8.1/10
119,698
342 user 197 critic

Rebecca (1940)

Approved | | Drama, Mystery, Romance | 12 April 1940 (USA)
Trailer
0:21 | Trailer
A self-conscious woman juggles adjusting to her new role as an aristocrat's wife and avoiding being intimidated by his first wife's spectral presence.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Daphne Du Maurier (celebrated novel), Robert E. Sherwood (screen play) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
343 ( 2,159)
Top Rated Movies #234 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Philip Winter ... Robert
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Storyline

A shy lady's companion, staying in Monte Carlo with her stuffy employer, meets the wealthy Maxim de Winter (Sir Laurence Olivier). 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 (Joan Fontaine) clashes with the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers (Dame Judith Anderson), 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 MOST GLAMOROUS WOMAN of All Time! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first movie that Sir Alfred Hitchcock made in Hollywood, and the only one that won a Best Picture Oscar. Although it won Best Picture, the Best Director Award that year went to John Ford for The Grapes of Wrath (1940). See more »

Goofs

The Narrator follows Jasper to the cottage. When she sees Jasper, he is standing up, barking in front of the door. She approaches the door and the dog is now lying to one side. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. de Winter: I wish I were a woman of 36, dressed in black satin with a string of pearls!
Maxim de Winter: You wouldn't be here with me if you were.
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 »

Alternate Versions

The opening credits were re-done (with different font) for the 1950's re-release of the movie. It is these credits that have turned up on all telecasts of the film (even as recently as 2013) and all previous video releases. The Criterion release (which is now only available through outlet stores) restores all of the credits to their original form. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Celluloid Closet (1995) 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 »

User Reviews

 
A film with a nameless protagonist and an invisible namesake
15 January 2017 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

This was Alfred Hitchcock's first American-made film. Quite frankly, I'm amazed at how well Hitchcock "got" what American audiences wanted in their suspense films, hitting them out of the park from the moment he began working in the US.

Apart from being a tad bit long, this is a well made film. I love the inside of Mandalay and Sir Laurence Olivier played a wonderful mysterious and sullen Maximillian De Winter opposite his new wife, a beautiful and naive young Joan Fontaine who is never even given a name here, probably deliberately and in keeping with how mousy and "second hand" she feels about herself in relation to the first and late Mrs. De Winter, who is actually Rebecca from the title.

Of course there is also George Sanders, playing the type of character he is best known for--sarcastic, snobby, self-assured, pompous, witty and verbose. He hits the nail on the head as Rebecca's "cousin" - so he calls himself. Of course the most eerie and unsettling character was Mrs. Danvers, Rebecca's housekeeper or "maid in waiting." Danvers takes great pains in sabotaging the second Mrs. De Winter's marital relationship with Max de Winter,--even going as far as calmly urging her to to plunge to her death into the water from Rebecca's bedroom window at Mandalay. There are a couple of twists in this movie, but I won't give them away. It's best if you watch them unfold yourself in true Hitchcockian style.

I will say that Rebecca, the first wife of Max de Winter, is NEVER seen, but we learn about her by what is said about her by the various characters, even going as far as seeing the untouched shrine of a bedroom maintained by Mrs. Danvers. But soon you learn that Rebecca was never the perfect wife Danvers and others make her out to be. The ending is a surprise in more way than one, and yet Mrs. Danvers gets the last word in her own way. A great movie by Alfred Hitchcock and David O. Selznick.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

12 April 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rebecca See more »

Filming Locations:

Big Sur, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,288,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$72,275
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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