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Post Info TOPIC: Marnie The novel as I see it.


Graduate

Status: Offline
Posts: 560
Date: Mar 30 3:59 PM, 2019
RE: Marnie The novel as I see it.
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Dave wrote:

Marnie is a novel about a marriage, a subject where  Winston Graham's writing is exceptional and engaging.

Mark Rutland, husband of Marnie is a good man and a wonderful husband in this novel. Mark saved Marnie twice. Marnie, Mark's wife, eventually comes to understand and appreciate Mark rescuing her, saving her and protecting her.

 

I think I am the only person in the universe who thinks this is the novel's central theme.


Dave, you aren't alone. Alfred Hitchcock himself seemingly agreed with you. In his film adaptation of "Marnie,"  he emphasized that angle to the point of changing the ending to "make sense" Marnie's problem with men.

I remember being appalled by the liberty Hitchcock had taken with WG's ending when I finally read the novel. (As a horse-crazy  kid, I loved "Marnie" for the scenes with Forio, her horse -- except the final one, of course -- but I didn't know it was based on a novel until I happened upon a list of WG's works after I started reading the "Poldark" books.) It struck me that the guardians of America's old Motion Picture Code must have been tied in knots with that ending. The code's No. 1 rule was crime cannot pay, and WG made Marnie face the consequences for her crimes. Hitchcock let her off and sent her back to her privileged new life with Mark. Admittedly, she was a very sick woman, and presumably, he would make sure she got the help she needed, but she did get away with murder literally and figuratively. (I understand that the cause of Marnie's problems had to be changed. American movie audiences in the early 1960s weren't ready for something like WG's explanation, but were they ready for a little girl to beat a man to death with a fireplace poker -- even if he had been manhandling her mother -- instead? BTW I didn't like WG version of the trauma that shaped Marnie and even found the ending a little less than satisfying, but Hitchcock did overstep.) 

I can't remember WG's memoirs well enough -- and I have yet to unpack my books from my recent cross-country move -- to recall whether he wrote about the experience of Hitchcock making a movie of one of his books -- and changing not only the setting but also the ending. It strikes me that the Hitchcock experience had to have made him more wary of the BBC making the first Poldark series, and I don't understand why he signed the first contract without obtaining some kind of creative control as a precaution. It probably would have prevented the departures from the books that he found dismaying and likely would have made those episodes better. 

One more thing, Dave, did you see a little Dwight Enys in Mark Rutland? I didn't when I started the book -- I knew the movie too well and was seeing pre-Bond Sean Connery instead -- but by the end, I was seeing traces of Dwight.

 



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Student

Status: Offline
Posts: 219
Date: Mar 27 1:17 PM, 2019
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Marnie is a novel about a marriage, a subject where  Winston Graham's writing is exceptional and engaging.

Mark Rutland, husband of Marnie is a good man and a wonderful husband in this novel. Mark saved Marnie twice. Marnie, Mark's wife, eventually comes to understand and appreciate Mark rescuing her, saving her and protecting her.

 

I think I am the only person in the universe who thinks this is the novel's central theme.



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