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Hitchcock and the Censors$
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John Billheimer

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813177427

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813177427.001.0001

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Marnie (1964)

Marnie (1964)

Chapter:
(p.254) 34 Marnie (1964)
Source:
Hitchcock and the Censors
Author(s):

John Billheimer

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813177427.003.0035

Marnie was the second picture Hitchcock made with his new prot’g’e, Tippi Hedren. He had intended to use Grace Kelly in the title role, but Princess Grace begged off at the last minute. The Production Code office was primarily concerned with the marriage consummation scene between the businessman, played by Sean Connery, and Marnie, the thief who fascinates him. The censors found this scene unacceptable because Connery’s actions ‘could almost be described as an action of rape.’ Aside from this major worry, the Code office was principally concerned with language, including the forbidden expressions ‘little bitch’ and ‘crissakes.’ Hitchcock cleaned up the screen language, and screenwriter Jay Presson Allen, who considered the honeymoon scene to be ‘just a trying marital situation,’ rewrote the scene to the satisfaction of Code officials. In the midst of shooting, Hitchcock and Hedren had a falling-out, Hitchcock often appeared distracted, and relations between the two never recovered. After Hitchcock’s death, Hedren accused him of making unwanted sexual demands during this period. Following Marnie, Hedren never again worked for Hitchcock or achieved the acclaim she had on her first two pictures, and the film signaled the start of the weakest period of the director’s career.

Keywords:   Alfred Hitchcock, Tippi Hedren, Jay Presson Allen, Production Code Administration, Sean Connery, sexual harassment, Marnie

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