Rebecca Overview:

Rebecca (1940) was a Drama - Mystery Film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and produced by David O. Selznick.

The film was based on the novel of the same name written by Daphne du Maurier published in 1938.

SYNOPSIS

Hitchcock's American debut was a smashing success, and an intriguing change of pace after his British murder mysteries. Here, Hitchcock takes a subtler, psychologically-based approach to the 1938 novel by Daphne du Maurier, more akin to William Wyler's brooding Wuthering Heights (1939) than to the crime genre. Olivier meet shy, retiring Fontaine on vacation and soon marries her. When they settle at Olivier's estate, Fontaine discovers that Olivier's deceased first wife still rules the household through the servants (particularly a creepy housekeeper played by Anderson) and a looming portrait. Though Fontaine hears nothing but adulation for the dead woman, her true character is revealed when the remains of her boat wash to shore, making clear that the craft was intentionally sunk. Olivier then tells Fontaine of the torment his first wife made on his life, setting free his conscience as the housekeeper consumes his first wife's memory in the flames of the burning estate. The laserdisc edition include screen tests by Vivien Leigh, Anne Baxter, Loretta Young, and Fontaine for the lead; coverage of the 1940 Oscar ceremonies; trailers, radio broadcasts, production stills, and a second audio track that contains comment derived from interviews with Hitchcock.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).

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Academy Awards 1940 --- Ceremony Number 13 (source: AMPAS)

AwardRecipientResult
Best ActorLaurence OlivierNominated
Best ActressJoan FontaineNominated
Best Supporting ActressJudith AndersonNominated
Best Art DirectionLyle WheelerNominated
Best CinematographyGeorge BarnesWon
Best DirectorAlfred HitchcockNominated
Best Film EditingHal C. KernNominated
Best Music - ScoringFranz WaxmanNominated
Best PictureSelznick International PicturesWon
Best WritingRobert E. Sherwood, Joan HarrisonNominated
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BlogHub Articles:

Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine live in the shadow of “Rebecca”

By Stephen Reginald on Oct 16, 2023 From Classic Movie Man

Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine live in the shadow of “Rebecca” Rebecca (1940) is an American romantic thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock—in his American directorial debut—and starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine. The screenplay was written by Robert E. She... Read full article


“Rebecca” casts a long shadow over Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine

By Stephen Reginald on Feb 25, 2021 From Classic Movie Man

“Rebecca” casts a long shadow over Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine Rebecca (1940) is an American romantic thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock—in his American directorial debut—and starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine. The screenplay was written by Robert E. ... Read full article


Classic Conversations: Two Award-Winning Costume Designers Re-Imagine ‘Rebecca’ and ‘West Side Story’

By Danny Miller on Nov 14, 2019 From Classic Movie Hub Blog

As classic movie lovers, we can be a very sensitive group when it comes to messing with our favorites. Even movies that seem to get a new version for each successive generation get severely criticized by those of us who are devotees of the originals. While Lady Gaga received a lot of acclaim... Read full article


book: Ghostwalk (2007) by Rebecca Stott

By John Grant on Aug 7, 2019 From Noirish

A modern-day mystery rooted in the history of science — specifically in Isaac Newton’s Cambridge career, with the emphasis on his alchemical researches? Oh, yes. As you can imagine, this book had sold itself to me before I was halfway through the blurb’s first paragraph. And I wasn... Read full article


Rebecca Got a Bad Rep

By Judy on Jun 29, 2019 From Cary Grant Won't Eat You

**Spoilers abound** Of all the femme fatales on film and in print, Rebecca may top them all. The woman isn?t even alive at the start of the book or the Hitchcock film that resulted from it, yet the narrator of the story is so haunted by her husband?s previous wife (and Du Maurier is so skilled at fr... Read full article


See all Rebecca articles

Quotes from

Policeman: Is this your car, sir ?
Jack Favell: Yes.
Policeman: Will you be going soon ? This isn't a parking place, you know.
Jack Favell: Oh, isn't it ? People are entitled... to leave their cars outside if they want to. It's a pity some of you fellows haven't anything better to do!


'Maxim' de Winter: I'm asking you to marry me, you little fool.


Jack Favell: I say, marriage with Max is not exactly a bed of roses, is it?


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Facts about

The first film Alfred Hitchcock made in Hollywood and the only one that won a Best Picture Oscar.
Rebecca's handwriting was done by Helen Amigo.
Mrs. Danvers is hardly ever seen walking; she seems to glide. Alfred Hitchcock wanted her to be seen solely from Joan Fontaine's character's anxious point of view, and this effect tied in with her fear about Mrs. Danvers appearing anytime unexpectedly.
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Best Picture Oscar 1940











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Also directed by Alfred Hitchcock




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Also produced by David O. Selznick




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