Rebecca was the first US movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock under the umbrella of “tyrant” David O. Selznick (he was the main reason for Hitch’s going to the States). The novel “Rebecca” by the British writer Daphne du Maurier is the starting point of the film, so one can notice that his British spirit was still very present in his early work on the American continent. The movie combines essential elements of noir genre with a bit of gothic thriller.
Maxim de Winter, played by the great Laurence Olivier, is a wealthy widower with a troubled past trying to move on with his life. On a trip to Monte Carlo he meets an old aquaintance and her companion (character wonderfully played by Joan Fontaine). Max and the companion (which is never named) fall in love and marry, after which they return to Max’s estate, Manderley. Living in the house where the first Lady de Winter used to live proves to be very difficult for the young bride. Memories of the mansion are being well treasured by the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, who worshipped Rebecca and intimidates the new lady of the house. Troubles begin when Mrs. de Winter becomes curious and wants to find out the truth about Rebecca’s death. Will she survive the quest? Will the newlyweds have the chance to happiness?
Rebecca, primul film regizat de Alfred Hitchcock in SUA, a fost realizat sub bagheta producatorului David O. Selznick. De altfel, acesta a fost responsabil pentru venirea lui Hitch pe continentul american. Cu un scenariu care are la baza romanul omonim al lui Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca este un film esential al cinematografiei americane (a castigat Oscarul pentru cel mai bun film, singurul al lui Hitchcock de altfel, nu ca asta ar avea prea mare importanta), imbinand elemente puternice de film noir cu thriller gotic.