MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 162 this week

My Cousin Rachel (1952)

Approved  |   |  Mystery, Romance, Drama  |  24 December 1954 (USA)
7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,161 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 9 critic

A young man plots revenge against the woman he believes murdered his cousin, but his plans are shaken when he comes face to face with the enigmatic beauty.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (from the novel by) (as Daphne du Maurier)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 29 titles
created 21 Sep 2011
 
a list of 31 titles
created 11 Apr 2012
 
a list of 37 titles
created 19 May 2014
 
a list of 28 titles
created 5 months ago
 
a list of 26 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "My Cousin Rachel" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: My Cousin Rachel (1952)

My Cousin Rachel (1952) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of My Cousin Rachel.

User Polls

Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Joan Fisk, daughter of the American ambassador to France, is bored with entertaining the wives of visiting V.I.P.s and decides to conduct an experiment. She accepts a date with an American ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Krasna
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, John Forsythe, Myrna Loy
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A handsome and successful young doctor returns to his home town in New England to see his dying friend for one last time. However, his friend wants to die because he is suffering so much ... See full summary »

Director: Daniel Petrie
Stars: Richard Burton, Barbara Rush, Jack Carson
The Heiress (1949)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift, Ralph Richardson
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An ego-driven, aspiring physician, intolerant of the weaknesses of others, especially those closest to him, comes to grips with his own imperfections.

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Frank Sinatra, Robert Mitchum
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A man is found murdered, with witnesses convinced about the woman they saw leaving his apartment. However, it becomes apparent that the woman has a twin, and finding out which one is the killer seems impossible.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Lew Ayres, Thomas Mitchell
The Snake Pit (1948)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A detailed chronicle of a woman during her stay in a mental institution.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Mark Stevens, Leo Genn
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An unwed mother, forced to give up her child to avoid scandal, follows her son's life from afar even as she prospers in business.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, John Lund, Mary Anderson
Libel (1959)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A shell-shocked WWII veteran with memory problems is accused of being an impostor by a former comrade.

Director: Anthony Asquith
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Olivia de Havilland, Paul Massie
My Cousin Rachel (TV Mini-Series 1983)
Mystery | Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Stars: Geraldine Chaplin, Christopher Guard, Jamie Cresswell
That Lady (1955)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Ana, the Princess of Eboli, wears a black patch over her right eye, where she was blinded as a youth when fighting a duel in defense of her king, the despotic Philip. Thereafter she and the... See full summary »

Director: Terence Young
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Gilbert Roland, Paul Scofield
Drama | Romance

An orphan plots his revenge against a beautiful woman he believes killed his guardian.

Director: Roger Michell
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Washington DC in the war. The machinery of government is a hive of endless if not seamless activity. Arnament production is the name of the game, by fair means or foul. Ed Browne, more used... See full summary »

Director: Dudley Nichols
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Anne Shirley, Sonny Tufts
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Rachel Sangalletti Ashley (as Olivia deHavilland)
...
...
Louise Kendall
Ronald Squire ...
Nicholas 'Nick' Kendall
George Dolenz ...
Guido Rainaldi
John Sutton ...
Tudor Owen ...
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Reverend Pascoe
Edit

Storyline

When Philip Ashley's much-loved (and rich) cousin Ambrose dies, he is convinced that Ambrose was murdered by his new wife Rachel to inherit his wealth. But when he meets Rachel and falls in love with her, he knows that his suspicions must have been unfounded. But were they, or is Rachel just trying to use Philip to get at the estate Ambrose left to him instead of to her? And will she murder him next? Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

wealth | suspicion | murder | love | estate | See All (12) »

Genres:

Mystery | Romance | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 December 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Daphne du Maurier's My Cousin Rachel  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Greta Garbo turned down the role of Rachel when George Cukor was considered for the project. See more »

Connections

Version of My Cousin Rachel (1983) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Ambiguous Gothic Romance
12 September 2012 | by (Tunbridge Wells, England) – See all my reviews

"My Cousin Rachel", like Hitchcock's "Rebecca" from twelve years earlier, is based on a novel by Daphne du Maurier. Both films are Gothic melodramas set in Cornwall, and both have a wealthy landowner as the main male character. Another link is that the female lead is played in "Rebecca" by Joan Fontaine and here by her sister Olivia de Havilland. One difference between the two, however, is that "Rebecca" has a contemporary setting, whereas "My Cousin Rachel" is a period piece set in the early nineteenth century.

