Hitchcock Thursdays: Following up on my Classic Movie Project, I made a list of ten Alfred Hitchcock movies I wanted to watch or rewatch. I’ll be posting reviews on Thursdays throughout the summer.
Release Date: April 12, 1940
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Production Company: Selznick International Pictures
I watched Rebecca as a teenager and one of the main things I remember about the movie is that I really liked Joan Fontaine’s hair. Fontaine’s hair is still great, but so is psychological thriller from Alfred Hitchcock. This is Hitchcock’s first American film the Hitchcock style is compromised by producer David O. Selznick’s Hollywood flair (especially the soundtrack which can overwhelm the film).
Fontaine plays a young woman who unjustly is given no name in this story. She’s working as a wealthy woman’s companion traveling in the French Riviera when she meets moody and brooding wealthy widower, Maxim de Winter (Laurence Olivier). They fall in love and marry and he takes her home to his estate in England, Manderly. The new Mrs. de Winter finds Manderly overwhelmed by the memory of Maxim’s late wife, Rebecca. The creepy housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson), is especially devoted to Rebecca and strives to make the second Mrs. de Winter feel unworthy, and even suicidal.
Over the course of the movie, secrets of Rebecca and Maxim’s past are revealed with some surprising twists. Like many Hitchcock movies, when you think about it too hard, the plot doesn’t make too much sense, but you can set that aside because the mood and tension are built up so well.