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Download Rebecca 1940 Movie Legally
Year:
1940
Country:
USA
Genre:
Drama, Thriller, Mystery, Romance
IMDB rating:
8.2
Director:
Alfred Hitchcock

 

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Laurence Olivier as 'Maxim' de Winter
Joan Fontaine as The Second Mrs. de Winter
George Sanders as Jack Favell
Judith Anderson as Mrs. Danvers
Nigel Bruce as Major Giles Lacy
Reginald Denny as Frank Crawley
C. Aubrey Smith as Colonel Julyan
Gladys Cooper as Beatrice Lacy
Florence Bates as Mrs. Edythe Van Hopper
Melville Cooper as Coroner
Leo G. Carroll as Dr. Baker
Lumsden Hare as Tabbs
Forrester Harvey as Chalcroft
Philip Winter as Robert
Rebecca Storyline: A shy ladies' companion, staying in Monte Carlo with her stuffy employer, meets the wealthy Maxim de Winter. She and Max fall in love, marry and return to Manderley, his large country estate in Cornwall. Max is still troubled by the death of his first wife, Rebecca, in a boating accident the year before. The second Mrs. de Winter clashes with the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, and discovers that Rebecca still has a strange hold on everyone at Manderley.
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Reviews
Entertaining thriller
A naïve young woman (Joan Fontaine) is in Monte Carlo working as a paid companion to Edythe Van Hopper (Florence Bates) when she meets the aristocratic but brooding widower Maximilian "Maxim" de Winter (Laurence Olivier). They fall in love, and within two weeks they are married. The young woman is now the second "Mrs. de Winter."

Maxim takes his new bride back to Manderley, his rather large country house in Cornwall. The housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson), is domineering and cold, and is obsessed with the beauty, intelligence and sophistication of Maxim's dead wife Rebecca, the first Mrs. de Winter, preserving her former bedroom, the master suite, as a shrine. Although dead, Rebecca's presence is nonetheless pervasive - several things throughout the house - stationery, handkerchiefs, bed linens, even the master bedroom door - bear her ornate "R" or "R de W" monogram. As her closest confidant, Mrs. Danvers regularly comments on Rebecca's exceptional grace and style. When asked what Rebecca was like, Frank Crawley (Reginald Denny), Maxim's best friend and manager of the estate, absent-mindedly tells the new Mrs. de Winter that Rebecca was an exceptional beauty.

The new Mrs. de Winter is intimidated by her responsibilities and begins to doubt her relationship with her husband. The continuous reminders of Rebecca overwhelm her; she believes that Maxim is still deeply in love with his first wife. She also discovers that her husband sometimes becomes very angry at her for apparently insignificant actions. She also meets Rebecca's so-called "favorite cousin," Jack Favell (George Sanders), who visits the house while Maxim is away.
2016-12-18
American Gothic
Hitchcock's first American movie, a word, American that is, that should be put in quotes because as Hitchcock pointed out, all of the cast and almost all of the crew were British. The film has already garnered so many comments that I'll avoid repeating most of them. The plot I'm sure has been thoroughly outlined and professionally analyzed but a few points are worth emphasis.

The plot of very precisely structured. It consists basically of a man who is the dream of many women in the 1940s audience: ruggedly handsome, intelligent, keen witted, a bit commanding but not too much, fabulously wealthy, a touch roguish, and mysterious. It's the mystery that provides the plot engine. Every incident of his past emotional life needs to be pried out of Maxim deWinter (what a name, suggesting frigidity and distance) as if it were an abcessed tooth. Each secret, as he reveals it, is a surprise to his wife. Except for the final secret uncovered in the plot, which surprises everybody. Maxim could clear the whole mystery up with an hour's worth of private conversation with his wife. But of course he doesn't, or else there would be no story. That's why Hamlet takes so long to slaughter Claudius. And why the Indians don't shoot the horses as they're chasing the stagecoach.

