she is walking in the train station, the music is hauntingly romantic.  It is really a very beautiful score without any apparent terror approaching.

 

As Marnie is walking down the hotel corridor with the bellboy, Hitchcock steps out of another room, watches her walking away, and then turns toward the camera (or the audience) with a slight shrug and then quickly looks away again.  This is the first cameo that I remember Hitchcock looking directly into the camera and I'm not sure what meaning to connect with it.  The only thing that I thought was, perhaps, he was saying that we all have some voyeur in us, that it is just human nature.

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The opening sequence of Marnie is certainly a compelling one. I'm drawn to films that can convey information effectively with limited or no dialogue, and this sequence does that well. Marnie appears to be somewhat meticulous and calculated. She knows what objects she needs, and she calmly and precisely chooses and places them. She's all about preparation. Anything that doesn't factor into her plans, she tosses aside. Her actions are nicely complemented by Bernard Herrmann's sweeping and evocative score, giving me a sense of mystery, crescendoing to a big reveal when we first see Marnie's face.

 

Hitch's cameo is an interesting one. He breaks the fourth wall by taking a very quick look into the camera. I imagine that's to heighten the intrigue. If Hitch is willing to address us personally, we better pay attention to what's to come.

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Watching Daily Dose #19 I am surprised that I now want to watch Marnie. I have been hesitant to watch it....it didn't sound like the best of Hitchcock, and my husband who is a film historian and teacher said he was surprised by it being one of the top recommendations because it wasn't that popular among Hitchcock buffs. So now I'm going to watch it tonight and I can probably say it is in large part due to this opening sequence and to Bernard Herrmanns' music. 

 

1.  Based on the opening sequence I learn that the lead character is extremely well dressed, she has obviously gotten a hold of a lot of money and is not going to leave town. She packs one suitcase extremely tidily and this one contains new clothes and all the money in the yellow bag. She throws old clothes messily into the gray suitcase. She washes the dye out of hair obviously used to disguise her while in this place and emerges as a natural blonde. She then hides the suitcase with the older clothes (the ones she wore when stealing the money?) in a locker and throws away the key. There must be someone she thinks is going to be looking for her. The key of course reminds one of the famous key scene in Notorious. And the dye going down the drain is reminiscent of Psycho.

 

2.  The Bernard Herrmann score gives just that hint of suspense...what is she up to? Is someone after her? It makes us want to follow her and see how she got that money and is she going to get caught.

 

3.  Hitchcock comes out of a hotel room...I have never seen him so fully in the scene..usually I have to look for him...outside a show window, getting on a bus etc. This time he actually seems for a minute to advance the plot...as he looks toward the camera as if trying to see if someone is there. I'm not sure what it means unless he just wanted to be more prominent as he became more and more successful as a director and enjoyed the attention. He also had a bit of obsession with Tippi Hedren and maybe liked being right with her in the scene...he did a very similar thing in The Birds!

 

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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. She doesn't care about her objects. Her objects are just trophies for her success as a thief. She doesn't particularly care for the objects as she packs them. She throws them into her case. 

 

  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? He looks right at the camera and then it cuts off. I found this cameo strange and a little distracting, to be honest. Maybe this variation is his subconscious effort to change up how he works?

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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.

Right out of the gate, we see there is something "hidden," something "underneath" about this character, this Marnie. Methodically, she unboxes and takes the tissue off new clothes apparently bought at an upscale store. She obviously has money to spend on expensive clothing, which she carefully packs in a light-colored suitcase on her hotel bed. Meanwhile, she casually tosses undergarments into a second (darker) suitcase, taking no pains to pack them with care.

Her highly groomed hands take feminine accoutrements--compact, comb, lipstick--from her purse and set them aside. All those items pertain to her appearance, her surface. In setting them aside, she's keeping them at hand for whenever she needs to "put on her best face." Also, in setting them aside she's revealing that whatever is  "underneath" is something other.

She doesn't reach into the purse to remove anything else. Instead, she turns the purse upside down and shakes out the remaining contents. Money--and lots of it, wrapped in packets--that was hidden at the bottom of the purse is now on top in her suitcase, revealed. At no point does she actually touch the cash. Why not? Why doesn't she? Is the money somehow tainted?
 
Could be, because next, after removing her Social Security card from her wallet, using a metal fingernail file she deftly pries open a compartment behind her compact's mirror. From this hidden compartment, she reveals three, hidden Social Security cards, each bearing a different name. She replaces the one she removed from the wallet with one of these hidden cards.

She travels under various identities. 

This is further underlined when, in the bathroom sink, she washes black dye from her hair.  We now see she's a natural--what else?--blonde

Packed, she's now putting the dark suitcase that contains her undergarments in a bus station locker which she locks.

She intentionally drops the key onto a floor grate, taking care to ease it through the grate with her shoe.

In this opening sequence, Hitchcock--without any dialog--has had the camera tell us that this Marnie is feminine, attractive, has lots of (probably ill-gotten) cash and is traveling under an assumed name. The camera has also revealed that hidden under her cool, calm and collected exterior, she's some sort of thief.

​In time, as the story unfolds, we will realize how telling her handling of these items is: she is a sexually frigid kleptomaniac.

