Mary thumbnailTwo years apart and following different routes, Marion Crane and Mary Henry hit the highway bound for bluer skies and better days.  It’s the early Sixties.  Both troubled women are on the run, leaving unhappiness and dissatisfaction behind them… or so they think.

[Roll your cursor over each image to see it change]

" /> Mary thumbnailTwo years apart and following different routes, Marion Crane and Mary Henry hit the highway bound for bluer skies and better days.  It’s the early Sixties.  Both troubled women are on the run, leaving unhappiness and dissatisfaction behind them… or so they think.

[Roll your cursor over each image to see it change]

" /> Mary thumbnailTwo years apart and following different routes, Marion Crane and Mary Henry hit the highway bound for bluer skies and better days.  It’s the early Sixties.  Both troubled women are on the run, leaving unhappiness and dissatisfaction behind them… or so they think.

[Roll your cursor over each image to see it change]

" />

Marion, Mary… Mary, Marion

Marion Crane and Mary Henry never met, yet they have much in common.  In America’s optimistic postwar years, pre-Dallas, pre-Vietnam, pre-Manson, these desirable, fair-haired single women just don’t fit in.  Independent and intelligent, they share aspirations beyond their station, added to the misfortune of living at a time when the world is the province of button-down white men with Brylcreamed hair and the beautiful, silent women who love them.  Marion and Mary are both beautiful women, but not content to be kept, nor to keep quiet.


Both women have troubled pasts. Marion has embezzled money, Mary has walked away from an automobile accident that has drowned two female friends.  To burn their bridges, both make their getaway across the desert, where they are haunted by voices and visions and come to doubt themselves.  Both take refuge in discomfiting lodgings reflecting a suffocating past rather than a bright future.  Both strip off their travel clothes to reveal black lingerie coding them as tainted and both are spied upon by predatory males as they prepare to bathe — baptismal rituals they hope will cleanse them of the clammy grasp of their pasts.

Psycho endingIf you’ve seen Psycho (1960) and Carnival of Souls (1962), you know how these stories end.  Marion and Mary both die screaming — Marion slashed to death after deciding to return the stolen money (to return to her point of origin) and Mary learning she didn’t survive that car crash after all (her journey looping back to where it started).  Both women die in water, their cars dredged up out of oblivion’s drink, rebaptized in their shared annihilation.

It’s too bad Marion and Mary couldn’t have crossed paths at some point along the way, in some diner off the old highway, and shared a cup of coffee.  They might have provided one another a moment’s respite before meeting their fates.  Marion Crane and Mary Henry were kindred spirits, maybe even soul mates.  They deserved better.  May they rest in peace.

4 Responses Marion, Mary… Mary, Marion
Posted By JLo : October 24, 2006 2:39 pm

"Both women die in water, their cars dredged up out of oblivion's drink, rebaptized in their shared annihilation."Your words are so poetic and vivid. And love your pics too! 

Posted By JLo : October 24, 2006 2:39 pm

"Both women die in water, their cars dredged up out of oblivion's drink, rebaptized in their shared annihilation."Your words are so poetic and vivid. And love your pics too! 

Posted By taylor : June 10, 2007 11:59 am

A nice connection between the two. Makes me want to watch both films again right now….and I can because I have them both on DVD. I couldn't imagine such a thing 20 years ago.

Posted By taylor : June 10, 2007 11:59 am

A nice connection between the two. Makes me want to watch both films again right now….and I can because I have them both on DVD. I couldn't imagine such a thing 20 years ago.

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