The acting. Olivier is extremely good at impersonating deWinter with all his charm and challenge. George Sanders is the best cad that the movies ever produced, and he proves it again here. Mrs. Danvers has a face and an expression that looks like an ice sculpture. The implicit lesbianism in her character of course had to remain implicit, but it is still rather a shock when she tenderly unfolds Mrs. DeWinter's nightie and says smoothly, "Look, you can see my hand through it." As for Joan Fontaine, a friend in Ireland said of her performance, "She does the shivering wife very well." Precisely put. With her delicate bone structure, fragile looking limbs, and her overall ikabani flower arrangement appearance, her wide asymmetrical eyes, with one brow arching up over her pale forehead, she looks about to faint with fright through half the movie. The only thing coarse about her is her wardrobe: bulky knit sweaters over her girlish bosom, long flapping drab skirts over her small but saucy rump, and those clodhoppers she wears while clunking about the house. She does the shivering naif in at least two other films of the period -- Hitchcock's "Suspicion" and "Jane Eyre." In fact, rummaging through the disarranged attic that is my long-term memory, I can't really remember her "doing" any other role.

It's the closest Hitchcock ever came to making what was then called "a woman's picture." It received a "best picture" Oscar, which went to Selznick. Something Hitchcock seemed to resent for the remainder of his life. It was a commercial and critical success and it deserved to be.
2002-08-24
The longer it goes, the better it gets
A young, sweet and naive girl from humble origins (Joan Fontaine) catches the eye of a wealthy aristocratic widower Maxim de Winter (Laurence Olivier). One whirlwind romance later they're married and moving back into his ancestral home called Manderley. But almost immediately she has to start dealing with begrudging staff and the proverbial ghost of the previous Mrs. de Winter.

The film managed to surprise me pleasantly. Because let me tell you, the first third of this film is boring. It's so absolutely boring. A young woman moves into an old manor, terrible things start to happen, et cetera, et cetera. But, seeing that this was directed by Alfred Hitchcock, it really shouldn't have surprised me that it didn't remain that boring. The movie changed directions abruptly, and then again. When it got to the final few minutes, I'd call it outright brilliant.

Hitchcock also manages to inflict the film with a lot of flair. It was his debut in the United States and was met with almost universal approval, including Hitchcock's first and only Academy Award for Best Picture. And I'd say it's earned. It's an old movie, but filled with a lot of neat tricks and touches. Things you'd nod your head approvingly at even in modern films. The mood is built with almost surgical precision, the soundtrack supports this beautifully and the characters keep revealing new sides of themselves.

Is it the best film Hitchcock ever made? No, it's not, but it's still a great watch for all fans of mystery and suspense. And quite a different love story as well, if you're looking for that as well.
2017-08-27
A Magnificent Film
Date: 18 July, 2012 -First Time Watch- I love old Hollywood movies, mostly because they had good story lines and fantastic acting. Alfred Hitchcock does an amazing job with this in almost every movie he did. 'Rebecca' is an example of a another amazing old Hollywood film. The story opens with Joan Fontaine finds Laurence Olivier (he was so young and I felt oddly attracted to him) on the ledge of a cliff, ready to jump in. She stops him and they met up again later that day. They spend lots of time with each other and soon marry, despite the fact that Ms. Fontaine is unprepared for her new role as Olivier's wife. Trouble only continues when Ms. Fontaine arrives at the large estate and finds that everyone, especially the head maid Miss. Danvers, compares her to the greatly loved Rebecca, Olivier's first wife who died tragically a year before when she took her boat out by herself and drowned. But, as always Mr. Hitchcock throws in several twists and turns with a surprising conclusion. Definitely a very well done film with plenty of action and suspense to keep you interested.

8/10
2012-07-18
Rebecca
I can see now why Alfred Hitchcock is such a well-respected and well known director. The movie, Rebecca, is about a young woman living in Monte Carlo with her mean employer. She met a very wealthy man by the name of Maxim de Winter. The two fall in love and move back to Maxim de Winter's large estate but it doesn't take long for his new wife to notice that the death of his first wife, Rebecca, still has an effect on everyone in the house. They all still miss her and it is obvious that they wanted the new wife to kind of take the place of Rebecca in a way that she just couldn't do. Rebecca had a huge effect on the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers. She even set the house on fire at the end of the movie and ended up dying in the house. The movie had a very surprising ending which I liked. Hitchcock is a great director and you can see that through the movies lighting, camera-work, sounds, and editing.
2015-05-12
Proof people praise what is expected to be praised
There are two moments of cinematic greatness in this film. 1)The home movie scene, and 2)the scene involving Danvers manipulating Joan Fontaine after the costume ball. But though these memorable instances attempt to cajole us into admiration during the viewing, the overall product beckons us to reexamine our initial wooing. There are a few other moments of atmospheric success, and Fontaine's initial arrival and exploration of Manderlay and its characters is interesting, but otherwise, the film is often mediocre, and sometimes even poor. Laurence Olivier is very stale and does not exude much of a presence, nor a riveting sense of charm. Fontaine is better, but her character is completely over-the-top. She seems well adjusted and interesting at first, then does nothing but shake and stand with lost eyes for the rest of the film. I know the situation is supposed to bring about such behavior, but it is just too much. The chemistry between the two characters is horrible. Perhaps that is supposed to demonstrate the awkwardness in their relationship. But, then we find de Winter really does love her, and he hates his dead wife. So while his madness translates well, his supposed love for her never does. Not even at the end. And hers for him feels impossible to get our heads around, since he never does anything but be rich and handsome to impress her. I know, I know, those are the dynamics of the relationship, and some of them are more subtle (e.g. de Winter probably goes for her because she seems sexually tame and timidly obsequious), but it still does not feel right in the end. The characters' actions are too shortsighted for the overall plot.

