In my first post on classic style in films and other screen media, I showcased Sean Connery as James Bond in the original film adaptation of that character, Dr. No. I decided to stay with Connery for one more round, but this time we see him cast in a much different role. Marnie is a lesser known 1964 Hitchcock film, which undoubtedly presented rather risqué topics to the screen at that time. Contemporary viewers may find some of the “psychological scenes” to be rather obvious or hackneyed, but, nevertheless, Marnie carries a plot that will keep you engaged at a much higher level than Bond.
By staying with Connery in a film released in the same era as Dr. No, you will get to see how slight variations in clothing can affect the overall presentation of the man. Connery plays the role of an American businessman in Marnie. Gone are the cocktail cuffed dress shirts of Bond, and in their place we find more button-down collars and straight forward looks. The suits Connery wears in the film possess an ever so slightly narrower lapel width than those Connery was dressed in in Dr. No, and, as a consequence, the ties Connery wears in Marnie are slightly narrower, as well. This, of course, was the general trend of American suiting in the 1960s; however, I personally feel that Connery’s shoulder width calls for a wider lapel than we see him dressed in here.
Overall, Connery’s dress in Marnie falls within the lines of classic style. He wears very conservative colors and his suits have very subtle and classic patterns. The film, in clothing terms, is not only horizontal – presenting a man in many different suits; it is also very vertical. Connery is seen in everything from sport coats and odd trousers to black tie to some fantastic night clothes (a.k.a. pajamas) combinations. Take note: a gentleman always strives to be well-dressed for every occasion and through every part of his day. The true connoisseur of men’s clothing will also appreciate Mr. Rutland, Connery’s father in the film. He is the true lover of clothes in the film, and he presents as a gentleman from more opulent and aristocratic times. His clothes are 30s, lived-in, and urbane; he not only knows how to wear them, he understands how to move in them, as well. Watching the scene of Mr. Rutland descending down the staircase of his home, one cannot fail to be impressed by the presence he projects. Only years of experience in life and tailored clothing can hope to create a man of such distinction.
If you can find a copy, give Marnie a try. While you may not find it to be Hitchcock’s greatest piece, it is still a Hitchcock, which makes it well worth the two hours devoted to it. Who knows? You may find that clothes for a fox hunt are missing from your wardrobe or that you do, actually, like your tea strong with a splash of rum.