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My Cousin Rachel (1952)

Approved | | Drama, Mystery, Romance | 24 December 1954 (USA)
A young man plots revenge against the woman he believes murdered his cousin, but his plans are shaken when he comes face to face with the enigmatic beauty.

Director:

Henry Koster

Writers:

Nunnally Johnson (screen play), Daphne Du Maurier (from the novel by) (as Daphne du Maurier)
Reviews

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Olivia de Havilland ... Rachel Ashley (as Olivia deHavilland)
Richard Burton ... Philip Ashley
Audrey Dalton ... Louise Kendall
Ronald Squire ... Nicholas Kendall
George Dolenz ... Guido Rainaldi
John Sutton ... Ambrose Ashley
Tudor Owen ... Seecombe
J.M. Kerrigan ... Rev. Pascoe
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Storyline

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 <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

"She makes a secret potion for her lovers to drink!"

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

24 December 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Daphne du Maurier's My Cousin Rachel See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Burton's posthumously-published diaries reveal that he accepted the role of Philip in this film because it was being planned as a comeback vehicle for Greta Garbo under the direction of his friend George Cukor, whom he regarded as one of the great Hollywood directors. He claims that Garbo personally told him she would only do the film with him as her leading man. When negotiations with both Garbo and Cukor fell through (Garbo never made another film, and Cukor and Burton never worked together), Burton remained attached to the project, which was refashioned as a vehicle for Olivia De Havilland following her Oscar-winning success in "The Heiress". Burton claims that De Havilland was impossibly arrogant after her Oscar triumph, insisted on having sole above-the-title star billing, and also would not allow anyone to call her by her first name, only as "Miss De Havilland". He found this state of affairs preposterous and was rude about her for the rest of his life whenever the film (which he despised) came up in interviews. See more »

Quotes

Rachel Sangalletti Ashley: What are you doing at this hour?
Philip Ashley: I wanted you to look at the moon and smell the fragrance of spring in the air.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
DeHavilland & DuMaurier - a perfect match
12 July 2006 | by DAHLRUSSELLSee all my reviews

This masterful, complex mystery story between a younger man and older woman deals with the very modern issues of trust in relationships, and how well you can know someone. This film was made long before I was born, but for any DuMaurier fan, it is a gift. It is no wonder that Daphne DuMaurier's books were so often made as films, with her combination of romance, mystery and mistrust that marked all of her work... it remains potent.

It is a shame that this Oscar nominated film has become all but lost. While this is a dark story, shot appropriately in noir/Gothic shadows, most video versions available (and bootleg DVDS) seem to be from time-darkened versions. How I long for this to be digitally remastered and made available in a really good DVD.

Obviously this film was recognized at the time it was made. Time has unfortunately underrated it, as I believe DeHavilland has also become underrated. The qualities that are valued in today's leading GIRL roles, flashy, young, trash talking, have no value for the pleasant, understated nuanced womanliness DeHavilland brought to this role. Her performance here is an acting lesson for film, especially as this role required the difficult job of balancing the audiences doubts about whether she is good or bad.

Burton's acting is a lesson too, in film intensity. He is much better here than in many of his later performances where he seems to have studied his pout a bit too much. This, and his role as George in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" are among his best work.

This is a must-see for anyone interested in acting, and complex, nuanced film story telling.


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