Posted by: absntmindedariel | April 9, 2011

Rebecca (1940)

If you likeShutter Island, Chocolat, The Adjustment Bureau

Synopsis– While accompanying her employer to Monte Carlo, a shy, naive secretary (Joan Fontaine) meets handsome, wealthy  widower Maxim de Winter (Laurence Olivier). After a whirlwind romance and elopement, the two return to the de Winter estate, “Manderlay”.  At Manderlay, however, the new bride finds herself overwhelmed by comparisons and references to the last Mrs. de Winter– Rebecca– and begins to wonder if her husband has, indeed, moved on. Her suspicions are confirmed as Maxim’s growing temper and depression combine with the housekeeper’s ominous suggestions and threats: there is no room for a new Mrs. de Winter at Manderlay.

Why it’s better- I know, I know, I have a weakness for Hitchcock movies. But even aside from the world-class directing, Rebecca is a fantastic movie. Why? Mrs. Danvers: one of the most quietly terrifying females in classic film history. She gives Nurse Ratched a run for her money.  Also, Laurence Olivier is at the top of his game (before his voice got weird. The Prince and The Showgirl anyone?)  The cherry on top? You don’t realize until the very end of the movie that you have no idea what Joan Fontaine’s character’s name is. (It’s a fun detail taken from the original Daphne du Morier novel.)

View Trailer


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