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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Certainly awesome
I watched this movie only after I read the book by Daphe Du Maurier several times at different ages. I am glad to say that it was very close to what I had imagined while I read the book. I certainly feel 3 hours are required for doing justice to the book. Though, it would have been much better had they spent more time showing how Maxim de Winter and the narrator fall in...
Published on Nov. 20 2002 by katya_v

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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bland retelling of the 1940's film
I'm almost embarrassed, considering all the highly positive reviews already posted here, to have disliked this version of Rebecca. I found it too mild in comparison to the film original, which admittedly was played as far too much gothic melodrama, so much so that it was laughable in places. Still, Judith Anderson as Mrs. Danvers was menacing. Here, Diana Rigg is just...
Published on Jan. 21 2002


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Certainly awesome, Nov. 20 2002
By 
"katya_v" (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rebecca (VHS Tape)
I watched this movie only after I read the book by Daphe Du Maurier several times at different ages. I am glad to say that it was very close to what I had imagined while I read the book. I certainly feel 3 hours are required for doing justice to the book. Though, it would have been much better had they spent more time showing how Maxim de Winter and the narrator fall in love in Monte Carlo. I feel that was too hurried and several details were left out. The last part where Max de Winter tries to save Danvers from the burning Manderley ought to have been avoided as it wasn't part of the story and only added melodrama.
The cast for this second version with Charles Dance, Emilia Fox and Diana Rigg couldn't have been better. The perfect English looking Charles Dance is the only one who could portray the reserved, austre and noble Max de Winter. I feel the difference in age between Max De Winter and the narrator was very accurately portrayed in the film. An older, more mature looking man was very vital for this role. Though the book says that Maxim was about twice the age of the young narrator, around 40, I always imagined Maxim to look older than that with all the fear and suffering he had undergone. Olivier certainly was not cut for this role in Hitchcock's version. I think Emilia Fox was also great with her lost, shy look.
I feel this version is probably the closest it can get to the book and the characters. The cast chosen was the best by far.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly great, July 24 2001
By 
Amazon Customer "bijucu" (freeville, ny United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rebecca (VHS Tape)
It's 1927, and we are in Monte Carlo, a most romantic place... The heroine of the novel, a very young girl (she is also the storyteller) is employed as a companion to a vulgar, rich woman, Mrs. Van Hopper. There she meets Maxim de Winter, a sophisticated, attractive older man, very rich, the owner of a splendid, ancient estate called Manderley. They marry very soon and return to England. Perfect happiness eludes her - she becomes obsessed with Rebecca, Maxim's first wife, who mysteriously drowned in the bay ten months before Monte Carlo. Rebecca's ghost seems to be everywhere - the housekeeper, the creepy, murderous Mrs. Danvers is still obsessively devoted to her and keeps her rooms just as they were before her death. The second Mrs. de Winter knows that everyone compares her to Rebecca, and is convinced she must be a disappointment - "You'll never get the better of her", Mrs. Danvers says. Frank Crawley, the estate manager, tells her Rebecca was "the most beautiful creature I ever saw", but adds that, to a husband, "kindness, sincerity and modesty are worth all the beauty and wit in the world". That sounds very odd: if Rebecca was so perfect, surely she must have been kind and sincere? Rebecca's death and past life seem to be shrouded in mystery, until one day, after a strong storm, the boat in which she drowned is found by the shore. A painful scene follows: the second Mrs. de Winter learns the awful truth. Have she and Maxim already lost their chance of happiness?
I must say that, when I read the novel by Daphne du Maurier on which this film was based, I was just 12 and somehow lacking in understanding. I wondered for days why the writer NEVER mentions the heroine's christian name... Still the pictures of Maxim and the heroine were very clear in my mind. Emilia Fox and Charles Dance ARE them, just as Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine in the 1940 Hitchcock (in my opinion) fall short of a perfect fit. Emilia Fox's Mrs. de Winter, for example, is by no means a weak young woman, helplessly awaiting disaster: when she discovers she is truly needed she finds a strength she didn't know she possessed. Charles Dance's Maxim is the supreme embodiment of high-society sophistication and handsomeness, which, combined with his haunted past, tenderness and brooding intensity is surely enough to make him irresistible! Also, Jonathan Cake is truly loathsome as Jack Favell, Rebecca's lecherous and dishonest more-than-cousin. Diana Rigg plays a Mrs. Danvers who, although more mellow and vulnerable than the character in the novel and previous film version, is nonetheless superlative.
