Mark marries Marnie although she is a habitual thief and has serious psychological problems, and tries to help her confront and resolve them.


Man: How do, Miss Edgat. Good to have you back.
Marnie: Hello, Mr. Garrod. Ah, there's my darling.
Man: That big old spoiled baby of yours. Knew something was up, he tried to bite me twice already this morning.
Marnie: Oh, Forio, if you want to bite somebody, bite me. (He helps her get on the horse.) Thanks.

“Here too, the dialogue speaks explicitly about itself. It structures Marnie's fetishistic love for Forio (logical complement of the theft) and which for her typically takes the place of a man and children. This is the woman's answer to the phallus that she lacks, which she disavows in the man through her frigidity towards mg, because she was obliged to believe that man, instead of merely having one, was the phallus) The film bases the genealogy of this phantasy on an actual infantile trauma, the logic of which will be progressively constituted by the story until the culminating point in its reconstruction in terms of a combined return to reality and normality (the couple, genital love, social mores, property) which will also be its unfolding and its resolution. Important here is the process whereby this structure, which crystallizes around the desire for the woman, supports the enunciation, the vision: how the symbolic is deployed from the focal point in the imaginary object it incorporates. Here too, Marnie is seen by a man whose structural interference is determined by the fact that he is inscribed in the chain, (from Hitchcock, the enunciator, to Mark, his fictional delegate) that controls the relationship between the camera and its object.”

Reymond Bellour1


Marnie revolves around the contradictory notion of "belonging" as a matter of possession or domination on the one hand and belonging as a flow of giving and taking, of affinity with a place or a beloved, on the other. The word ‘belonging’ is uttered again when Lil, watching the couple depart after their wedding, tells the money-minded Cousin Bob that Mark spent $42,000 (‘plus tax’) on a diamond so that Marnie could have "something that had never belonged to anyone else." Finally, Mrs. Edgar, never married, always bought, implies the theme of belonging when she confesses that before she gave birth to Marnie she never had anything of her own. To belong to, or to be loved; to be in possession of, or to give; to gather a thing to oneself and hoard it, or to open and empty oneself in the fullness of love - these are Marnie's opposing values. The film’s crucial moments of birth, marriage, and death press possession and love together in confusion. The emotion possible in each instance is either the stasis of property, like the objets d'art impoverished behind glass, thus deprived of their original mystery, inert and mute, or the pouring forth of feeling that both gathers and liberates.”

Michele Piso2


Fletcher Markle: Well, you often employ technical stunts in your films that audiences never notice.

Alfred Hitchcock: Just like in Marnie. You know marnie is my new film where the girl is a compulsive thief. But, after every every job she does, she always goes down to a farm in Maryland and i suppose using some of the proceeds goes riding on a horse. [She] loved to ride on a horse in the open air, let her hair blow free, almost as though she were cleansing herself of the crime she's just committed. And though most of those riding sequences were shot on location, it was still necessary to use a rear projection screen on a sound stage to capture certain details of action and reaction.

Fletcher Markle3

  • 1Raymond Bellour, "Hitchcock, The Enunciator," Camera Obscura 1, nr. 2 (1977): 67-91.
  • 2Michele Piso, "Mark's Marnie," A Hitchcock Reader. (Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), pp.250-263. Edited by Marshall Deutelbaum and Leland Poague.
  • 3Fletcher Markle, “"Telescope": A Talk with Hitchcock (1964) - Fletcher MarkleCBC, uploaded 5 September, 2020, YouTube video.
UPDATED ON 29.12.2023
IMDB: tt0058329