Rebecca Rebecca
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Film Date :   April 12, 1940
Genre :   Family Romance Horror Thriller Psychological   
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Rebecca

Rebeccais a 1940 psychological/dramatic noir thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock as his first American project, and his first film produced under his contract with David O. Selznick . The film's screenplay was an adaptation by Joan Harrison and Robert E. Sherwood from Philip MacDonald and Michael Hogan's adaptation of Daphne du Maurier 's 1938 novel of the same name , and was produced by Selznick.It stars Laurence Olivier as the aristocratic widower Maxim de Winter, Joan Fontaine as his second wife, and Judith Anderson as the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers.

The film is a gothic tale about the lingering memory of the title character, Maxim de Winter's dead first wife, which continues to haunt Maxim, his new bride, and Mrs. Danvers. The film won two Academy Awards , including Best Picture out of a total 11 nominations. Olivier, Fontaine and Anderson were all Oscar nominated for their respective roles. Since the introduction of awards for actors in supporting roles, this is the only film named Best Picture that won no other Academy Award for acting, directing or writing.

It was the opening film at the 1st Berlin International Film Festival .

The film begins with a voiceover of a woman speaking the first lines from the novel: "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again", to the images of a ruined country manor. She continues that she can never return to Manderley — as it no longer exists, except as a ruin.

Joan Fontaine plays a young woman (who is never named), an orphan, who works as a paid companion to the wealthy Edythe Van Hopper ( Florence Bates ). In Monte Carlo , she meets the aristocratic widower Maximilian (Maxim) de Winter ( Laurence Olivier ) and they fall in love. Within weeks, they decide to get married.

Maxim takes his new bride to Manderley, his country house in Cornwall , England . The servants accept the new Mrs. de Winter as the new lady of the house. The exception is the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers ( Judith Anderson ), who is particularly unpleasant to the new bride. She is still obsessed with the beauty and sophistication of the first Mrs. de Winter—the eponymous Rebecca—and preserves her former bedroom as a shrine, even cherishing her handmade underwear and expensive négligée. Rebecca's "cousin" Jack ( George Sanders ) (who, as we only discover later, was in fact one of her lovers) appears at the house when Maxim is away, and evidently knows Mrs. Danvers well, calling her by the name "Danny", which was Rebecca's pet name for her.

The new Mrs. de Winter is intimidated by Mrs. Danvers and by the responsibilities of being the new mistress of Manderley. As a result, she begins to doubt her relationship with her husband. The continuous presence of Rebecca in the house starts to haunt her, and she convinces herself that Maxim is still in love with Rebecca. She discovers, too, that her husband has a fiery temper, and sometimes erupts at apparently innocent actions on her part.

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