Rebecca is based on Daphne DuMaurier’s novel of the same name, and is the first person perspective of a nameless woman, who becomes the second wife of a wealthy man Maxim de Winter, who owns a home in Cornwall called Manderley. The two meet in the South of France, while the narrator is working as a companion to a demanding and very self confident writer, and Maxim is on holiday at the same hotel. After a brief romance, they get married, and return to Manderley. Then things become difficult for the narrator, because of the devotion that the housekeeper feels for the first wife, Rebecca of the title. The trailer was uploaded by MrAris67.
Joan Fontaine is fantastic as the shy and nervous girl, at the start of the film, and it’s believable that she would try so hard to fit in, with Maxim’s world. The narrator is from a more confined background than Maxim, raised by a artist father, and then falling into the position of companion to the writer. The first meeting between Maxim and the narrator is amusing, as it’s in the presence of the writer, clip uploaded by Fanny Kong. She is constantly compared to Rebecca by the housekeeper Mrs Danvers, played brilliantly by Judith Anderson. The narrator becomes progressively stronger, after discovering the truth behind the death of Rebecca, from Maxim clip uploaded by Fanny Kong.
It’s a very well crafted thriller, as you would expect from Hitchcock, and he gets very strong performances out of the three leads. I know that it has been adapted more recently, and I watched the 1997 version but still prefer the 1940 film. To me, it’s nearly perfect as a thriller.