My goal is to do a Flick Buddies post every Sunday. I don’t even know why I’m telling you this because if you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, we both know that sticking to my goals is not my strong suit. But still, for now that’s the plan. Four movies a month, four Sundays. It seems like a workable plan. That I will likely screw up next Sunday.
I read Rebecca for the first time last year, and I wanted to see the film version, so this was a natural choice for me. Rebecca was Alfred Hitchcock’s first Hollywood-made film (1940) and his only film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. I love every Hitchcock film I’ve ever seen and I loved the novel, so I was expecting big things from this movie.
I wasn’t exactly disappointed. But I didn’t love this film the way I love Rear Window or Vertigo. And it’s hard for me to explain just why that is. The movie is a very faithful adaptation of the Daphne du Maurier novel. Perhaps knowing all the twists and turns to come ruined it a bit for me. There was one notable change to the plot that I won’t spoil for you, but apparently was required by the Motion Picture Production Code. [NB: The moral censorship standards of the past are interesting reading, and hard to imagine passing muster today given the current state of the movie industry.]
Laurence Olivier makes a great Maxim de Winter. Joan Fontaine gets a bit annoying as his naïve and innocent bride. Hitchcock’s Mrs. Danvers is much younger than her literary counterpart, but the creep factor is just as high. Judith Anderson does a great job in the role.
My biggest complaint about the film was the pacing. The build-up is very slow, and then the entire resolution feels rushed. But honestly, it’s a terrific film. I just hold Alfred Hitchcock to a higher standard than most. I expected to love Rebecca and when I only liked it instead, I found it lacking.
Very interested to see what my fellow Flick Buddies have to say about it!