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Rebecca (1940)

 -  Mystery | Thriller  -  12 April 1940 (USA)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 74,168 users  
Reviews: 253 user | 135 critic

A self-conscious bride is tormented by the memory of her husband's dead first wife.

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(celebrated novel), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Title: Rebecca (1940)

Rebecca (1940) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Top 250 #149 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Florence Bates ...
Melville Cooper ...
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Leonard Carey ...
Ben
Lumsden Hare ...
Edward Fielding ...
Philip Winter ...
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Storyline

A shy ladies' companion, staying in Monte Carlo with her stuffy employer, meets the wealthy Maxim de Winter. She and Max fall in love, marry and return to Manderley, his large country estate in Cornwall. Max is still troubled by the death of his first wife, Rebecca, in a boating accident the year before. The second Mrs. de Winter clashes with the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, and discovers that Rebecca still has a strange hold on everyone at Manderley. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The shadow of this woman darkened their love. See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 April 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rebeka  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,288,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David O. Selznick wanted Olivia de Havilland to play the female lead, but was faced with insurmountable problems: she was already committed to Samuel Goldwyn for Raffles (1939), Warner Bros. was being uncooperative about lending her out, and she was reluctant to accept the part because her sister, Joan Fontaine, was also under consideration for the part and her agent, Leland Hayward, was promoting his wife, Margaret Sullavan, for the role. Selznick also considered Loretta Young, Vivien Leigh, Anita Louise and Anne Baxter for the role, but felt that Young and Leigh were the wrong "type." He finally settled on Fontaine, but his staff disagreed with his decision because she was not yet an established star. See more »

Goofs

Impossible police procedure: immediately after the inquest, the Chief Constable starts a possible murder inquiry, on his own, taking the chief suspect with him. This error is copied from the novel. See more »

Quotes

Maxim de Winter: "I'll make a bargain with you," she said. "You'd look rather foolish trying to divorce me now after four days of marriage. So I'll play the part of a devoted wife, mistress of your precious Manderley. I'll make it the most famous showplace in England if you like. Then, people will visit us and envy us, and say we're the luckiest, happiest, couple in the country. What a grand show it will be! What a triumph!"
See more »

Crazy Credits

The original 1940 credits read "Selznick International presents its picturization of Daphne Du Maurier's 'Rebecca'". The credits on the re-issue version read "The Selznick Studio presents its production of Daphne Du Maurier's 'Rebecca'". See more »


Soundtracks

Love's Old Sweet Song (Just a Song at Twilight)
(1884) (uncredited)
Music by J.L. Molloy
Hummed by Joan Fontaine
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Joan Fontaine is so beautiful
27 October 2004 | by (somerville, ma) – See all my reviews

I spent the majority of this film thinking about how lucky M. Olivier really was. To be able to wrap his arms around Joan Fontaine and kiss her. Oh my. She's one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen (almost, but not quite as beautiful as Veronica Lake). She's also 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 and interesting figure.

The movie, on the whole, is similarly amazing, capturing the spirit and the tone of those great Gothic romances. Watching Rebecca, I was reminded (pleasantly) of Wuthering Heights; I do not mean to suggest that in some way this film re-tells the tale of Cathy and Heathcliff, but rather that Rebecca has the feel of Bronte's novel (I am most certainly not talking about the William Wyler adaptation a few years before the release of Rebecca. That's a terrible film that somehow manages to mis-interpret the novel).

I must assume that the guiding hand of Hitchcock played no small role in recreating the feel of a Gothic romance. 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 it feeling like a cop-out. I'd also like to draw everyone's attention to the incredibly moving section of the film that occurs between the arrival of the second Mrs. DeWinter at Mandalay and the masqued ball. The emotional strain on the Joan Fontaine character is so palpable, so absolutely taxing, that it actually pains me to watch. I hurt along with her. Few other movies affect me so emotionally

  • one of them is Vertigo.




All in all, this is a fantastic piece of film-making from Hollywood's golden age. Laurence Olivier is in top-form, as he plays the quiet, sad Maxim and George Sanders is positively hateful.

10/10 - a visceral masterpiece


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Is this a goof? When did Rebecca meet Danvers? irvberg2002
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Rebecca a lesbian? georgestrum
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