The film often has no momentum, and drags on forever. The entire opening courtship can be eliminated since it is not efficacious in convincing us of much romance anyway. Then there is the second part, where Fontaine slowly learns the secrets of Manderlay, and though this probably is the best part of the film, it still never feels like it is building to a climax, even though every scene attempts to convey a bit of foreboding intrigue. Instead, it becomes monotonous; precisely because every scene is exactly the same. The end feels like it should approach soon after Danvers diabolical rant. Then there is Olivier's admission, and it feels like it should come again. But again it doesn't, and when the ending finally does come, it is of such an enormous magnitude that it feels too brief.

Then there is the story, which I believe has a couple of plot holes, and realistic dilemmas, though I cannot say with absolute certainty. The film has a chance, but not without a reassessment of the script. Another chance at astonishing greatness blown.
2005-04-02
A film with a nameless protagonist and an invisible namesake
This was Alfred Hitchcock's first American-made film. Quite frankly, I'm amazed at how well Hitchcock "got" what American audiences wanted in their suspense films, hitting them out of the park from the moment he began working in the US.

Apart from being a tad bit long, this is a well made film. I love the inside of Mandalay and Sir Laurence Olivier played a wonderful mysterious and sullen Maximillian De Winter opposite his new wife, a beautiful and naive young Joan Fontaine who is never even given a name here, probably deliberately and in keeping with how mousy and "second hand" she feels about herself in relation to the first and late Mrs. De Winter, who is actually Rebecca from the title.

Of course there is also George Sanders, playing the type of character he is best known for--sarcastic, snobby, self-assured, pompous, witty and verbose. He hits the nail on the head as Rebecca's "cousin" - so he calls himself. Of course the most eerie and unsettling character was Mrs. Danvers, Rebecca's housekeeper or "maid in waiting." Danvers takes great pains in sabotaging the second Mrs. De Winter's marital relationship with Max de Winter,--even going as far as calmly urging her to to plunge to her death into the water from Rebecca's bedroom window at Mandalay. There are a couple of twists in this movie, but I won't give them away. It's best if you watch them unfold yourself in true Hitchcockian style.

I will say that Rebecca, the first wife of Max de Winter, is NEVER seen, but we learn about her by what is said about her by the various characters, even going as far as seeing the untouched shrine of a bedroom maintained by Mrs. Danvers. But soon you learn that Rebecca was never the perfect wife Danvers and others make her out to be. The ending is a surprise in more way than one, and yet Mrs. Danvers gets the last word in her own way. A great movie by Alfred Hitchcock and David O. Selznick.
2017-01-15
A Gothic Hollywood romance in the hands of a master
Both a Golden Age Gothic romance and a true Hitchcock thriller, "Rebecca" somehow merges its director's style with its producer's sensibility. Much has been made about the butting of heads between Alfred Hitchcock and famed Hollywood producer David O. Selznick, but "Rebecca" ends up feeling like a Hitchcock picture with the sweeping feel of a Hollywood film.

Despite being Hitchcock's first experience working with Hollywood and Selznick's reputation for controlling his projects and making literal book adaptations (this being of Daphne Du Maurier's novel), the best parts of the film have Hitchcock's thumbprint on them. He infuses the story with total suspense and discomfort, refusing to let it bore for long in spite of its length.

