A young English girl in Monte Carlo falls in love with a rude, handsome stranger who proposes to her and rescues her from the drudgery of being a hired companion. But when he takes her to ...
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A naive young woman moves into the mansion that belongs to her new husband, a rich widower. She soon realizes the memory of his deceased first wife maintains a grip on her husband, as well as the staff of servants.
Beyond redemption, Rebecca hides from the world. A psychological addiction to sex manifests itself physically. She lives only to satisfy her desire. Faced with a void she cannot fill ... See full summary »
A young English girl in Monte Carlo falls in love with a rude, handsome stranger who proposes to her and rescues her from the drudgery of being a hired companion. But when he takes her to his country estate, Manderly, all her confidence disappears, especially in the face of Maxim's dour and mysterious housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, and as odd rumors reach her, the second Mrs. de Winter decides to find out everything she can about her predecessor, Rebecca.Written by
This film contains three superb performances, and it really is a shame that it is not available on video.
Anna Massey, Jeremy Brett, and Joanna David are a wonderful team of actors who bring a great deal of depth to their roles. David has the most difficult job; her character is so self effacing we never even know her name. She is meek without seeming stupid, and perfectly captures the body language of a very young girl.
Anna Massey is a terrifying Mrs. Danvers and is never more sinister than when she is smiling. She did 'everything' for her late mistress, and we get the impression that she was in fact in love with the title character. Massey's original take on this character has influenced all subsequent portrayals. She also resembles an Edward Gorey drawing in her bleak black costume.
Jeremy Brett is all burning eyes and barely-suppressed rage as Max. The character gradually progresses from a vaguely sinister, sardonic figure to a hunted man who finally appreciates his second wife's devotion. This is a fine portrayal by a wonderful actor and it is an excellent complement to his similarly superb portrayal of Sherlock Holmes.
This film has the usual high production values of a British adaptation, and has the sense to use the music of Claude Debussy on the soundtrack instead of some dated 'horror music' that often mars Seventies films.
All supporting cast members are excellent. My criticism is that the show is a trifle long; the Manderley ball and the visit to Max's grandmother do not really need to be portrayed at this length. The ending is, if anything, even more ambiguous than the ending of the novel It would be a wonderful thing to have this title back in print.
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