Archive for December 31st, 2008


by Allan Fish

(USA 1940 133m) DVD1/2

The perfect symmetry of those walls

p  David O.Selznick  d  Alfred Hitchcock  w  Robert Sherwood, Joan Harrison  novel  Daphne du Maurier  ph  George Barnes  ed  Hal C.Kern  m  Franz Waxman  art  Lyle Wheeler  cos  uncredited (probably Walter Plunkett or Irene)

Joan Fontaine (Mrs de Winter), Laurence Olivier (George Fortescue Maximilian “Maxim” de Winter), George Sanders (Jack Favell), Judith Anderson (Mrs Danvers), Nigel Bruce (Maj.Giles Lacy), Gladys Cooper (Beatrice Lacy), Reginald Denny (Frank Crawley), C.Aubrey Smith (Col.Julyan), Florence Bates (Edythe Van Hopper), Leonard Carey (Ben), Leo G.Carroll (Dr Baker), Melville Cooper (coroner), Edward Fielding (Frith), Lumsden Hare (Tabbs), Philip Winter (Robert), Forrester Harvey, Billy Bevan,

Rebecca is a film unlike any other in Hitchcock’s CV.  It’s a woman’s picture, when analysed to its basic function, but it’s also a whole lot more besides.  It’s suffered more than any other film from the incredible post mortem discussions carried out on Hitchcock’s work.  Many now would exclaim that his Rear Window, Vertigo or Psycho have greater depth.  Indeed, they are masterpieces all, but as an exercise in direction and use of a studio’s resources, Rebecca is in itself a masterpiece.  This is not merely an adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s Brontëesque romance, but a multi-layered analysis of what it is to be haunted by the past.  No other film, not even Vertigo, has the feeling of there being someone else watching, someone dead.  When Mrs Danvers says “do you believe the dead come back to watch the living?” you know Rebecca truly does haunt us still.  (more…)

Read Full Post »