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Rebecca [1940] [DVD]

Laurence Olivier , Joan Fontaine , Alfred Hitchcock    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
Price: 4.07 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Rebecca [1940] [DVD] + Wuthering Heights [DVD] + Jamaica Inn [DVD] [1939]
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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: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ZYL9CY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,686 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



"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

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rebecca - a gem of a thriller. 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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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm asking you to marry me, you little fool." 29 Aug 2004
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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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Hitch's Best 1 Jan 2006
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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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest film of all time 3 Sep 2005
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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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hitchcock goes to Hollywood 12 Feb 2001
By A Customer
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!)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hitchcock in Hollywood 19 Jun 2008
By David R. Bishop VINE VOICE
This fine movie is worth watching just for Laurence Olivier at his sophisticated sexiest. He exudes British qualities of confidance, pragmatism and eccentricity. The enigma surrounding his dark moods unfolds as the story continues. There is however, a lot more than him that is good in this film.

Beautiful, doe eyed Joan Fontaine is well cast as his un-named second wife. The character is overwhelmed and out of place as the lady of a great house. Director Alfred Hitchcock told Joan that the rest of the cast hated her, to get that awkward feeling from her acting. This was hardly true, although Laurence had wanted his wife Vivien Leigh for the role.

Hitchcock shows his skill and mastery of suspense here. This is an early Hollywood effort by he, who would go on to legendary status in coming decades.

Of the supporting cast, Judith Anderson is memorable as housekeeper Mrs Danvers. She treats her new mistress with an icy disdain. The way she almost warms up to the new Mrs De Winter, when showing her the rooms of Rebecca, is doubly chilling. She retains a dark obsessive devotion to her former mistress.

This David O'Selznick production is full and un-skimped. After nearly seventy years, it remains the definitive production of this classic tale, in my opionion.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
Good quality transfer. I wish it was on Blu-ray.
Published 1 day ago by John Kane
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
Daphne du murier - brilliant writer, brilliant story
Published 3 days ago by dianaeagle
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant acting from main characters Laurence Olivier and Joan...
Bought this film for my wife who loves intrigue and romance. Brilliant acting from main characters Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine, directed by Alfred Hitchcock from an... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Lobo
It is a given that Rebecca is a superb film. This review concentrates on the U.S blu-ray import which is region free.
The blu-ray print of Rebecca is absolutely fantastic. Read more
Published 9 days ago by P. Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars Mystery, surrounds her.
Alfred Hitchcock's first American project, what a superb job he made of it too. A black and white masterpiece, still as fresh as a daisy at every viewing. Read more
Published 12 days ago by cristofori
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
love it
Published 18 days ago by Wendy Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love all Rita Hayworth Films....Especially Rebecca
Published 21 days ago by Chrissie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by mr a w golding
5.0 out of 5 stars A real favourite!
One of my favourite films! Olivier at his best! Loved every minute! Full of suspense and atmosphere!
Published 1 month ago by Patricia
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 1 month ago by Mr C
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