At the beginning of Magnolia, Officer Kurring is sent to investigate an incident at a woman named Marcie's apartment, and finds a body in her bedroom closet — anyone know whose body it was?


1 Answer 1


I can't verify this in the movie as it's not currently available on any of my channels or sources and I don't happen to own a copy, but, in the screenplay, at the end, near the very end, Marcie admits to Detectives that she killed her husband as he was abusive to her and her son and grandson:
(I've cleaned up the font and positional errors in the script to make it more readable)

Page 192 (of 195)

.... Marcie looking down at the table in front of her, tape recorder and microphone in front of her, (and all that goes along w/full confession/etc.)

MARCIE I killed him. I killed my husband. He hit my son and he hit my grandson and I hit him. I hit him with the ashtray and he was knocked out and I killed him, I strangled him. I strangled my husband to protect my boys. I protected my boys.


Note that the screenplay is in PDF form and as most screenplays/scripts I've seen is very hard to actually read.

(I'm actually adding this in, it started out as a comment in response to BCdotWeb's comment.)

While I sort of agree with the sentiments of that reddit post (linked to by BCdotWeb in a comment), the way I look at this movie is that there are a LOT of disparate individuals that stuff happens to, or around, or because of, and that in the end, everything that happens in the beginning, all those events seem to be unrelated and unconnected. By the end of the movie (or at least the end of the screenplay) it turns out that this movie is very "degrees of bacon" oriented. Each event gets tied to another one, by a person or a view or a side light, and in the end, you can trace all of the events together in some fashion.

Let's look at the scene in question: A woman has the police called to her home and a dead body is found in a closet. Now we wonder how that relates, for instance, to the boy wetting his pants during the taping of a TV Kid's Quiz Show.

The police officer who shows up and discovers the body is Jim. Later on, a young rapper tries to tell Jim who killed the body. The rapper is Dixon. Dixon's father is Worm. Worm threatens the boy (who ended up wining money in the game show) to get the money. So, in this case, Dead Body > Jim the Cop > Dixon > Worm > Stanley (the boy).

Now, the actual source of information of who the body was and who killed him is given to the detectives (and the viewer) by Marcie herself (the wife). But the connection to Stanley (the boy who wet himself in a game show) is explained just as thoroughly.

In the beginning we don't know who the body is, or who killed him, or why. By the end we know Who he was, Who killed him, Why, and how it all connects (to everything else).

I really need to watch the movie again, to find out what got left in in post-production and editing, but I have to tell you, the screenplay itself is a masterful drama.

I honestly don't know if the who, who, why and how is answerable by watching the movie as released, but it definitely was in the screenplay and actually fairly instrumental to the entire narrative.

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