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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
David O. Selznick borrowed Franz Waxman from MGM to score this movie, forcing the composer to work from the script and a rough cut rather than the final edit. When this posed problems later, Selznick had some of Max Steiner's music for A Star Is Born (1937) inserted where he felt Waxman's score wasn't working. This caused animosity between Selznick and both composers. See more »
When Mr. and Mrs. de Winter first arrive at Manderley, it begins to rain -- but the sun remains shining whilst it's raining. See more »
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 »
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 »
Hitchcock's first great American success in a classic story with a love story and suspense
This is a Daphne Du Maurier's story (from a best-seller novel) concerning a prominent widower (Laurence Olivier) called Maxim De Winter who finds a gorgeous and timid young girl (Joan Fontaine) who is serving to an old Mistress (Florence Bates) . They are married and head to Manderley , the familiar mansion (in the exterior actually is a scale model). But Maxim is haunted by the ghost first wife , an enigmatic Rebecca , who died in mysterious circumstances . There works as a servant the creepy and obsessive housekeeper , Mrs Danvers (Judith Anderson,a famous stage actress in her most important role) and sh meets a cynic gentleman (George Sanders).
This film has suspense , romance , unlimited tension , full of lingering images and with the typical touches Hitchcock . Besides , a literately and thoughtful dialog signed by Joan Harrison (Hitchcock's usual screenwriter) though lacking humor . After ¨39 steps¨and ¨Jamaica Inn¨ , Hitch was encouraged to go to America and promptly shot his first work in Hollywood hired by the great producer David O'Selznick . Fine performance by Laurence Olivier , he married Vivien Leigh and he wished to her as protagonist but Hitch hired Joan Fontaine who took seven rehearsal sessions until the engaging . Joan Fontaine as a shy bride young is superb and enjoyable . Judith Anderson as a spooky and cold house keeper is top-notch, her role as obsessed person by the glamorous Rebecca is unforgotten and immortal . Atmospheric and perceptible music by Franz Waxman and sensational visual style by the cameraman George Barnes . The picture won Academy Awards for Best film and cinematography . The movie was brilliantly directed by the Master of Suspense . It's remade in inferior versions for Television, the 1980 adaptation with Jeremy Brett as Maxim and 1996 rendition with Charles Dance and Emilie Fox . The motion picture is indispensable watching for Hithcock lovers achieving the maximum impact on his audience.
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