This is not, however, the sort of "heritage cinema" costume drama with which we are familiar today. Ever since the sixties, it has been customary for films set in the 1800s to be made in colour, often sumptuous colour, with an emphasis on a detailed recreation of the costumes and furnishings of the era. In the fifties, however, it was quite common for such films to be treated as a sort of period version of film noir, in black and white with dramatic, expressionist photography. "Blanche Fury" is a British example of this phenomenon, and "Carrie" another American one.

The film has a particularly dramatic opening scene. Ambrose Ashley, a Cornish gentleman, is out walking along the coast with his young cousin Philip, an orphan whom Ambrose has adopted as his son. As they walk they see a body swinging on a gibbet and Ambrose turns to Philip and says: "Always remember, Philip, death is the price for murder."

Fast forward about twenty years. Ambrose, who has been advised to move to warmer climes for the sake of his health, goes to live in Florence where he marries the Countess Rachel Sangalletti, the English-born widow of an Italian aristocrat. Shortly afterwards, Ambrose dies in mysterious circumstances, leaving his estate to Philip rather than his new wife. Philip is convinced, on the basis of a few mysterious letters from his cousin, that Ambrose was in fact murdered by Rachel, but when she travels to England and he meets her, he falls desperately in love with the beautiful older woman. (Philip is 25, Rachel probably in her mid- thirties). As their relationship progresses, however, Philip's suspicions about Rachel return, and he begins to suspect that she might be planning to murder him to secure ownership of the estate.

The film's main problem is that it is never made clear whether or not Rachel murdered Ambrose or whether she is plotting to kill Philip. We spend about half the film thinking that she is the victim of unjustified suspicion and the other half believing that she may well be guilty of the crimes of which she is suspected. I don't intend to examine all the conflicting evidence with which we are presented, as fedor8 has already done this in his helpful review which sets out both the case for Rachel's innocence and the case for her guilt. The truth is never really established, and the film's ambiguous ending does not assist in this regard. In some artistic contexts ambiguity can be beneficial, but I feel that a Gothic suspense drama like this one needs to draw a clearer line between virtue and villainy.

The film does, however, also have its strong points. As mentioned above, its stark photography is very effective, and it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography. There are also two excellent acting performances from De Havilland as Rachel and a young Richard Burton as Philip. I would not agree with those who see Philip as a Heathcliff figure- Emily Bronte's hero was always something of a threatening outsider, whereas Philip the wealthy country gentleman is really an insider, part of the system. Perhaps a more accurate comparison would be with a younger version of Mr Rochester from "Jane Eyre"- proud, impulsive, wilful, capable of both great generosity and great folly. Burton, one of several possible contenders for "greatest actor never to win an Oscar", deservedly received the first of his seven nominations for this film. (His second nomination came the following year for "The Robe", a film directed by the same director, Henry Koster). Oddly, his nomination here was in the "Best Supporting Actor" category, even though his is very much a leading role.

One might have thought that the ambiguity surrounding Rachel would have given De Havilland a problem as to how the character should be played. She is able, however, to give a very nuanced performance, suggesting both Rachel's lovability and her possibly sinister side. Another good contribution comes from the lovely young Audrey Dalton, in her debut film, as Louise, the young girl who loves Philip but fears losing him to Rachel. Audrey was a highly promising young actress who never really went on to become a major star, although she was to give another memorable performance in "Titanic" the following year.

Some have speculated that the film might have been improved had it been directed by Hitchcock rather than Koster, but the Master was never really comfortable with period drama. His attempt to film Du Maurier's "Jamaica Inn" resulted in one of his least memorable movies. He might have brought a greater sense of suspense to certain scenes, but I suspect that even he would have had difficulty in overcoming the problem of the ambivalence surrounding Rachel's guilt or innocence. 6/10


3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
copy of the movie yasmina-eroglu
The name of Philip Ashley's dog cmackowiak1
Best 'Supporting' Actor??? Just_Opinions
Filming location? UK/BBC Adaptation rufus-xs
Philip at Age 5? cobo-5
Ambrose Ashley mjcairns
Discuss My Cousin Rachel (1952) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?