After I rented this Masterpiece Theatre version three times, I was so hooked I bought in the end, and I must say I had no cause to regret it, on the contrary!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Watch it again and again, Aug. 5 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Masterpiece: Rebecca (DVD)
I really enjoyed this movie. Charles Dance is wonderful as Maxim and very intense. I saw the black and white version as a child and have never forgotten it but really enjoyed this version. The characters all seemed quite so real, but I especially enjoy Maxim. It is also fun to see Charles Dance's love interest from the Jewel in the Crown reunitd here with him as his sister.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, June 16 2014
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This review is from: Masterpiece: Rebecca (DVD)
I had to buy both versions of this movie. I enjoyed the older version more but nonetheless this version is still a great watch.
The main characters really pull this movie together. Have to say I loved Charles Dance in this role. This movie provoked all kinds of thoughts and feelings and I recommend it highly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a great classic story, Nov. 19 2013
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This review is from: Masterpiece: Rebecca (DVD)
Another very well done British production. First seen on PBS, and now in my DVD library. Always enjoy Charles Dance, and Diana Rigg is a delightful villain. Great sets and costumes and a very good story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars almost as good as the book, Oct. 4 2013
By 
George Jones - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Masterpiece: Rebecca (DVD)
A few years ago I read the book, Rebecca. It was absolutely intriguing and I found it hard to put down from time to time. This movie version was very well done and kept the main theme and important scenes intact. It was definitely a thriller and kept us on the edge of our seats for the second half. I'm glad we watched it on a rainy afternoon and not before bed. The acting was very good, and the interior and exterior shots of Manderley were beautiful. I have to wonder, though why the ending of the story was changed in the screen adaptation. I believe du Maurier's original ending was perfect, and didn't need tampering with. We will be watching this movie again, I'm sure, and we will be recommending it to others.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great !, Aug. 26 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Masterpiece: Rebecca (DVD)
A film highly recommended for Diana Rigg friends and fans. I like most. Terrific and great play Dame Diana !!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love this movie but I too wish Hollywood would do a version, June 16 2003
By 
Rachael M. Kenneally (West Yarmouth, Massachusetts United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rebecca (VHS Tape)
I liked this version of the movie much better than the original 1940's version; and it certainly does justice to the book. But I would love it if Hollywood did a version with Ralph Fiennes as Maxim, Jillian Anderson as Mrs. DeWinter (because she has those big doe eyes), Maggie Smith as Mrs. Danvers, and shown as the ghost of Rebecca, Madoline Stowe. The Rebecca in the current version is not mean and brooding enough.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The way that books converted to movies should be., April 28 2002
By 
Danielle Burnette (Sharon Pennsylvaina) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rebecca (VHS Tape)
The movie Rebecca by the Mobil Masterpice Theater is by far the most accurate telling of the book. The detail to how the unknown chacter acts is as if she were the wrighter of the novel and she her self were Mrs. de Winter. I find this version of the movie the best yet!
