IMDb > Rebecca (1940)
Rebecca
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Rebecca (1940) More at IMDbPro »

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Rebecca -- When a naive young woman marries a rich widower and settles in his gigantic mansion, she finds the memory of the first wife maintaining a grip on her husband and the servants.

Overview

User Rating:
8.2/10   70,699 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Daphne Du Maurier (celebrated novel)
Robert E. Sherwood (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Rebecca on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 April 1940 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The shadow of this woman darkened their love. See more »
Plot:
A self-conscious bride is tormented by the memory of her husband's dead first wife. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 9 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
the first Hitchcock masterpiece See more (251 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Laurence Olivier ... 'Maxim' de Winter

Joan Fontaine ... Mrs. de Winter

George Sanders ... Jack Favell

Judith Anderson ... Mrs. Danvers

Nigel Bruce ... Major Giles Lacy

Reginald Denny ... Frank Crawley

C. Aubrey Smith ... Colonel Julyan

Gladys Cooper ... Beatrice Lacy
Florence Bates ... Mrs. Van Hopper
Melville Cooper ... Coroner

Leo G. Carroll ... Dr. Baker
Leonard Carey ... Ben
Lumsden Hare ... Tabbs
Edward Fielding ... Frith
Philip Winter ... Robert
Forrester Harvey ... Chalcroft
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Billy Bevan ... Policeman (uncredited)
Egon Brecher ... Hotel Desk Clerk (uncredited)

Gino Corrado ... Hotel Manager (uncredited)

Alfred Hitchcock ... Man Outside Phone Booth (uncredited)
Leyland Hodgson ... Mullen (uncredited)
Alphonse Martell ... Hotel Headwaiter (uncredited)
William H. O'Brien ... Hotel Waiter (uncredited)
Ronald R. Rondell ... Hotel Dining Room Guest (uncredited)

Directed by
Alfred Hitchcock 
 
Writing credits
Daphne Du Maurier (celebrated novel)

Robert E. Sherwood (screen play) and
Joan Harrison (screen play)

Philip MacDonald (adaptation) and
Michael Hogan (adaptation)

Produced by
David O. Selznick .... producer
 
Original Music by
Franz Waxman 
 
Cinematography by
George Barnes (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
W. Donn Hayes (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Lyle R. Wheeler  (as Lyle Wheeler)
 
Makeup Department
Monte Westmore .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Edmond F. Bernoudy .... assistant director (as Edmond Bernoudy)
D. Ross Lederman .... second unit director (uncredited)
Eric Stacey .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Howard Bristol .... interior decorator
Joseph B. Platt .... interiors designed by
Dorothea Holt .... illustrator (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Jack Noyes .... recorder
Arthur Johns .... sound (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Jack Cosgrove .... special effects
 
Visual Effects by
Albert Simpson .... matte artist (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Arthur E. Arling .... camera operator (uncredited)
Vincent J. Farrar .... camera operator (uncredited)
Lloyd Knechtel .... director of photography: second unit (uncredited)
Fred Parrish .... still photographer (uncredited)
Irving Rosenberg .... camera operator (uncredited)
Archie Stout .... director of photography: second unit (uncredited)
John F. Warren .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Harry L. Wolf .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Hal C. Kern .... supervising film editor
James E. Newcom .... associate film editor
 
Music Department
Louis Forbes .... music associate (as Lou Forbes)
Robert Russell Bennett .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Robert Russell Bennett .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Hugo Friedhofer .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Paul Marquardt .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Joseph Nussbaum .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Joseph Nussbaum .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leonid Raab .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Hans Sommer .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Franz Waxman .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Barbara Keon .... scenario assistant
W.A. Bagley .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Russell Birdwell .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Katherine Brown .... story editor (uncredited)
Adele Cannon .... script clerk (uncredited)
Val Lewton .... story editor (uncredited)
Marcella Rabwin .... executive assistant to producer (uncredited)
Lydia Schiller .... continuity supervisor (uncredited)
David O. Selznick .... presenter (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production Companies
  • Selznick International Pictures (as A Selznick International Picture) (as Selznick International presents its picturization of Daphne Du Maurier's celebrated novel)
Distributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
130 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Chile:14 | Finland:K-12 | Germany:16 | Iceland:L | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1947) | Peru:14 | Portugal:M/12 (Qualidade) | South Korea:15 | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (re-release) (re-rating) (1996) (2006) (2012) | UK:PG (video rating) (1986) (1992) (1996) (2000) | USA:Not Rated | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | USA:Approved (certificate #5969) | West Germany:16
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
In 1944, Edwina Levin MacDonald sued David O. Selznick, Daphne Du Maurier, United Artists and Doubleday for plagiarism. She claimed that the film was based on her novel "Blind Windows", and sought an undisclosed amount of damages.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: In the Monte-Carlo Hotel Lounge, the Narrator and Mrs Van Hopper are having coffee. The Narrator's coffee cup then a newspaper are in her right hand between shots without sufficient time or obvious motion to change them.See more »
Quotes:
Maxim de Winter:Happiness is something I know nothing about.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Love's Old Sweet Song (Just a Song at Twilight)See more »

