I don’t think I have ever seen this Hitchcock film! Starring Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier based on a novel by Daphane Du Maurier. A young woman (Fontaine) works as a companion to an older woman on vacation in Monte Carlo. They meet with an English man Mr. De Winter while on vacation. Mr. De Winter and the young woman fall in love, marry and go back to his estate in England. The house, home, grounds and staff all seem to be haunted by Mr. De Winter’s first wife Rebecca who died a year ago in a boating accident. The new Mrs. De Winter (she does not have a first name) is having a hard time blending in as the aura and legacy of Rebecca surrounds, stifles, and subdues the setting. The disappearance of Rebecca becomes increasingly mysterious and the remaining characters in Mr. De Winter’s life are very mysterious and occasionally frightening, threatening, scary or just plain creepy. The film won the Oscar in 1940 for best picture. I was wondering, did Hitchcock make his cameo in this film? I did not see him – he usually walks by, plays the bus driver, etc. in his films. I had to look it up, he does make his cameo near the end when the cousin is talking to the police. Classic Hitchcock film!
This movie took me to another place where I was entertained. There was suspense and a plot that developed at a pace that teased without the torment of boredom. When I thought all hope was lost, the main characters proven to be triumphant.
I maintain that Hitchcock's best films were his early black and white films done in America. This is the best if not one his best films. If you have any doubt about Hitchcocks black and white films, do yourself a favour and watch: Rebecca, Shadow of A Doubt, Suspicion, I Confess,
and The Wrong Man. His later colour films such as Northwest By Northwest, To Catch A Thief, Rear Window and Vertigo while good films pale in comparison to Rebecca and the other "old" black and whites.
Hitchcock's first Hollywood film (and only Oscar winner) is an over-the-top gothic love story laced with fog and shadows; where steely glances cast daggers and a pervasive sense of gloom threatens to snuff out any hint of happiness. Although Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier are perfectly cast as the newlyweds---her squeaky little dormouse playing against his grief-stricken stoicism---it is Judith Anderson as Mrs. Danvers the housekeeper who steals every scene, her not entirely sane glares hinting at evil intentions and forbidden desires as she jealously berates the helpless bride while fawning lovingly over the dead Rebecca’s collection of fur coats and panties. Unintentionally camp by today’s standards but that only makes it more enjoyable!
Seeing Rebecca for the first time decades ago when I was in my teens, I fell in love, in love with movies from the Hollywood golden era, in love with its gleaming stars and film masters. My passion for classic films is still as strong as ever.
Have you seen Hitchcock's Rebecca? Has it been a while since you've seen this film? It had been a while since I'd seen this film, and it was great! I stayed up way past my bedtime watching this movie because I couldn't wait to find out how it ends. I'm not going to spoil the ending for you! Every character actor gave a great performance, and the plot twists will keep you hanging.
Alfred Hitchcock proves once again that he is the master of suspense. He made "Rebecca" in 1940 with Laurence Olivier playing the wealthy Maxim de Winter and Joan Fontaine plays his new wife after Rebecca de Winter died in a boating accident. The supporting cast is outstanding starting with Judith Anderson as Mrs. Danvers. When she is on the screen she commands your attention. We will learn about Rebecca de Winter through her eyes. Other great British actors are Nigel Bruce, Reginald Denny and my favorite, C. Aubrey Smith. Watch for him in the movie, he is easily the tallest older gentleman in the movie. I can't close without noting the great cinematography of George Barnes. The movie has a mysterious feel to it with the beautiful image caught by his camera. Put "Rebecca" at the top of the classic Hitchcock suspense thrillers. He was a genius and his work really shines on "Rebecca".
This is a 1940 American psychological drama-thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
Joan Fontaine is absolutely perfect in the role of the second Mrs. DeWinter, taking a character that could have become a cloying bore in less capable hands and transforming her into a sympathetic figure.
The movie is similarly amazing, capturing the spirit and the tone of those great Gothic romances.
There are very few that would be able to take a love story, infuse it with such gloom, with such a sense of foreboding, and still manage to create something that ends happily without being contrived.
The focal point of the film is the scene of the masqued ball at Mandalay.
Mrs. Danvers, the cold-blooded housekeeper, suggests the second Mrs. WeWinter copy the beautiful outfit in the ancestral portrait of Caroline de Winter.
When the costume is revealed, Maxim gets appalled; Rebecca wore the same outfit at the ball a year ago, shortly before her death.
The emotional strain on the Joan Fontaine character is so palpable, so absolutely taxing, that it would certainly pain you to watch.
You would probably get hurt along with her.
Few other movies would affect you so emotionally.
Great film....Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine are amazing. A must watch!!
Hitchcock’s first Hollywood film, and it is an absolutely fantastic one. The twists and turns of the plot are natural (and genuinely surprising), the performances and cinematography brilliant, and Hitchcock’s twisted view on male/female relationships is just as articulated here as it is in his later work.
Maxim de Winter :“I didn't know companionship could be bought.”
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