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Rebecca [1940] [DVD]


Price: £4.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson, Nigel Bruce
  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Format: PAL, Black & White, Full Screen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Fremantle
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Jan. 2008
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ZYL9CY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,126 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Alfred Hitchcock's debut US film stars Joan Fontaine as a young woman who, after a brief Monte Carlo courtship and a rushed marriage, returns with the handsome and mysterious Maxim de Winter (Laurence Olivier) to his Cornish country estate, Manderlay. The new bride receives a hostile reaction from the housekeeper Mrs Danvers (Judith Anderson), and finds herself intimidated and overcome by the surviving traces of de Winter's first wife, Rebecca. Then, as she becomes more and more unhappy, she stumbles upon the secret of Rebecca's death.

From Amazon.co.uk

"Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again..." From the first classic line of this unforgettable film, Rebecca casts its spell. David O. Selznick brought Alfred Hitchcock to the United States in order to give this adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's novel the proper atmosphere. The resulting film is a stunning marriage of their sensibilities. It paid off critically and financially as well. Like Gone with the Wind, which Selznick released a year earlier, Rebecca won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Laurence Olivier stars as Maxim de Winter, who, reeling from the recent and unexpected death of his glamorous wife Rebecca, impulsively marries a young and adoring governess (Joan Fontaine). The new Mrs de Winter tries to fit into her role as mistress of the great house Manderley, but every step she takes is haunted by Rebecca's spirit. The ghost's brooding presence is personified by the insanely meticulous Mrs Danvers, brilliantly portrayed by Judith Anderson. As Fontaine's character begins to uncover the dark secrets of the de Winter clan, the house seems to take on a life of its own.

Passionate love and romance blend seamlessly with typically Hitchcockian emphases on guilt, sexuality and Gothic horror. The production values are stunning and the cast is excellent, down to the least of the supporting players. While Rebecca has enough surprises to captivate even the most jaded of moviegoers, it is also one of those rare films that improves with each viewing. --Raphael Shargel --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Kona TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Aug. 2004
Format: DVD
Joan Fontaine stars as a miserably shy and awkward lady's companion who meets the worldly and recently widowed Maxim de Winter in Monte Carlo. They seem an odd couple, but after a few short weeks, they marry and come home to his elegant country estate, Manderley. There, the new Mrs. de Winter is overwhelmed with her new, grand lifestyle, and is especially frightened by the forbidding housekeeper, who keeps her first mistress' memory and influence alive. Maxim reveals a terrible secret which forever alters the couple's life, and affects the very existence of Manderley.

This wonderfully atmospheric tale, complete with swirling fog and spooky organ music, will take you away to the glamourous, yet lonely world of Manderley. Joan Fontaine gives a breathtaking performance, convincing us she really is crippled with feelings of inadequacy, despite being a flawless beauty. Judith Anderson is unforgettable as the sneering housekeeper. Laurence Olivier makes a properly snobbish and brooding Maxim, and manages to be the hero despite a very fatal flaw. The title character, Rebecca (the first Mrs. de Winter), is never seen, but makes her intimidating presence known. If you like gothic romances filled with 1940's elegance and lots of creepy atmosphere, you'll enjoy Rebecca.
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful By HowmayIhelpyou on 1 Jan. 2006
Format: DVD
This 1940 film was a star at the Oscars, winning two and gaining a raft of nominations in almost every class. Hitchcocks first Hollywood studio-bound feature, it oozes deft cinematography, eerie scenes, brilliant studio sets and acting. Of course it has that slick direction from Hitch that we've come to expect from later films. It's exciting, romantic, gothic, it even has a lesbian sub-plot, and shows a young dashing Olivier (before his over-acting days came..) and the ever-gorgeous Joan Fontaine. Each scene is exquisitely lit, the dialogue is succinct, incidental music is passionate and the book-based story intelligent. No matter that it's 1940 black and white, I'm 30 and found the film 'spine-tinglingly' enchanting.
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65 of 69 people found the following review helpful By F. V. L. Buliciri on 5 Jun. 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Rebecca is by far one of Alfred Hitchcock's most entertaining and often overlooked masterpieces. In this film his US directorial debut we see at work the first signs of his genius as the master of film suspense coming to life. Laurence Olivier is great as the tortured Maxim haunted by the memory of his beautiful and mysterious first wife and Joan Fontaine puts in a good performance as the shy dowdy second wife of Maxim who slowly unravels dark hidden secrets behind Rebecca's tragic death. They don't make classic thrillers any more like Rebecca and I like it because the film is still good entertainment after so many years. Dame Judith Anderson is probably one of the best female villains of all time in her portrayal of the sinister housekeeper Mrs Danvers.
One of the great thrillers of all time and a film that must be added to any Hitchcock fan's movie collection.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By "buyer2001" on 3 Sept. 2005
Format: DVD
This film is so great it is sublime. Both Fontaine and Olivier give the performances of a lifetime in this dark, exquisitely filmed and haunting masterpiece. The mise en scene is so perfectly co-ordinated that one is taken through the film in an almost dream-like state. This film really does have something for everyone- romance, mystery, suspense and even the odd quip from dapper Olivier, who surprisingly gives a rather understated performance. My only criticism is that this is the type of film that you just wish would never end.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By IWFIcon VINE VOICE on 17 Aug. 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The one that got the Best Picture Oscar...even if it was David O Selznick who picked it up as producer. It remains one of his most popular features, especially with women by all accounts, although Germaine Greer isn't a fan.

This was Hitch's first Hollywood film and is a brooding atmospheric film that takes a great novel (which was normally something Hitchcock would avoid like the plague, arguing that if a novel was too good, how could he possibly improve on it) and makes it into a film that is just as good, if not better.

Joan Fontaine makes a compelling "Second Mrs De.Winter" and whilst Laurence Oliver can't quite drop his "luvvy" acting style to make the role as Maxim De Winter equally as compelling, it's fair to say that he does make a good stab at the role. Judith Anderson makes a great Mrs Danvers, effortlessly adding the neccessary creepiness and spite to the chararacter, whilst George Sanders role as Jack Favell may not take up too much screen time, but is very memorable.

Sticking mainly to the plot of the novel, the changes Hitchock made to the book's plot aren't neccesarilly for the best. The film laws of the time meant that murder had to have consequences, so as a result, Rebecca's death is treated as an accident in the film. Secondly, Hitchcock takes away the ambiguity of the book's ending with his own fiery resolution.

I tend to think that the film takes a little too much time meandering whilst you wait for the "important" bits to come along, but by any stretch of the imagination, it's still a very fine piece of cinema. And it's hard to think of any other version of this classic story has ever come close to matching it.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Feb. 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This is a truly magnificent film. All the more engrossing for it being Hitchcocks first foray into Hollywood. Although the film is largely a studio production, it is great to see some real trademarks (who said there was no such thing as an auteur?) including the amazing shadow of Mrs Danvers which towers over Mrs De Winter II. I loved the book, in particular, that gripping entrance, to which this film is so true (if perhaps not quite to true to the ending, but hell, this is Hollywood!)
Enjoy!
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