Rebecca

Rebecca

4.4 42
Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Cast: Alfred Hitchcock, Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders

     
 

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Based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier, the classic psychological thriller Rebecca was Alfred Hitchcock's first American film. Joan Fontaine plays the unnamed narrator, a young woman who works as a companion to the well-to-do Mrs. Van Hopper (See more details below

Overview

Based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier, the classic psychological thriller Rebecca was Alfred Hitchcock's first American film. Joan Fontaine plays the unnamed narrator, a young woman who works as a companion to the well-to-do Mrs. Van Hopper (Florence Bates). She meets the wealthy widower Maxim de Winter (Laurence Olivier) in Monte Carlo, where they fall in love and get married. Maxim takes his new bride to Manderlay, a large country estate in Cornwall. However, the mansion's many servants refuse to accept her as the new lady of the house. They seem to be loyal to Maxim's first wife, Rebecca, who died under mysterious circumstances. Particularly cruel to her is the prim housekeeper Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson), who is obsessed with Rebecca. She continually attests to her beauty and virtues (referring to her as "the real Mrs. de Winter") and even preserves her former bedroom as a shrine. The new Mrs. de Winter is nearly driven to madness as she begins to doubt her relationship with her husband and the presence of Rebecca starts to haunt her. Eventually, an investigation leads to the revelation about Rebecca's true nature. Producer David O. Selznick had the final cut of the picture, which was drastically altered from Hitchcock's original vision.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Producer David O. Selznick's 's second consecutive Best Picture (after the previous year's Gone With the Wind) and another enormously popular adaptation of a bestseller, this adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's novel was also the first American film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Screenwriters Robert E. Sherwood and Joan Harrison recreated du Maurier's novel precisely, complete with the ideal casting of new star Laurence Olivier as brooding Maxim de Winter and insecure neophyte Joan Fontaine as his timid new bride. Rebecca displayed Hitchcock's unparalleled talent for ominous atmosphere, as he derived suspense from the clash between Fontaine and Judith Anderson's coldly sadistic, Rebecca-obsessed Mrs. Danvers. The elaborately appointed Manderley mansion became a character in itself, with Rebecca's expressively lit, diaphanously curtained bedroom, overlooking a suitably wild ocean, evoking her all-consuming absent presence. Selznick's and Hitchcock's attention to detail paid off with eleven Oscar nominations, including Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actress, and it won the top prize as well as an award for George Barnes's cinematography. However, control freak Hitchcock took a break from control freak Selznick for his next film, Foreign Correspondent (1940).
All Movie Guide
Producer David O. Selznick's 's second consecutive Best Picture (after the previous year's Gone With the Wind) and another enormously popular adaptation of a bestseller, this adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's novel was also the first American film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Screenwriters Robert E. Sherwood and Joan Harrison recreated du Maurier's novel precisely, complete with the ideal casting of new star Laurence Olivier as brooding Maxim de Winter and insecure neophyte Joan Fontaine as his timid new bride. Rebecca displayed Hitchcock's unparalleled talent for ominous atmosphere, as he derived suspense from the clash between Fontaine and Judith Anderson's coldly sadistic, Rebecca-obsessed Mrs. Danvers. The elaborately appointed Manderley mansion became a character in itself, with Rebecca's expressively lit, diaphanously curtained bedroom, overlooking a suitably wild ocean, evoking her all-consuming absent presence. Selznick's and Hitchcock's attention to detail paid off with eleven Oscar nominations, including Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actress, and it won the top prize as well as an award for George Barnes's cinematography. However, control freak Hitchcock took a break from control freak Selznick for his next film, Foreign Correspondent (1940). Lucia Bozzola

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/08/1998
UPC:
0013131053432
Original Release:
1940
Rating:
NR
Source:
Starz / Anchor Bay

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Laurence Olivier Maxim de Winter
Joan Fontaine Mrs. de Winter
George Sanders Jack Flavell
Judith Anderson Mrs. Danvers
Nigel Bruce Maj. Giles Lacey
Reginald Denny Frank Crowley
C. Aubrey Smith Col. Julyan
Gladys Cooper Beatrice Lacy
Florence Bates Mrs. Van Hopper
Melville Cooper The Coroner
Leo G. Carroll Dr. Baker
Leonard Carey Ben
Lumsden Hare Tabb
Edward Fielding Frith
Philip Winter Robert
Forrester Harvey Chalcroft
Billy Bevan Policeman
Alfred Hitchcock Man Outside Phone Booth
Leyland Hodgson Chauffeur

Technical Credits
Alfred Hitchcock Director
George Barnes Cinematographer
Edmond F. Bernoudy Asst. Director
Howard Bristol Set Decoration/Design
Jack Cosgrove Special Effects
Joan Harrison Screenwriter
Michael Hogan Screenwriter
Hal Kern Editor
Philip MacDonald Screenwriter
James Newcom Editor
Jack Noyes Sound/Sound Designer
Joseph B. Platt Set Decoration/Design
David O. Selznick Producer
Robert E. Sherwood Screenwriter
Franz Waxman Score Composer
Lyle Wheeler Art Director
Daphne du Maurier Source Author

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