Thursday, December 04, 2008

Rebecca

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.

9 comments:

current said...

how much of chandramukhi or manichitrathal is inspired by R?

catcharun said...

i would say zero. the beauty of Rebecca is that it is a ghost story without the effects that accompany a ghost story. the lady makes her presence felt through real,perfectly sane people and their thoughts.

Anonymous said...

gone with the wind is by margaret mitchell, i thought?

catcharun said...

of course it was. gross mistake. that post had approximately 0% fact checking done. i'll need to correct it. thanks for pointing it out.

gauri said...

Very potent film indeed. I was disappointed I couldn't justly claim "I liked the book better" at the end of it :-| I found Judith Anderson's performance even more riveting than Fontaine's, for some reason.

(Apparently Hitchcock told Fontaine everyone on the set hated her - so as to make her uncomfortable and elicit better performance that was becoming of the character. Wicked, eh...but apparently it did work!)

-g

PS: Your alias is an anagram of 'craunch at' - pretty much what you seem to be doing here to some movies you didn't think the world of ;) Interesting.

catcharun said...

gauri - thanks for that comment and the trivia.

if i were in the review business, my posts would be objective but i am not. thanks for reading them anyway :)

gauri said...

No you're not :) If I wanted to read an objective review I'd have read it on imdb and other columns, but I didn't.

Thanks for your reply anyway :)

-g

gauri said...

Oh hang on - puzzled as I was at your reply, it was probably in response to the PS. Let me assure you that wasn't a snide; just saw the anagram & it's aptness and mentioned it, that's all. Don't read too much into it :)

-g

catcharun said...

didnt think it was snide at all. i like anagrams..that was nicely done.