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
My rate: 85% - A whirlwind. A lot of times I'm anesthetized by its omnipresent eerie tone and sustained mystery, and other times I just wanted to get it over with, but the last 30 minutes really made it together for me! The casts stood out aswell.
favorite line: mrs. danvers (holding a negligee belonging to rebecca) did you ever see anything so delicate? look, you can see my hand through it! finally saw this classic from hitch. marvelous atmosphere, cast and dialogue. my favorite character: mrs. danvers. favorite colorful extra: mrs. van hopper.
I honestly believe that this is a perfect film, and one of the few greatest ever made. The darkest love story ever told
This film may very well be Hitchcock's most visually stunning and atmospheric work. So much so that at times it evokes the silent era, with the help of Fontaine's not so subtle acting. The film takes time to start to move, yet what stays with the view is not plot but the images.
I love how much time Hitchcock gives to Fontaine's character to develop. As she roams the halls and speaks to the servants of Manderley, every action brings the ghost of Rebecca to life without ever using any sort of special effects to show a typical spectral image of her. Judith Anderson never over acts, yet her seething contempt and jealously is just as haunting as the spirit that haunts the film. A lovely film.
The opening scene is so perfectly constructed, I loved it, and Judith Anderson is spectacular. However, something about the story following the discovery of the sail boat and Maxim's confession to Mrs. de Winter lost my interest. The answers seemed all too simple for the delusive Rebecca I had been led to envision.
El debut cinematográfico de Hitchcock en USA marca la pauta para sus espectáculos más grandes, no intenta ser pretenciosa, es voluminosa, necesita serlo, y Mr. Alfred logra darle esa iconografía que lo caracteriza pero al mismo tiempo logra venderse y ganar unos cuantos adeptos, no necesariamente su mejor obra, pero si un gigantesco debut.
Hitchcock comes to America and runs into a never ending battle with super producer David O. Selznick, but as much as that may sound like a bad thing, the Selznick/Hitchcock collaborations turned out nothing but great films, and this first, which won Selznick his second Best Picture in a row, is gloriously polished in unmistakable Hollywood prestige.
So here's the dilemma when watching films that are labelled classics: If you hate them you're uncultured; if you love them you're smart; if you're indifferent you're seen to be too cool for school. What then if you're adamant that the film is a complete misread of its source material, overblown and poorly conceived? Everything about Rebecca screams artifice. Nothing in it establishes a world of reality.
The first part is utter perfection. It is brilliantly atmospheric, eerie, haunting. Alas, the second part, starting with the discovery of the boat, lacks all those qualities. It presents too many simple solutions to an otherwise perfectly complex story. The characters turn flat, the inquest is not half as interesting as Mrs. de Winter's struggle at Manderley. Still a classic, though. It is a Hitch after all.
It was of genius not to give a face to Rebbeca. It makes her much more present and it is easier for the new wife to fear her. Liked particulary the scene when Anderson is showing to new Mrs. de Winter the bedroom of the late wife, evidencing at the same time how Rebecca was so much more than her. And she is, also, much more we think.