Two days ago (1.19) a Facebook tribute congratulated Tippi Hedren for having reached her 94th year (blow out the candles!) as well as her acting in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (‘63) and Marnie (‘64), among other efforts and creations.
HE to Hyland: She hasn’t out-lived this critic.
Hedren’s characters in The Birds and Marnie have always struck me as curiously prim, overly tidy mannequins. She fit that immaculate, early ‘60s department store window persona — not just conservative, but a bit chilly and brittle.
I’m sorry but you don’t believe for a second that either character has ever been possessed by a single erotic impulse.
Hitchcock was once quoted saying that Hedren “didn’t bring the volcano.” He wasn’t wrong.
Grace Kelly had a similar porcelain quality, but one always sensed an undercurrent of suppressed hunger and passion from her performances.
There’s nothing wrong with inhabiting or conveying a curiously chilly and brittle persona, but if that’s your main game there’s not a lot of range involved.
Try to imagine Hedren as Blanche DuBois — you can’t.
She radiates a certain cool officiousness, a real-estate agent vibe. As such Hedren has reminded me of many women of wealth and assurance that I’ve run into or have known in upscale circles. There’s nothing false or ungenuine about this.
Is the private, off-screen Hedren a woman of kindness, elegance, poise, compassion, etc.? Allegedly so and good for her. She’s lived a good, long, healthy life, and she loves her big cats.
But remember Mitch Brenner mentioning that salacious news item about Melanie Daniels having allegedly taken a nude dip in a pool surrounding a large Roman fountain? The instant he brings this up you say to yourself “no way…Melanie Daniels isn’t the type to disrobe in public, drunk or sober, and she never will be.”
And that’s fine. No disapproval — just a statement of fact. I wrote this as a retort to Tom Hyland.