Seasoned critic pally, received this morning: “I’ll admit I was a latecomer to the Hitchcock fan club. After The Birds, which came out when I was 13 (I was too young to see Psycho when it came out), I didn’t see another Hitchcock until Frenzy (’72) and Family Plot (’76), which I reviewed in release as a budding critic. I wasn’t really exposed to him again until the early-mid 80s, when Universal released five Hitchcock films that had been out of circulation for a while, including Vertigo, Rear Window, The Man Who Knew Too Much and a couple of others.
“I have to say that in those mid ’80s halcyon days when MTV was ascendant and the attention span was being shattered by the music video, Hitchcock looked pretty staid to my eyes. It took a few years and the advent of home video for me to develop a serious appreciation for his work.
“Your riff on Marnie made me realize I’d never seen that (or Torn Curtain or Topaz, all of which I recall as bombs from reviews of the time). I had no interest in so-called serious films, preferring (as teens do) comedy and action. Why watch Sean Connery in Marnie when there was Goldfinger?
“So I streamed Marnie the other day, and it sucked. Pure and simple. There is no revisionist argument you can make that can forgive that central performance, which blocks the sun and is the proverbial turd in the punch bowl. Tippi Hedren makes Sofia Coppola in The Godfather, Part III look like Ingrid Bergman.
“Not that the film’s psychology makes a whit of sense. I can’t believe, incidentally, this film hasn’t been cancelled because of the casual shipboard rape during their honeymoon.”