Alfred Hitchcock
Marnie Dutch TV interview


date: 1964

interviewer: unknown

main topics: Marnie, Tippi Hedren, romance

link to video: Youtube

Mr Hitchcock, isn't there a saying that money is the root of all evil?

Well, it's a nice root of evil.

Is there any rule against putting your face on the United States dollar bill?

Well, I think that perhaps I look as pretty as any other president.

Why [do you hold in your hands] fifty dollar bills?

Well, because I can only count up to fifty.

Mr Hitchcock, what is the number of Marnie in your own production?

"Marnie" is production number 49. In other words, I have made 49 pictures since 1925.

In every single one of your pictures, there is some hidden meaning. What's the meaning of Marnie?

The meaning of Marnie is that you have a girl, which is a criminal, but the circumstances which make her a criminal come from an accident from her childhood. It is almost like Freudian situation.

Now, every Hitchcock picture is a suspense picture. Where is the suspense in this picture?

The suspense in this picture "Marnie" is: what is the mystery behind a girl who is a thief, who is very strange, that she cannot bear to see red flowers against white, or any red against white. She has a mystery background and the leading man in the picture is interested in her because she is a thief, and he wants to marry her. And he is therefore strange himself. So you have two very strange people. So, the suspense must come: how do these two people get together?

When you do a picture like this, do you find suspense in the story before, and do you choose the subject because of suspense, or are you putting suspense in it yourself?

Both. There is some element of suspense and the manner of telling a story cinematically is when I use cinema to create more suspense.

Why did you choose Tippi Hedren as the star performer?

I saw her in television doing a commercial, she had never acted before.

Yes, but for this particular picture, everybody has seen The Birds, of course.

Well, The Birds was the beginning for her, and because Grace Kelly was not able to do it, I felt that she could do a picture.

And Marnie, is she a particular type for Marnie?

Yes. Very much so.

Now, there is a trend in your pictures Mr Hitchcock, if I may say so, and that, I suppose, has been said over and over again, that you always pick for your female performers women of certain type, of certain aloofness, of certain coolness, even. Why?

Because I do not like to have women where... how should I put it... where sex is hanging on them like jewelry. I like to have it concealed like a mystery, to find out what sex is underneath.

Some people say that the women show a certain, if the word is not too harsh, a certain fragility. Is that your opinion, too?

That is the outward appearance, but I know very well that Grace Kelly, they would say that to me: "why did you pick Grace Kelly? She's very cold." I said: that isn't true, it's the outward Grace Kelly. To me, she was a small-covered volcano. Inside was plenty.

How do you manage to get it out?

In the course of the story, the love scenes that I devise, you see, I play them in certain love scenes, the manner of the manner of the playing of the love scene, your cut brings from the woman this heat, shall we call it, that is not apparent outwardly.

Do you push them a little into passion?

Push them a little into passion? No, because it's done in the cinema, you see, where I hold in my hands the power of the image, the angle and everything else, you know.