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Rebecca

Screening on Film
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
With Joan Fontaine, Laurence Olivier, Judith Anderson.
US, 1940, 35mm, black & white, 130 min.
Print source: Disney

Hitchcock's debut American film and his first working under his troubled and conflict ridden contract for the ambitious and mercenary independent producer David O. Selznick was a faithful yet subversive adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's best-selling, now beloved, Gothic fable of unrequited, obsessive love. In the inspired casting of coltish Joan Fontaine as Rebecca’s unnamed heroine, Hitchcock found a perfect foil to the indelible, imposing caricature of dark menace played by Judith Anderson's jealous, twisted Mrs. Danvers and the even more imposing character of Manderley, the overwrought labyrinthine mansion brought to life by the restlessly gliding camera. A deeply influential film, Rebecca inspired the wave of dark Gothic romances with haunted mansions – and uncanny portraits – that remained popular in Hollywood throughout the Forties. 

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