16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
REVIEW OF THE CHARLES DANCE/DIANA RIGG/EMILIA FOX TV VERSION,
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This review is from: Rebecca [DVD]  (DVD)
As another reviewer said, most of the comments on this page relate to the Hitchcock 1940's film version - not sure why!? So my title is in capitals so any reader will know which version I am reviewing.
This is a sublime version of an excellent book - and unlike the classic film is sticks closely to the story - particularly with regard to the death of Rebecca and the role of her husband, Max in what happened. Having said that, it is still not precisely as written in the book, but it is better than the film version which shies away from the truth. And the truth of what happened is central to the shift in the relationship between Maxim and his second, much younger wife.
Emilia Fox is perfect as the shy, awkward, paid companion to ageing socialite Mrs Van Hopper (Faye Dunaway, having a ball!)who meets reclusive widower Max De Winter (Charles Dance) in Monte Carlo in the 1920's. A whirlwind romance follows and on marriage the couple return to his beloved Cornish home, Manderley. Welcomed by Max's jolly hockey sticks sister (Geraldine James), the new bride (she does not have a first name!) finds the presence of housekeeper Mrs Danvers (Diana Rigg - all but rising through the floorboards like a panto demon) a chilling reminder of the first Mrs De Winter, the 'perfect' Rebecca. The new Mrs De Winter is unsophisticated and although that is what captured the heart of her brooding husband, she struggles to come up to his expectations - or what she perceives them to be - in a series of gauche social disasters.
A fancy dress ball, a ship wreck and a hidden crime bring this drama to a fine conclusion, the first 90 minutes having set the scene perfectly with the characters coming alive on screen and the scenery of Cornwall shown at its most lovely.
If you enjoyed the book - and smart at the alterations made in the Hitchcock film - you will find this version all the more rewarding.