Rebecca is a traditional Hitchcock film: something is amiss the entire film, everyone acts suspiciously, not much action happens despite the hinting music, and your guess of what happens in the end is completely wrong. While I did enjoy the film, I couldn’t help but laugh at the main character (whose name we never learn) finds herself in the most ludicrous of situations but acts like that shit happens everyday…
“Wow, my bitch of a boss kind of wants to stalk my secret boyfriend. LOL.” “Hey, this man I just met is super rich and wants to marry me, but has a horrible temper and stares off into the distance whenever I mention his deceased wife Rebecca. YOLO. I DO.” “Well the housekeeper Mrs. Danvers can’t stop talking about Rebecca and how I don’t match up, then she played a mean trick on me and tried to get me to jump out a window to my death. OMG. BESTIES.”
… So, yeah. The main character acts with no sense whatsoever, though none of the characters’ actions seem to make much sense. While I did hate this a little bit, it seemed to elevate the story. Everyone was acting so irrationally that their creepy obsessions with Rebecca managed to be even creepier. It even made me uncomfortable at times, and I really started to feel for the main character as everyone only told her that she wasn’t as amazing as Rebecca had been.
What really drives the characters and plot are the actors (especially Judith Anderson as Mrs. Danvers). Even in their stupidity and craziness, they are each believable. Anderson really makes her stern character work in a way that you start to root for her manipulative and evil ways. While Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier also are exquisite in their roles, Anderson really steals the spotlight. If there’s anything that I will really remember from this film, it’s the disturbing Mrs. Danvers.
Film Synopsis: Hitchcock’s 1940 psychological drama-thriller follows the suave aristocratic Maxim de Winter and the doe-eyes young woman who becomes his second wife. Though we never see de Winter’s deceased first wife, Rebecca, her reputation and memories of her continue to haunt Maxim, his new wife, and the unhinged housekeeper Mrs. Danvers. The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won for Best Picture and Best Cinematography (black and white).