Thursday, 11 November 2010

I Didn't Love Rebecca, I Hated Her!

Well sorry Laurie Ollie (Laurence Olivier), but I LOVE REBECCA! The film is just amazing and even though I have just started the book, it is looking very promising. Just to let everyone know, I have enabled commenting of non-blogger-users, so that means that anyone can comment. Yay :-D!!!! Here is a review of Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece, Rebecca.

The Second Mrs. de Winter (I am just going to call her Joan as in Joan fontaine as she is never really named properly) is working as a companion for a bad tempered and wealthy woman called Mrs. Van Hopper, who has taken her to the south of France. They bump into Maxim de Winter who is a well bread upper class Englishman. Mrs. Van Hopper is sure they have met before (come on, can't you do better than that?) but he can not really recall her at all. After being chained to her for a whole lunch, he decides to take Joan to play tennis with him. After a few days he proposes to her. She tells Mrs. Van Hopper and she leaves the hotel with one of the best delivered last lines ever. It's up there with Bette Davis' last line in All About Eve, "Nice speech Eve, but I wouldn't worry too much about your heart, you can always put that award where your heart ought to be." It starts around 6:03.

Maxim explains about his first marriage to a raving beauty, Rebecca, that ended in a tragic death. Joan is introduced to Manderley a stately home that has been in Maxim's family for generations.
It all starts smoothly until she realizes she hasn't yet got the nerve to stand up to the vindictive housekeeper Mrs. Danvers or run the servants and huge estate. She gets paranoid and is intimidated by Rebecca's cousin Jack who seems to get along swimmingly with Mrs. Danvers. Mrs. Danvers obsession with Rebecca is so huge that she has kept her bedroom the same as the day she died and makes the bed every day. She is determined to make life for Joan miserable.
Joan takes the dog on walks along the estate down to the beach where she meets the troubled man who lives in a log cabin. He scares her away, but Maxim assures her that it's nothing. As the weeks progress, it seems there is more to the Rebecca's death than meets the eye. She ends up finding out that it was an accidental death that Maxim blames himself for. They return from court after a finding of Reebecca's body (that had been lost) which opened up the case again, to find Manderley burning with Mrs. Danvers dancing in the flames.
Uh, oh... Manderley seems to be on fire.

The Review:
I love these two together.
Rebecca is one of my favourite hitchcock movies and has earned a deserved place of my tip top 10 list. Although Hitch said of the film "It's not really a Hitchcock film, it's Daphne du Maurier's,"I love it just as much as the classics like North By Northwest. One part of the story from du Maurier had to be changed to fit the movie census requirements; Rebecca's death. In the book she is shot by Maxim, but in the film she falls over and hits her head after tormenting Maxim. It is Hollywood legend that Hitchcock told Joan Fontaine that no one liked her to make her feel like her character. The only one who really did dislike her was Laurie Ollie who was mad that his girlfriend Vivien Leigh didn't get the role. A really great Gothic film noir.



Libby said...

I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this book. 'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly again' is just so beautifully romantic and seeped in mystery. It's a weird quirk I have in that I must, must, must read the book before the film; the only exception to that being Breakfast At Tiffany's. I much preferred classy Audrey Hepburn, with her effortless *brunette* French twists and chignons, as opposed to Holly Golightly in the book's *blonde* tousled hair. Crazy.
The film of Rebecca sounds great, another one on my to-watch list!

Ashley said...

I just finished the book Rebecca and was looking to see if it has ever been made into a film. Lo and Behold! It had to be Alfred Hitchcock.
I am excited to watch the movie, but from your review it seems to be quite different from the book. PLEASE read the book! du Maurier is a remarkable author, exuding a sense of place like no other. Her writing is hauntingly beautiful!

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to comment. It makes me happy to see people are interested in my posts!