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Rebecca (1940)

Approved | | Drama, Mystery, Romance | 12 April 1940 (USA)
A self-conscious bride is tormented by the memory of her husband's dead first wife.

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(celebrated novel), (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Top Rated Movies #173 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Frank Crawley
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Coroner
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Dr. Baker
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Ben
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Tabbs
Edward Fielding ...
Philip Winter ...
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Storyline

A shy ladies' companion, staying in Monte Carlo with her stuffy employer, meets the wealthy Maxim de Winter. She and Max fall in love, marry and return to Manderley, his large country estate in Cornwall. Max is still troubled by the death of his first wife, Rebecca, in a boating accident the year before. The second Mrs. de Winter clashes with the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, and discovers that Rebecca still has a strange hold on everyone at Manderley. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The MOST GLAMOROUS WOMAN of All Time! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 April 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rebeka  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,288,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1944, Edwina Levin MacDonald sued David O. Selznick, Daphne Du Maurier, United Artists and Doubleday for plagiarism. She claimed that the film was based on her novel "Blind Windows", and sought an undisclosed amount of damages. See more »

Goofs

After the luncheon, de Winter and the Narrator are standing on the steps waving goodbye; Jasper the dog moves from one side of the steps to the other between shots. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. de Winter: Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.
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Crazy Credits

The original 1940 credits read "Selznick International presents its picturization of Daphne Du Maurier's 'Rebecca'". The credits on the re-issue version read "The Selznick Studio presents its production of Daphne Du Maurier's 'Rebecca'". See more »

Connections

Featured in The 80th Annual Academy Awards (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Love's Old Sweet Song (Just a Song at Twilight)
(1884) (uncredited)
Music by J.L. Molloy
Hummed by Joan Fontaine
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Joan Fontaine is so beautiful
27 October 2004 | by (somerville, ma) – See all my reviews

I spent the majority of this film thinking about how lucky M. Olivier really was. To be able to wrap his arms around Joan Fontaine and kiss her. Oh my. She's one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen (almost, but not quite as beautiful as Veronica Lake). She's also absolutely perfect in the role of the second Mrs. DeWinter, taking a character that could have become a cloying bore in less capable hands and transforming her into a sympathetic and interesting figure.

The movie, on the whole, is similarly amazing, capturing the spirit and the tone of those great Gothic romances. Watching Rebecca, I was reminded (pleasantly) of Wuthering Heights; I do not mean to suggest that in some way this film re-tells the tale of Cathy and Heathcliff, but rather that Rebecca has the feel of Bronte's novel (I am most certainly not talking about the William Wyler adaptation a few years before the release of Rebecca. That's a terrible film that somehow manages to mis-interpret the novel).

I must assume that the guiding hand of Hitchcock played no small role in recreating the feel of a Gothic romance. There are very few that would be able to take a love story, infuse it with such gloom, with such a sense of foreboding, and still manage to create something that ends happily without it feeling like a cop-out. I'd also like to draw everyone's attention to the incredibly moving section of the film that occurs between the arrival of the second Mrs. DeWinter at Mandalay and the masqued ball. The emotional strain on the Joan Fontaine character is so palpable, so absolutely taxing, that it actually pains me to watch. I hurt along with her. Few other movies affect me so emotionally

  • one of them is Vertigo.




All in all, this is a fantastic piece of film-making from Hollywood's golden age. Laurence Olivier is in top-form, as he plays the quiet, sad Maxim and George Sanders is positively hateful.

10/10 - a visceral masterpiece


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