Perhaps the last of the great Hitchcock movies, Marnie is a flawed masterpiece. Tippi Hedren plays Marnie with the intelligence of an accomplished criminal and the vulnerability of frightened young girl. Sean Connery is also convincing in the unlikely role of the rich and very eligible Mark Rutland who is obsessed with saving Marnie from her fractured life. The script by Jay Presson Allen provides some brilliant highpoints in a plot that traces common Hitchcock themes of childhood trauma and an overbearing mother. Hitchcock's direction, however, varies from the sublime to the ridiculous. Brilliant compositions and set pieces, such as the robbery scene, Rutland's office and the final climax, are held together by some truly awful studio fabrications. This was to be the last time Hitchcock would work with many of his oldest allies, including his director of photography Robert Burks, his editor George Tomasini and composer Bernard Herman. As such, it really does represent the end of an era.
It's a great shame that such an important film has been so poorly transferred onto this region 2 disc. An aspect ratio of 1.33:1 might be great for those wanting to fill their TV screens, but it seriously detracts from many compositions. The picture quality is also very grainy and often noticeably blurred. I've heard that the region 1 version is better, so that might be a worthwhile consideration for those with region free machines. Otherwise, I would wait until the studio finally gives this film the treatment it deserves.