Thursday, December 04, 2008
Rebecca has been haunting me to get this posted for the last few weeks. The movie is a close to faithful adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier's book of the same name and Hitchcock, on the extras DVD, does not hide his displeasure, irked with the novel's lack of logic. A plain,young girl falls in love and marries a young widower. She goes to his mansion where she finds his first wife inhabiting, in spirit, the mansion and its residents. The glamorous Rebecca is the first wife and her death is the mystery that must be solved. It is rather striking that the young girl does not have a name while the iconic R of Rebecca makes its presence felt in every scene despite the fact that not even a photo of her is shown in the movie.The Criterion collection extras DVD had so many extras that I didnt have time to watch all of them before I had to return it. I caught the best of it though - screen tests and Hitchcock's remarks about more than 2 dozen leading ladies who auditioned for the part that Joan Fontaine finally got.
Daphne Du Maurier's other, more famous work is Gone With the Wind. Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind was also produced by David O.Selznick. Apparently he was working on Gone With the Wind when he decided to bring Hitchcock to work on other commitments he had undertaken. Good thing he did. He set Hitchcock free in Hollywood and this "other commitment" won an Oscar for best picture in 1941.