6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Hitchcock in Hollywood,
This review is from: Rebecca [DVD] (DVD)
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.