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Rebecca (1940)

Director:
Alfred Hitchcock
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Drama/Mystery/Thriller
NORWEGIAN TITLE
Rebecca
RUNNING TIME
130 minutes
Producer:
David O. Selznick
Screenwriter (based on the book by Daphne du Maurier):
Robert E. Sherwood
Joan Harrison


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Maxim de Winter Laurence Olivier
Mrs. de Winter Joan Fontaine
Jack Favell George Sanders
Mrs. Danvers Judith Anderson
Maj. Giles Lacy Nigel Bruce
Col. Julyan C. Aubrey Smith
Frank Crawley Reginald Denny
Beatrice Lacy Gladys Cooper
Dr. Baker Leo G. Carroll

 

Review

Hitchcock's first American production shows clear signs of being the collaboration of three very headstrong, individual egos that not always pull in the same direction. Selznick's lavish production and Hitch's largely delicate direction should make for a grandiose result when taken into account Laurence Olivier's potential and the power of du Maurier's story. But even though Rebecca is a potent, smart and diverse picture, it is also somewhat stilted, segmentary and uneven. The acting is impressive - albeit not in a classical sense. Fontaine's shyness and submissiveness is unorthodoxly sexy, Judith Anderson delivers one of the most classic and compelling of one-dimensional performances, whereas Olivier - for all his magnetism and brilliant line-delivery - looks off in some crucial scenes. And that is incidentally many of the same scenes in which the film isn't at its very best. Hitchcock upholds and unfolds his mystery delightfully, but the twists aren't always equally well accounted for.

Copyright 22.9.2006 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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