FAQ

What is 'Rebecca' about?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
How does the movie end?
See more »
69 out of 95 people found the following review useful.
the first Hitchcock masterpiece, 20 February 2001
Author: Dtkoyzis from Ontario, Canada

"Rebecca" was the first Hitchcock film I ever saw, and I was mesmerized by it from the start, convinced that I had to see more of the director's work. It richly deserved the Oscar it received, but it's a real puzzle that the Academy saw fit to withhold a best director award for Hitch. Would one possibly give an award to a work by Picasso and not to Picasso himself?

"Rebecca" was the first of the director's American-made films, and it shows. It's quite different from his earlier British-made films, such as "Young and Innocent" and even "The Lady Vanishes," which somehow seem more amateurish by comparison. (I know little of the British cinema of that era, but it's difficult not to conclude that Hollywood was better at producing more sophisticated efforts.) I would even judge "Rebecca" the best of his films of the early 1940s, with the possible exception of "Shadow of a Doubt." It is true, of course, that much of this film has become cliché (remember the spoofs on the old "Carol Burnette Show"!), but it still weathers the decades very well. The acting is uniformly excellent. Olivier is the hardened Maxim de Winter, untitled lord of Manderly, trying to forget the past and given to unexpected bouts of anger and coldheartedness. Fontaine is perfect as the unnamed mousy heroine, innocent yet deeply in love, still carrying with her the aura of an awkward schoolgirl. Even character actor Nigel Bruce, best known for his role in the Sherlock Holmes films, makes an appearance and plays, in effect, Nigel Bruce!

But it is Judith Anderson's role as Mrs. Danvers that viewers are likely to remember best. Her presence is as dark and foreboding as that of the deceased Rebecca herself, and Fontaine is evidently cowed by her icy stare and unnervingly formal manner. The dynamics between the two actresses are wonderful. Who could fail to empathize with Fontaine's unenviable position as, in effect, the new employer of such an intimidating personage? On the other hand, Olivier seems quite unfearful of Anderson, despite her representing so much of the past he is trying to block out. This part of the plot (even in the book) never made much sense to me and is unconvincing.

As far as I know, this film marked Hitch's first collaboration with composer Franz Waxman, whose haunting score makes it all the more memorable. Waxman's scores are perhaps less obviously cinematic than those of the incomparable Bernard Herrmann, who would score Hitch's films from 1955 to 1966. Contrast the score for "Rebecca" to Herrmann's music for "Citizen Kane" the following year, and you'll immediately hear the difference. Waxman's is more symphonic in the central European style reflective of his own birth and upbringing. Yet it is worth recalling that scoring films was still a new art at this time, and both Waxman and Herrmann were pioneers.

Finally, one has to mention the cinematography, which is magnificent. Technically "Rebecca" might have been filmed in colour, which was newly available in 1940. ("Gone with the Wind" was filmed entirely in colour the previous year, while "The Wizzard of Oz" and "The Women" had colour scenes.) But colour would have diminished its impact. The suspense and the ominous sense of impending doom could only have been communicated through the medium of black-and-white and the deft use of light and shade which it affords.

In one respect, of course, "Rebecca" is not a typical Hitchcock film. There is no fleeing innocent trying to clear his name of a crime he did not commit. Surprisingly, there isn't even a murder, although its absence was apparently imposed by the Hayes Code and is certainly foreign to Daphne du Maurier's original novel. Some have said that there is more Selznick than Hitchcock in this film, and perhaps there's something to that. Still, if the collaborative effort between the two was not exactly amiable, it was nevertheless successful.

In short, this is the first in a string of Hitchcock masterpieces.

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Rebecca (1940)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
I'm a 20 year old guy and I love this film TwiZone
Rebecca a lesbian? georgestrum
Fontaine's Oscar win patmss
was Laurence Olivier too young for this role? northernjays
Is this a goof? When did Rebecca meet Danvers? irvberg2002
So Rebecca was boffing her cousin? miz bell
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