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An Elegantly Suspenseful Presentation
at Friday Night Movies:

on Criterion Collection DVD!

Friday the 17th of August

Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again.
--The Second Mrs. de Winter (Joan Fontaine)


USA: 1940 -- Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by Philip MacDonald and Michael Hogan (adaptation), Robert E. Sherwood and Joan Harrison (screenplay) based on the novel by Daphne Du Maurier
Starring Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders and Judith Anderson

Go ahead. Jump. He never loved you, so why go on living? Jump and it will all be over...
--Judith Anderson as Mrs. Danvers

Rebecca is an ageless, timeless adult movie about a woman who marries a widower but fears she lives in the shadow of her predecessor. This was Hitchcock's first American feature, and it garnered the Best Picture statue at the 1941 Academy Awards. In today's films, most twists and surprises are ridiculous or just gratuitous, so it's sobering to look back on this film where every revelation not only shocks, but makes organic sense with the story line. Laurence Olivier is dashing and weak, fierce and cowed. Joan Fontaine is strong yet submissive, defiant yet accommodating. There isn't a false moment or misstep, but the film must have killed the employment outlook of any women named Danvers for about 20 years. Brilliant stuff.

Hope to see you there. I'll save you an aisle seat next to the portrait of my late first wife.

Why don't you jump? Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again


Won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Cinematography (Black and White)

Nominated for Oscars for Best Director (Alfred Hitchcock); Best Actor in a Leading Role (Laurence Olivier); Best Actress in a Leading Role (Joan Fontaine); Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Judith Anderson); Best Music, Original Score (Franz Waxman); Best Writing, Screenplay; Best Art Direction, Black-and-White; Best Effects, Special Effects; and Best Film Editing

Ranks #76 on the Internet Movie Database's Top 250 Movies

More awards

Memorable Quotes

Maxim de Winter: That's not the Northern lights. That's Manderley!

Mrs. Danvers: [just as the second Mrs. de Winter reaches for the door] You wouldn't think she'd been gone so long, would you? Sometimes, when I walk along the corridor, I fancy I hear her just behind me. That quick light step, I couldn't mistake it anywhere. It's not only in this room, it's in all the rooms in the house. I can almost hear it now. Do you think the dead come back and watch the living?

Mrs. Edythe Van Hopper: Most girls would give their eyes for the chance to see Monte!
Maxim de Winter: Wouldn't that kind of defeat the purpose?

More quotes


The first film Alfred Hitchcock made in Hollywood and the only one that won a Best Picture Oscar.

Mrs. Danvers is hardly ever seen walking; she seems to glide. Alfred Hitchcock wanted her to be seen solely from Joan Fontaine's character's anxious point of view, and this effect tied in with her fear about Mrs. Danvers appearing anytime unexpectedly.

Despite scouring most of America, and New England in particular, David O. Selznick was unable to find a suitable location to represent Manderly, so he had to resort to a miniature instead, albeit a highly convincing one.

More trivia


Audio/visual unsynchronized: When The Second Mrs. de Winter and Maxim marry, he gives her a large bunch of flowers. She repeats "Perfectly lovely", but the second time, her lips do not move.

Continuity: The second Mrs. De Winter follows Jasper to the cottage. When she sees Jasper, he is standing up, barking in front of the door. She approaches the door and the dog is now lying to one side.

Revealing mistakes: Walking back from the beach, the background moves much more quickly than the characters.

More goofs