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 <email@example.com>
Richard Burton was generally felt to be miscast as he looked too old and mature for the naive character he played, although he was in fact only 26 when the film was made. See more »
Blessed Rachel, only you can know now this burden that I must carry to the end of my days. This question that I must ask myself, again and again, every day of my life, never to be answered now, until we meet at last in Purgatory. Were you innocent, or were you guilty? Rachel, my torment. My blessed, blessed torment.
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This film, based on the Daphne du Maurier's novel is practically unknown, as it appears to have been forgotten; it never turns on reruns, but it's worth a look nevertheless.
"My Cousin Rachel" was directed by Henry Koster, based on the adaptation by Nunnally Johnson, who did a good job in creating the right atmosphere for the film. The great cinematography of Joseph LaShelle enhances what the director set out to do in more ways than he probably imagined. Mr. LaShelle was one of the most elegant cinematographers of that era. Just look at his seascapes to appreciate his art.
This film marks the beginning of Richard Burton's career in the American Cinema. While it was not his first film, the actor brought such an intensity to his role that earned an acting nomination for best supporting actor. He should have been nominated as the best actor, since his role is the whole movie!
Olivia DeHavilland makes an excellent Rachel, at times loving, at others sly and calculating. She had a special beauty. Her eyes express a lot in her close ups. Ms. DeHavilland was totally convincing in her take of this woman who comes back to claim her inheritance when everything is taken away from her.
The rest of the cast is good as they play in ensemble fashion. Audrey Dalton makes a lovely Louise, the loyal friend. Also John Sutton, who unfortunately doesn't stay around too long to make justice of his role of Ambrose.
As a Gothic mystery, this film will not disappoint.
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