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|Index||35 reviews in total|
This is a terrific adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's 1938 novel. The period
detail, costume and scenery are all spot-on, and the acting is good,
especially among the principals. Generally, this television version is more
faithful to the book, both in spirit and in plot, than the 1940 Hitchcock
version with Laurence Oliver and Joan Fontaine. I found Charles Dance to be
a much more believable Maxim de Winter, with some definite sex appeal that
was lacking in Olivier's portrayal. Emilia Fox was perfectly charming as
2nd Mrs. de Winter, managing to come across as shy and unsure of herself
without appearing too passive or neurotic. As has been stated in other
reviews, the romance between the two was far more believable and realistic
in this version.
Diana Rigg gives quite a different portrayal of the creepy Mrs. Danvers than Judith Anderson did, and I found Rigg's more humane and pathetic (although still sinister) housekeeper more three-dimensional. The supporting characters are also good, and I even enjoyed Jonathan Cake's scenery-chewing portrayal of Jack Favell.
All in all, a great effort, well worth watching.
I enjoyed this version of Rebecca very much. This one is more focused on
romance than the excellent version from Hitchcock. It must be said that
romance in this version is more realistic than the one with Laurence
and Joan Fontaine. Do not get me wrong, I adore the film. But it was quite
obvious that the late, great LO was much younger than his alter ego Maxim
the Winter. I found the romance in this mini series more convincing
some scenes where added which are not in the book (the honeymoon for
instance). It gives the character of Maxim De Winter more warmth and
Charles Dance has the advantage that he is about the same age as Maxim and
therefore (in my honest opinion) more convincing than LO. Mr. Dance is an
excellent actor and he gives a very good performance as Maxim. I was also
quite pleased with the performance of Emillia Fox. I had never heard of
before, but I hope to see more of her work in the future. Her portrayal of
young insecure woman who tries to cope with the memory of her husband's
first wife was quite impressive. Faye Dunaway made a very amusing Mrs. Van
Hopper. Diana Rigg portrays Mrs. Danvers rather as a tragic character than as a villain. I found this approach very refreshing.
I would also like to add something to a comment made earlier in another review of this mini-series. Someone mentioned that the second Mrs. De Winter first name is Caroline, because in the party scene she is announced as Lady Caroline De Winter. This is of course completely wrong. Lady Caroline is the name of the lady from the painting. It is not Mrs. De Winter's first name, which isn't mentioned at all. I hope that this clears this matter once and for all.
This was an excellent production of a famous story. The acting was just as good as the previous versions and the photography was the best, far better than most theatrical movies. One thing that made this version special was seeing Rebecca and hearing her in a flashback sequence.
First of all, I enjoyed the old classic version of the 1940s REBECCA
with Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine and I have seen it over 100
times in my lifetime. However, I find myself very captivated by this
1997 version by Masterpiece Theatre and with its great actors, the
assemble cast, the music score, the filming location and the more
detailed storyline, which is simply superb and very well done. I
believe the 1997 version is the best version of Rebecca, second to the
book. Further, I have seen ALL the versions of Rebecca and have read
the book by Daphne Du Maurier and can actually comment in good faith
that this is simply the best adaptation with more details about the
characters that you don't see in the 1940s version.
With this superb 1997 adaptation, you are able to see a more deeper version of both Max and the second Mrs. DeWinter's characters played by Charles Dance and Emilia Fox. You see that they are in love in this version whereas in the Hitchcock version, it's not so obvious. You also get a better sense of Mrs. Danvers' character who you almost feel sorry for in this adaptation. Additionally, you'll see a few glimpses of what the beautiful Rebecca might look like.
I believe this 1997 version of Rebecca stands alone as a great love story and great mystery that will keep you captivated.
I enjoyed this version very much, the actors in the main roles were very good. I especially liked the young Emilia Fox as the new Mrs DeWinter. She started out as the shy young girl and became the strong young wife fighting for her love. Charles Dance was very well cast as Maxim, not as stuffy as Olivier. I found Diana Rigg a bit over the top, but the supporting cast were very good, especially Faye Dunaway. The locations and overall look of the show was very pleasing to the eye. I liked this longer , more adult version as it covered the whole story and was very true to the novel. But, like Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice I will always now and again go back and watch the original black and white versions.
