Friday, November 22, 2013

JFK and Hitchcock's "Marnie": 1 Degree of Separation

It was 50 years ago today that one of my favorite movies, Alfred Hitchcock's sex mystery "Marnie," was getting ready to go before the cameras. Assistant Director James Brown was in Unionville, Pennsylvania preparing to shoot the hunt sequence. Meanwhile, in Dallas, Texas, the world was changed forever as President John F. Kennedy was brutally assassinated.

Many of the extras involved in the hunt sequence were actually close friends of the Kennedys, making the loss even greater for them.

Filming was delayed for two weeks as the crew and the rest of the country mourned the loss of not only a President, but a vision of hope for the nation.

I found myself re-examining this movie again when Tony Lee Moral released an updated version of his well-written and thoroughly researched book, "Hitchcock and the Making of Marnie." Even without its faulty start due to the Presidential assassination, "Marnie" has the reputation of being one of the most controversial productions for the master of suspense.

The recent BBC/HBO drama "The Girl" dredged up (and questionably "enhanced") some of the aspersions that Hollywood biographer Donald Spoto had previously heaped upon Hitchcock.

Somehow, today seems like a fitting day for the anniversary of our country's loss of its Camelot; I for one am glad it's Friday, as this week has been absolutely gray.

See more "Marnie" photos on my Tippi Hedren web page.


Anonymous said...

This must be the only Hitchcock I have never seen. Tippi Hedren and Sean Connery, wow.

I will check for it, I'm sure my video store will have it. There's a lot of Hitchcock history up here in the Wine Country.


K. Martinez said...

I don't remember President Kennedy's actual assassination, but I do remember images of the funeral procession on television very well. For some reason that really stuck to me, even at the age of three-and-a-half.

Marnie is a fun film. Whether she was a good actress or not, 'Tippi' Hedren was always fascinating to look at on the screen.