The story follows a Gothic romance storytelling model akin to the Bronte sisters, which explains why star Joan Fontaine won the lead in "Jane Eyre" opposite Orson Welles just a few years later. Hitchcock channels nearly everything through Fontaine's performance as the aptly unnamed main character, a personal assistant who on a whim during her stay in Monte Carlo meets and marries a wealthy widower (Laurence Olivier). Fontaine exudes a lovable naivete, one that starts out earning sympathy but twists into an attribute that antagonizes the audience as the film goes on as the presence of the late great first Mrs. De Winter, Rebecca grows more powerful.

The role of Rebecca easily ranks as the most powerful character in cinema to never appear on screen. Hitchcock sees to it that her presence not only fills the mansion that already overwhelms the new Mrs. De Winter, but also consumes the film itself. She's felt both on camera and in the audiences mind, enough so that when Hitchcock pretends that she's really there by "following her" with the camera in a key scene late in the film where Maxim recalls the night she died, you honestly believe it and picture her as some terrifying figure.

But there's no depreciating the characters on screen. Fontaine as she writhes about in mentally anguish does manifest everything a bit too physically, but the reaction she creates in the audience is a palpable paranoia and fear. Olivier portrays a man quick to anger but clearly for deep-seated reasons that come from a dark place.

Then there's Mrs. Danvers, the woman who runs the house. The moment Judith Anderson walks on screen she enters your mind. A good comparison would be Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch in "The Wizard of Oz." It helps that Mrs. Danvers also serves as an antagonist, but in an entirely different way. We connect with our unnamed heroine's fear of Mrs. Danvers, but not simply because she plays the creepy housekeeper, but as we come to know her and understand her connection to the late Rebecca, she becomes this psychologically complex individual. Although Hitchcock's directorial voice runs through Fontaine, Anderson adds punctuation to his efforts, especially as she steals the final moments of the film.

Although the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences would have you believe "Rebecca" to be Hitchcock's finest effort, it merely showcases his ability as an artist to overcome what was a producer-driven Hollywood at the time. Despite David O. Selznick's name appearing before the title card, Selznick will always be better remembered for "Gone with the Wind.' "Rebecca" — that was Hitchcock's work.

~Steven C

Visit my site at http://moviemusereviews.com
2011-05-25
A Wonderful Film
This is one of my favorite movies of all time. Definitely my favorite classic. There are some that come close, such as Citizen Kane, Spellbound, and Psycho, but none quite compare to this amazing movie.

The first thing that you notice is the outstanding cinematography. You have to remember that this movie was made in 1940, when they didn't have the technology we have now. But that first shot of the water beating up against the rocks grabs you and for one split second you wonder if maybe this isn't part of the movie but rather something filmed just recently. But then you see the familiar face of Laurence Olivier, reminding you that this was made 60 years ago, a fact that forever amazes me. The only oscar it won besides Best Picture was well deserved.

Another thing that makes it such a wonderful film is the acting. I have debated on whether Laurence Olivier's character, the tortured Maxim de Winter, is the pitiable character or if his second wife played by Joan Fontaine is really the one to feel sorry for. Every time I watch it I see it from a different point of view. Joan Fontaine is excellent. Laurence Olivier is wonderful, but that's no surprise. The only thing that bugs me is that it seems in every movie he's in (well, at least, everything I've seen him in), he always plays the same type of character. But he's extremely good at it, so I suppose it doesn't matter.

But although Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier are wonderful, Judith Anderson steals the show! The first time I watched the movie, I was immediately grabbed by her stunning performance as the sinister Mrs. Danvers. You hardly notice the other characters when she's in the scene. She acted the part so well that it's strange to imagine that she was any different in real life.

With a wonderful storyline, and a very surprising ending, Rebecca well deserves the title as the only of Hitchcock's films to win the oscar for Best Picture. Although it may not be the most famous of all his films, it is without a doubt the greatest
2000-10-11
A great classic movie
Contains spoiler alert. This one is probably one of my all time favourite classic movies. The intensity hits you from the opening scenes. Mrs. Danvers is one hell of a scary housekeeper. She holds the craziest grudge over Rebecca as she enters her newly married life into the mansion. Although I personally found Rebecca's character to be of weak nature, it somehow brings out the cruelty in Mrs. Danvers, giving her an even larger ability to hate the girl. This movie is filled with mystery, murder, romance and a who done it plot. If you love the old classic movies and haven't yet watched this one, I would recommend getting hold of a copy somehow. A great Sunday afternoon movie to watch.
2014-02-04
See Also
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