I appreciated the romantic aspect of this version, even if it may not have followed the spirit of the book entirely. Maybe that is because I think Charles Dance is hot, and any chance I have to see him in a romantic situation is OK with me! On the whole, I think this "Rebecca" is very good - and stands its ground along side Hitchcock - not as a comparison, but as a different approach. I did get the British version (I have a region-free player) because the PBS version cut out 18 minutes. I do believe the British version (with the honeymoon scene) may have been shown originally on Masterpiece Theatre, but in the US release DVD, it (along with a couple other scenes I like) were cut. Glad to have that region-free player!!
I thought this was marvellous, and that Charles Dance as Maxim, Emilia
Fox as The Second Mrs De Winter, and Diana Rigg as Mrs Danvers, were
note perfect - but that's before I saw the 1970s version with Jeremy
Brett, Fox's mother Joanna David, and Anna Massey.
However, this 1990s version runs a close second. It isn't as involving to watch, and Dance has a certain dryness that perhaps does not work all through the piece - but the cast do well (including Faye Dunaway as Fox's chaperone). Set pieces are excellent, there's beautiful scenery, and a tight script, and all this is good.
You rarely see watchable literacy adaptations of this quality, and this version of 'Rebecca' does not really disappoint. It's just that it has already been done better before - and it is a shame that the 1997 version is the only one now widely available for viewing.
Watch it by all means - but try to seek out other versions as well.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I read the book by Daphne Du Maurier, and after loving it so much, I decided to watch this latest adaptation. All I can say is that this is better than what I expected! It can captivate every possible type of viewer with its rich tapestry of ideas and emotions in the underlying plot. Charles Dance as Maxim de Winter surpasses all expectations one might have (and isn't too bad to look at either!). In this version, he portrays Max as more romantic (perhaps more so than other adaptations), something which adds a touch of realism and allows for a different perspective of his character. Emilia Fox as the second Mrs. de Winter is refreshing and plays her character with the perfect amount of insecurity over the haunting presence of Max's first wife, Rebecca. Fox also presents her character as nothing but loving and dedicated towards her much older husband, with passion and romance that helps justify many a scene in this version, presented very aesthetically and with realism. The romance and chemistry between the two lead actors is incredibly convincing and is also very appealing. Dame Diana Rigg as Mrs. Danvers is superb, as she almost shows Mrs. Danvers to be in love with Rebecca, but not in a socially acceptable manner for that era, as well as being a tragic, lost individual who is clearly struggling to let go. Remaining supporting cast of Faye Dunaway as the pleasantly extrovert Mrs. Van Hopper and Jonathan Cake as the wild living, slightly devilish cousin of Rebecca, Jack Favell, are perfectly suited to their respective characters. 'Rebecca' also highlights many social taboos and difficulties experienced by the upper classes of the late 1920's, something which is executed faultlessly in this adaptation, and is also something which helps you to justify why Maxim did what he did (you'll have to see this to understand what I mean!). All in all, it has everything that makes for compelling viewing: murder, social taboo, romance, tears... it is truly awesome!
The second Mrs. DeWinter has no first name, and she was never given one for the film. Caroline DeWinter was the ancestor that the second Mrs. DeWinter dressed as for the costume ball. If this was not mentioned in the film, it should have been. It is mentioned in Alfred Hitchcock's masterful version of the book, by Dame Judith Anderson. Now, in context of the film, it was definitely closer to the book than Hitchcock's version (which you can blame David O. Selznick for the changes in the plot), and there is some very good acting, but it still seems like what it is, and that is a television film. Christopher Gunning provided a very emotional score though, with a heart wrenching theme for cello and orchestra.
This is just the thing to watch while curled up on the sofa with a hot cup of cocoa. Charles Dance is an absolute heart throb and young Emilia Fox's acting is outstanding! Jonathan Cake plays a convinvingly devilish Favell and Diana Rigg - well, what can I say?! This murder mystery suspense story is fantastic and a great favourite of mine. The lesbian innuendo between Mrs Danvers and Rebecca takes your breath away. This story must have been a shocker in its time - 1930's. I'd recommend it to anyone to watch it, you're guaranteed to be glued to your seat.
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