8.2/10
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296 user 165 critic

Rebecca (1940)

Not Rated | | Drama, Mystery, Romance | 12 April 1940 (USA)
A self-conscious bride is tormented by the memory of her husband's dead first wife.

Director:

Writers:

(celebrated novel), (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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3,161 ( 31)

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Top Rated Movies #173 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Coroner
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Ben
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Tabbs
Edward Fielding ...
Philip Winter ...
Robert
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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 shadow of this woman darkened their love. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | 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)
See more on IMDbPro »

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

Alfred Hitchcock chose very carefully the right lettering for the right characters, if we have to watch a handwriting analysis of the several letters shown in the movie: -Mrs. Van Hooper is authoritative (large T bars), sexually stimulated (thick Y and F loops), obsessive (loopholes in E and N), unwilling to being commanded (Independence loophole in P), and rude (thick tracks in general). -Maxim is very reflexive (large inter-word spacing), reserved (large inter-line spacing) and self-underrated (T bars very low). -Favell is self-overrated, brutal and impulsive (big R, Brutality loophole, short inter-word spacing). (According to the Marchesan Handwriting Analysis Method). See more »

Goofs

Frank's hand holding the letter jumps from in front of the filing cabinet to resting on top of it. See more »

Quotes

Maxim de Winter: Please promise me never to wear black satin or pearls... or to be 36 years old.
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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

Referenced in And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Love's Old Sweet Song (Just a Song at Twilight)
(1884) (uncredited)
Music by J.L. Molloy
Hummed by Joan Fontaine
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Joan Fontaine is so beautiful
27 October 2004 | by 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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