"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on November 6, 1950 with Laurence Olivier reprising his film role.
"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on May 31, 1943 with Joan Fontaine reprising her film role.
Ronald Colman turned down the part of Max de Winter. Vivien Leigh and Loretta Young tested for the role of Mrs. de Winter.
Margaret Sullavan tested for the role of Mrs. de Winter.
David O. Selznick wanted Olivia de Havilland to play the female lead, but was faced with insurmountable problems: she was already committed to Samuel Goldwyn for Raffles, Warner Bros. was being uncooperative about lending her out, and she was reluctant to accept the part because her sister, Joan Fontaine, was also under consideration for the part and her agent, Leland Hayward, was promoting his wife, Margaret Sullavan, for the role. Selznick also considered Loretta Young, Vivien Leigh, Anita Louise and Anne Baxter for the role, but felt that Young and Leigh were the wrong "type." He finally settled on Fontaine, but his staff disagreed with his decision because she was not yet an established star.
David O. Selznick wanted the smoke from the burning Manderley to spell out a huge R. Alfred Hitchcock thought the touch lacked any subtlety. When Selznick was preoccupied by Gone with the Wind, Hitchcock was able to replace the smoky R with the burning of a monogrammed lingerie case. He also edited the picture in the camera, a method of filmmaking that didn't allow Selznick the opportunity to re-edit the picture.
Anne Baxter was one of the actresses tested by Alfred Hitchcock for the leading role. He later cast her in I Confess.
Alfred Hitchcock and Cinematographer George Barnes used Deep Focus Photography in this film. And this is one of the few films to use Deep Focus Photography before Citizen Kane. Hitchcock had also used Deep Focus Photography in his film Downhill.
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).
Alfred Hitchcock wanted to make this film several years before but was unable to afford the rights to the novel.
Alfred Hitchcock: walking past a phone booth just after Jack Favell (George Sanders) makes a call in the final part of the movie. There are photos showing Hitchcock standing beside the phone booth looking at Mr Sanders. Actually the scene isn't played that way and you have to be quick spotting Hitchcock, quickly passing by in the background while Sanders is discussing a parking matter with a police man. Sanders having only been seen in close up while talking on the phone.
Adaptation for the movie by Philip MacDonald and Michael Hogan is based on the treatment written by Alfred Hitchcock, Alma Reville and Hogan.
As per Hitchcock's instructions, Judith Anderson plays Mrs. Danvers without once blinking her eyes.
Because Laurence Olivier wanted his then-girlfriend Vivien Leigh to play the lead role, he treated Joan Fontaine horribly. This shook Fontaine up quite a bit, so Alfred Hitchcock decided to capitalize on this by telling her EVERYONE on the set hated her, thus making her shy and uneasy - just what he wanted from her performance.
Despite scouring most of America, and New England in particular, David O. Selznick was unable to find a suitable location to represent Manderley, so he had to resort to a miniature instead, albeit a highly convincing one.
Due to the success of this film in Spain, the specific jackets that Joan Fontaine wears during the film began to be known as "rebecas". The word "rebeca" is still used nowadays to refer to this item of clothing.
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.
In her autobiography, Maureen O'Hara states that she was the first choice for the lead role.
In order to maintain the dark atmosphere of the book, Alfred Hitchcock insisted that the film be shot in black and white.