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Rebecca is an ageless, timeless adult movie about a woman who marries a widower but fears she lives in the shadow of her predecessor. This was Hitchcock's first American feature, and it garnered the Best Picture statue at the 1941 Academy Awards. In today's films, most twists and surprises are ridiculous or just gratuitous, so it's sobering to look back on this film where every revelation not only shocks, but makes organic sense with the story line. Laurence Olivier is dashing and weak, fierce and cowed. Joan Fontaine is strong yet submissive, defiant yet accommodating. There isn't a false moment or misstep, but the film must have killed the employment outlook of any women named Danvers for about 20 years. Brilliant stuff. --Keith Simanton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Anchor Bay's DVD only has a chapter selection and "start" on the menu. Not even closed captioning, which makes this DVD inaccessible to older or deaf fans.
Still, even a weak DVD presentation can't take away from such a beautiful film. A TV presenter recently introduced "Rebecca", by saying that Joan Fontaine was too pretty to be believable in the role of a plain girl. Missing the point! "Rebecca" is a story from the point of view of a scared, insecure heroine who believes the worst of herself and is always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Like the heroine of "Northanger Abbey," perhaps the gothic atmosphere here is really created out of her hopes and fears - "Rashomon"-style where each person sees a different thing. The book "Venus in Spurs" has most of a chapter devoted to "Rebecca," and how much this film and book relate to women who struggle through insecurity, despite being loved. (To say more might ruin the movie for first-time viewers).
Fontaine is, of course, very good, as is Laurence Olivier, who has scarcely *ever* been more handsome and commanding. Among the strong supporting cast is George Saunders and Dame Judith Anderson. While Anderson's usually singled out in reviews and hindsight, her obsessive maid could hardly be that malevolent, if the audience didn't feel so sympathetic towards Fontaine's sweet, mild Mrs. de Winter.Read more ›
What do you get when you have a great work of literature by Daphne Du Maurier, combined with the cinematic skill of Director Alfred Hitchcock,combined with the extrordinary acting talents of Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders and Judith Anderson? You get pure perfection on film. Combined that with the technology to take a movie made 62 years ago and make a transfer to DVD that looks as if it was made yesterday, and you have 2hr and 10 minutes of movie heaven.
The story begins in the South of France where a young, introverted woman(Joan Fontaine) meets wealthy widowerMaxim de Winter(Olivier) His wife,Rebecca, had recently died in a drowning accident and often he seems to be pensive and far off. They fall in love, marry, and go back to his home, an estate called Manderly. She is overwhelmed by the palacial grandeur, the huge staff of servants but mainly by the very prim but chilling head housekeeper Mrs. Danvers(Judith Andersson). The first Mrs. De Winter still seems to have a presence in the household that Mrs. Danvers keeps alive.
To say anymore will be giving away too much of this hauntingly chilling love story/mystery.However I must talk about this DVD.
Although not the more expensive version with all the extras(don't look for any with this one) this one gave us a beautiful picture, and great sound. Everything was bright and clean I saw things I had never seen before, and I have watched this movie dozens of times. The sparkling of the sequins on a woman,s gown,
the way the sun shone and the rain fell. This is a great transfer of a great film(Academy Award best Picture 1940). I personally didn't need all the extras for this one, I just enjoyed the film. There is another version by criterion with lots of goodies if you are interested in that though.
Which ever version you choose-- Enjoy "Rebecca" and the splendor of Manderly--Laurie
Looking back in retrospect, I truly believe this film was the launching point of Hitchcock's career. He went on to have one of the most glorious careers in Hollywood history. Although he never won an Academy Award Oscar and to my knowledge was never even nominated for the Best Director award; Hitchcock showed that he truly belonged in the top echelon of directors. Especially in his golden era: circa 1951 to 1959.
I remember vividly it was a very big deal to see his motion pictures in the mid 1950's. People would evoke his name with quality filmmaking and very well made motion picture productions.
It's ironic that the only motion picture of his, to my recollection, that was ever nominated for the Best Picture Award from the Academy actually won the award in 1940. This was due to Selznick's influence in the industry not the quality of the motion picture itself; and this is an important bit of information to know. The Academy disdained Alfred Hitchcock and Hitchcock films in general, but in 1940, again Hitchcock was a blip on the radar screen.
The reason why he lost with Rebecca was they didn't want to give the award to an Englishman. In particular an Englishman with Welsh roots (John Ford won best director in 1940). It was a long-standing tradition at that time that absolutely no foreigners were ever allowed to win any Major category Oscars.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Another of Hitchcock's masterpieces. Fine Blu Ray quality.Published 19 months ago by christian martel
A perfect example of a compelling story that stays true to the novel on which it was based. Superb acting is brought out by Hitchcock's wonderful direction. Real entertainment!Published on Sept. 17 2012 by lovemycat
Looking forward to this digital remastering of a masterful adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's classic story. Read morePublished on Jan. 11 2012 by Book Lover
I saw this movie by accident in 1980 when I was 14 years old, and the movie was already over 40 years old! Read morePublished on Sept. 25 2009 by Sheila With
Rebecca has to be one of my all-time favourites. The acting is wonderful and the movie does follow the book by Daphne Du Maurier very well. Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2009 by Judith A. Smider
I don't know how much other people may enjoy it, but I saw it by myself as a child on tv, and I fell deeply in love with it. Read morePublished on Nov. 11 2005 by D.N.
I have seen all of Hitchcock's American work. If you are familiar with his movies, you probably agree that, with the exception of "Family Plot", his films are delicious... Read morePublished on May 1 2004 by Charles Scott Bennett
A stunning transfer from Criterion. "Rebecca" remains one of the finest films of the 1940's, and features Joan Fontaine as the second mistress of Manderley, forever living in the... Read morePublished on April 21 2004 by Ohio Media Man