#274/ 365 – ‘Rebecca’ (1940) – 130 mins
IMDb Challenge #162/ 250 – Ranked #107 – Lovefilm
Maxim de Winter (Laurence Olivier), still troubled by the death of his first wife Rebecca, falls in love with a shy ladies’ companion. They get married, but the second Mrs. de Winter (Joan Fontaine) discovers that Rebecca still has a strong hold on everyone in the house, particularly on Mrs. Denvers, the housekeeper, who begins driving the young wife to madness.
Rebecca was the fifth of eight Hitchcock films I had encompassed to date on the iMDB 250. It was the first picture that Hitchcock had made in Hollywood and criminally the only one to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Bringing Daphne du Maurier’s novel to life, Hitchcock’s staging is so artful in setting the mood. Manderlay is big, sprawling, elegant and distant in its isolated location.
From early on and throughout Rebecca just didn’t feature enough of the true Master of Suspense that we all came to know and shock and suspense that for me that was flawlessly outputted in subsequent work – ‘Strangers on a Train (1951)’ and ‘Rear Window (1954)’ . Suffice to say though the film showcases some incredible richly written human drama, to make it a greatly entertaining film, alluring and satisfying watch to the very end.