Musical romanticism v. the sexual aberrations of the criminal female
Marnie (1964)
in Partners in suspense
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Hitchcock and Herrmann had a symbiotic and complementary artistic relationship. However, as this chapter contends, rather than necessarily synergic in their understanding of the unified requirements of drama, sometimes their complementary relationship took on a different character. In Marnie, Herrmann’s music attempted to ameliorate Hitchcock’s dark interests, in an attempt to romanticize Hitchcock’s bleak and grotesque story about a psychologist’s fantasy about possessing a disturbed kleptomaniac killer, which includes a deeply disquieting rape scene. The music moves to make these elements bearable, with a ‘sleight of hand’ that misdirects us from the utter darkness and irredeemable characters and obscene aspects of the film narrative.

Partners in suspense

Critical essays on Bernard Herrmann and Alfred Hitchcock

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