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 insisted on personally supervising re-takes of the fire scene, which he thought had been indistinct as originally shot. The final shot of flames engulfing the title character's "R" monogram were redone because he thought the initial had not been as carefully framed as Mrs. Danvers would have placed it and the flames hadn't come up quickly enough or high enough. See more »
The word pamplemousse (French for grapefruit) is incorrectly spelled as 'pamplemouse' in the Princesse Hotel Monte Carlo menu toward the beginning of the film. 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 »
... and it's clear to see throughout that Maxim de Winter is not overwrought with joy as we witness a story tacking in one direction, gradually adjusting course to another and finally distorting and folding in on itself with magnificent Hitchcockian escalation towards the end.
If you view this through contemporary eyes alone it's easy to see it as dated, old fashioned, antique perhaps, many things in the past fall foul of fashion sooner or later. Place a pair of pince-nez on the bridge of your nose and witness two great stars, Joan Fontaine is outstanding, add immense depth to an already deep, dark and disturbing tale with some sinister supporting characters thrown in for good measure, none more so than Judith Anderson as the mysterious and cryptic Mrs. Danvers.
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