 

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


     Herrmann's score here is a romantic--but disturbing--5-note phrase immediately echoed by the same 5-note phrase and repeated, over and over. It sounds like a small creature, a fly perhaps, weakly struggling to extricate itself  from a spider web in which it has become ensnared.
     This 5-5 pattern repeats, as said, over and over. But when this Marnie has rinsed the dark dye from her hair, and as she throws back her now-blonde hair, we see her face revealed for the first time. Here, the music swells full orchestra with lots of strings to show us the woman underneath, revealed. Over her face, the music seems to say "glamorous." It think it significant that at this moment, Hedren is centerscreen, facing us but looking at her reflection in the bathroom mirror. "Glamorous," then, is how she sees herself. No matter what she has just done with dyed black hair, she sees herself now as cleansed, purged of this darker side, if only temporarily.
     When the scene cuts--with a hard-edit, not a dissolve--to a rear view of her carrying the two suitcases, the score moves from violins and harps briskly down the scale and abruptly stops. This abrupt end to the music is replaced by a voice on the bus station's public address system announcing bus routes. The music also stops just before the dark suitcase is put into the locker.

 

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 his cameo here, Hitchcock was not only closer to the camera than anyone else in the shot, as he's coming out of a hotel room, he turns, looks into the camera--directly at us--and immediately turns away as we see Marnie and a porter further down the hallway.

I know this is going to be sacrilege and I can't believe I'm actually criticizing any shot in a Hitchcock film, but while his cameos are always fun to spot, I found this one jarring and off-putting. It took me out of the movie. Actually, it looked like an outtake that wasn't even supposed to be in the finished film,  a so-called blooper. It simply was not deft and subtle as all his other cameos seem to be. It smacked a bit too much of "self-promotion"--as if he needed it. This one didn't work for me.

Now, I will say this: If the idea is to place us in the hallway, that works. We--members of the audience--have come out of ​our ​rooms, too, and he's acknowledging us as we join him as co-conspirators--or co-voyeurs--as all of us follow Marnie through the impending story.

While I now see how that might have been his intent, it was not my immediate reaction. Maybe Hitch wanted me to think--beyond ​surface​, deeper.

He's tricky. And that's one reason why his films are so endlessly fascinating and watchable.

So, Hitch wins. Even in death, he wins.
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1. Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character?

Something bad going on with her.  Sheis clearly a law-breaker by having multiple Soc. Sec. cards and very liekly the packets of cash denote something dishonest going on there - plus she completely changes her appearace; she has 2 suit cases, 2 purses - so she is someone who is changing her identity, running away from something, toward something else perhaps?

In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects?

We note how carefully she treats her nice, new things, while tossing aside their boxes and dumping things into the one suitcase.  She had previously dyed her hair dark, so we see her washing out the color now.  Finally, she takes the 2 suitcases and places one in a locker, the key to which she deliberately tosses down thru a grate at the station where the locker is.  So, she doesn't want anyone to find the suitcase anytime soon. 

 

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

Very dramatic-sounding score, adds to the whole drama of what the character is doing, adds to our wonder of what she is up to & why.  Still, it is rather muted, not the louder, frenetic, sweeping music we've heard toward the beginning of some of Hitch's other films.

 

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?

His cameo was more pointed/direct, with him looking right at us/the camera, or so it appears, rather than being a rather casual appearance, as is the case in many of his other films. Not sure what this variation means, except maybe a wink and a nod to the audience that "here ya' go; here's my cameo," making it very clear & obvious this time - even as we are not real clear on what is going on with the female character who we see at the start.

 

 

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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.

She's able to slide easily between her identities. She carefully packs the clothes from the boxes in one suitcase while casually tossing the other items she had just worn in the other. It 

 

 

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

 

The score makes the scene feel mysterious and drawn out.

 

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

 

The Hitchcock cameo was very prominent in this movie. He's more in the shot than the actress and he looks right at the camera. It seems like he's trying ti distract us.

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We already know that she's someone else and she uses a number of identities in order to escape. We want to follow her and learn why she's doing that...

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1. that Marnie is a fraud. She has multiple identities as we can see from her social security cards; that she has stolen money; has bought a lot of clothes and accessories; she's a brunette (and not yet a blonde) as we first see her but then she washes the dye off and becomes a blonde; that she loves new clothes and accessories and finally that she changes ID and leaves all the contents of the life she is leaving in a locker at a station and throws away the key. Without any dialogue, we find out a lot of about her character, through Marnie's interaction with the objects and her actions.

 

2. The music is very Bernard Hermann. It starts of being very quiet and repetitive a bit like that of Vertigo in the intro. It then changes when she puts the cash in the suitcase (sound of French horns?) and finally turns into dramatic rousing music when we see her after she has washed off the dark dye and as a blonde to reflect the triumphant look on Marnie's face that she has got away with  her crime. The music stops when she puts her suitcase in the locker in the station and all we hear is the station announcer's voice. I think Hitch stops the music to make us sit up and pay attention to what she's doing as she does this.

 

3. Hitch's cameo is slightly different to all the others as he turns around and looks at the camera almost as if he's saying: Yes, it's me. You've seen my cameo. You can concentrate on the rest of the film now and forget about looking out for me! Perhaps a little more obvious than all his other cameos with no other people around except Marnie and the porter.

 

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I haven't seen Marnie yet, but I'm getting the impression from the opening scene that she is a flat-out crook.  She's clearly hiding her identity, she has multiple forms of ID, she's changed her hair color, she's even changing out her identifying suitcase and purse.  Herrmann's score of this opening scene also feels a bit mysterious, waves of tones moving in and out as we think we know what this character is, and then we find out it's all a disguise.  And then, there's the classic Hitchcock cameo.  I guess I had seen these cameos before in various Hitchcock films, thinking he was just in there for fun....but now I'm seeing that perhaps he's put himself in there as part of a bigger plan.  He looks at the camera, almost like he's been caught at something...not sure.

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