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bland retelling of the 1940's film, Jan. 21 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Rebecca (VHS Tape)
I'm almost embarrassed, considering all the highly positive reviews already posted here, to have disliked this version of Rebecca. I found it too mild in comparison to the film original, which admittedly was played as far too much gothic melodrama, so much so that it was laughable in places. Still, Judith Anderson as Mrs. Danvers was menacing. Here, Diana Rigg is just bitchy, stuffy and even rather distracted, like she's bored with the whole thing. This is revealing of the entire mood of this film, as if all the actors grow bored with the story. The initial scenes, where the unnamed heroine is supposed to be quietly infatuated and then in love with her hero, Maxim, are breezed over rather like they were an inconvenience. Faye Dunaway gets too much screen time in a minor role (Mrs. Van Hopper) that she performs with unnerving overacting. It seems like she thought that since it was such a minor role, she'd go wild in order to steal the whole film and catch the eye of Hollywood to revitalize her fading career. My opinion is that she merely delivered something she'd never done before, a clumsy and poor performance. Add to that, this portion of the story was at the mercy of the screenwriter, bearing little resemblance to the book. Nor is it particularly romantic. Charles Dance is miscast as Maxim De Winter, plodding through all his scenes as a rather dull, uninteresting individual rather than a man hurt and haunted by his past. His portrayal does not arouse the sympathies. He hints at no traumas but rather as having found the drama in his life as an inconvenience rather than a betrayal, a murder, and a cover-up. Olivier in the 1940's film has this role down far better. Too, Dance comes off as being far too old and stodgy for the role. Maxim was supposed to be in his forties. Dance has the looks of a man in his fifties and the bearing and maturity of a man hovering around sixty. This makes his love affair with a woman in her early twenties rather repulsive. It doesn't help that Emilia Fox, the heroine, looks so young and tender as if she were still in her mid-teens. We have a Lolita rather than a Rebecca. Early on, Dance as DeWinter states that he's twice the girl's age. I burst out laughing. Three times, I said aloud to the television. This was miscasting that is far too distracting. Whatever romantic scenes there are between these two look perverse. Add to that, nearly all other characters (many that were in the book were left out) are also of advancing years in order to keep up with Dance's age. When among them, Fox looks like an adolescent staying up past her bedtime. It is very difficult, then, to believe in the romantic aspects of the story. Other aspects were also a problem. Alfred Hitchcock, in the original film, had only about 2 hours to tell the whole story. He left out some very important elements, although Joan Fontaine as the heroine did her best to convey them -- the deep insecurity of the heroine about her attractiveness, her attire, her position in society, her position as spouse to a man who was married before and therefore is very comfortable as a husband while she is quite inexperienced as his wife. And her rich fantasy life. Add to that her uncertainty about dealing with a man who is not only haunted or has a bad temper, but who is occasionally verbally abusive and emotionally ungenerous. Even though there are 3 1/2 hours to this film, we don't get these interactions in this version. Instead, Fox's heroine vacillates between whining, demanding to be respected even though she's making no effort to mature or educate herself, and then running off from adversity like a child to shut herself into her room. The storyline just doesn't convey the character; and the characterization has no tension, no passions. Fox is bland, given to cute smiles now and then. She seems nearly oblivious. She doesn't appear to be able to fit into the drama that is unfolding around her, but then the drama isn't particularly noticeable. A mystery, an obsessed housekeeper, a distant husband and a beautiful dead wife. Fox's Mrs. De Winter, a focal point for it all, avoids drama by seeming dumbfounded, confused, and only slightly curious. Manderley, the commanding house, looks imposing and splendid in an external establishing shot, but the interiors are cramped and rather stagey and ordinary. This is too bad, since Manderley is so important to the plot, being not just the stage setting but nearly a character, since it motivated Maxim to murder. Jonathan Cake is an intrusion rather than a catalyst, playing the slimey Jack Favell, Rebecca's cousin and one of her lovers. Too, Cake does not do an original characterization; instead, he appears to be playing George Saunders playing Jack Favell -- he even has George Saunders' growling droll down perfectly. Looks like he studied the original film many times in order to give this copy-cat performance. A stronger, more resourceful performance from Rigg as Mrs. Danvers might have saved this production. However, someone told her to be cold and proper, unlike the Danvers in the book who was spiteful behind the housekeeper demeanor. I had heard that a previous TV version with Anna Massey was quite good. It is not currently available, so as far as this version goes, I'd advise you to skip it and read the book. The book is far more meaningful and entertaining. And Rebecca is now out in a revitalized version on DVD, for those who want melodrama and content to their films.
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Masterpiece: Rebecca
Masterpiece: Rebecca by Jim O'Brien (DVD - 2003)
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