Those who avidly consumed Tony Lee Moral’s exceptionally detailed guide to the making of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds were treated to an exhaustive but always fascinating description of virtually everything that went into the making of the director’s masterpiece, and many of them (such as this writer) will have investigated the writer’s similarly loving treatment of the other Hitchcock film that starred Tippi Hedren, Marnie. However, that film — and possibly, accordingly, Moral’s book about it, might be said to be a harder sell. Those who admire the director see it as among his richest and most interesting work, for all its obvious flaws, but those flaws do not the obscure the fact that this is still a late film by Britain’s greatest filmmaker, and the rehabilitation of its chequered reputation in recent years is perfectly encapsulated in this revised edition of Moral’s guide to its making. The fraught filming of Marnie is treated dispassionately by the author, without the degree of psychological penetration utilised by such writers as Donald Spoto, but there is virtually no element of the making of the film that is not treated by Moral in the most fascinating detail (including, of course, Bernard Herrmann’s matchless score). Even for those Hitchcock admirers who may have the author’s earlier edition of this book, the new one will still make an extremely tempting proposition.
Hitchcock and the Making of Marnie by Tony Lee Moral is published by Scarecrow Press