“Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” Rebecca’s haunting opening line conjures the entirety of Hitchcock’s romantic, suspenseful, elegant film. A young woman (Joan Fontaine) believes her every dream has come true when her whirlwind romance with the dashing Maxim de Winter culminates in marriage. But she soon realizes that Rebecca, the late first Mrs. de Winter, haunts both the temperamental, brooding Maxim and the de Winter mansion, Manderley. In order for Maxim and the new Mrs. de Winter to have a future, Rebecca’s spell must be broken and the mystery of her violent death unraveled. The first collaboration between producer David O. Selznick and Hitchcock, Rebecca was adapted from Daphne du Maurier’s popular novel and won the 1940 Academy Award™ for Best Picture and Cinematography (Black and White). –The Criterion Collection
Alfred Hitchcock has been the most well-known director to the general public since the 1940s – and he remains so in the 21st century, more than 25 years after his death. His name evokes instant expectations on the part of audiences around the world: of a memorable night of movie-watching highlighted by at least two or three great chills (and a few more good ones), some striking black comedy, and an eccentric characterization or two in virtually every one of the director’s movies across a half-century – and usually laced with a comical cameo appearance by the director himself.
Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born into a devoutly Catholic family in London, and his religious upbringing – with its attendant issues of guilt – would have a powerful influence on the psychological underpinnings of his later work. He was trained at a technical school, and initially gravitated to movies through art courses and advertising. He studied the work of other filmmakers, most notably the German expressionists… read more
A lovely romance, an unveiling of dark secrets and a constant haunting presence from the past... Rebecca.
I know the whole Fontaine/Selznick/Hitchcock power-couple thing makes this film significant canonically, but honestly it suffers from a lot of the same issues as other early-Hollywood 'great novel' adaptations -- taking the essential events of the novels, and assembling them in a pretty shallow, impact-free way. I fuck with everyone involved, but this is on the lower tier of Hitchcock I think.
So unbashful with its romance, Hitchcock takes a quick departure from his British films. Or was this a Selznick influence? Hitchcock's visuals get a suave Hollywood treatment with its opulent sets and costumes. How ironic that the artifice and vanity of Rebecca is represented by the superficial beauty of Manderley.
saw this three times on film. i just love it. the first american hitchcock and yet so british. that first camera movement still haunts me. i love the humour on the monte carlo scenes. i love the vertigo. i love the fog. the firery logs killing mrs danvers. the house. the scared joan fontaine - hitch did that and now on every role i see her i still see the scared little girl she was - the moustaches, rebecca's room <3
Also: Hoberman on It’s Halftime in America and the prospects for “an Obama-inflected Hollywood cinema.”
Also: Another big round of projects in the works announced in Berlin.
Todos vós sodes capitáns (Oliver Laxe, Spain) Another simple one: I like the title. The film is about children learning to make movies, and