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My Cousin Rachel (1952)


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My Cousin Rachel (1952) + The Heiress (Universal Cinema Classics) + Rebecca
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Product Details

  • Actors: Olivia de Havilland, Richard Burton
  • Directors: Henry Koster
  • Format: Black & White
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Twilight Time
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005LPMBPQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,682 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Limited Edition of 3,000 Units. Region Free. Isolated Score Track / Original Theatrical Trailer. Language: English. Audio: Mono. NTSC. 1952 / B & W. 98 MINUTES. 1.33.1 FULL FRAME. Exclusive distribution for Twilight Time provided by Screen Archives Entertainment.

Customer Reviews

Great suspense, and intrigue.
Writerly Artist
Despite the ambiguous ending, it's an absorbing tale that is satisfying in its execution.
N. Doyle
A young Richard Burton and Olivia de Havilland at her best.
J. Woodrum

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By N. Doyle on October 1, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If Gothic romance is your thing, you won't find a more absorbing and intriguing tale than this adaptation of Daphne DuMaurier's best-selling novel, MY COUSIN RACHEL. Not only is the atmosphere completely realized, but the elegant performances make the story even more compelling to watch as it unfolds a tale of possible murder and cunning deceit. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards for best costumes, B&W cinematography, art decoration and Burton's supporting role performance (which is actually a leading role).

RICHARD BURTON cuts a fine figure as the romantic hero of the piece--brooding, intense and passionate, reminding one of Heathcliff in the Bronte novel, "Wuthering Heights." He's an angry and impressionable youth who intends to accuse his cousin of murder based on his suspicious nature, but instead falls wildly in love with her the instant they meet.

OLIVIA DE HAVILLAND matches Burton scene by scene, her charming manners and poise as a woman of the world understandably provoking his interest. At first, he assumes she wants to claim her inheritance when she visits Cornwall. But soon he is able to see her in a different light and when he falls in love with her, he decides to leave his entire inheritance to her on his 25th birthday. It is then that the story becomes even more compelling when the ambiguous nature of Rachel comes at long last to the surface.

Franz Waxman has written a very dramatic and powerful background score that adds dimension to the Gothic tale that begins when a boy and his guardian walk across the moors and come to a gibbet where a man is hanging. "Always remember, Philip, death is the price for murder." And that's how the film's brief prologue begins.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Tom S. TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 27, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The 1952 film version of Daphne du Maurier's wonderful novel, My Cousin Rachel, is everything a Gothic mystery fan could want and more. Olivia de Havilland and 23-year-old Richard Burton (in his American film début) star in this moody tale of a rich young man in 1840s Cornwall and his relationship with his foster father's enigmatic widow. When his beloved father figure dies mysteriously on his honeymoon in Italy, Philip Ashley (Burton) inherits his entire estate--and the aforementioned widow (de Havilland). He is expected to "do the right thing" and provide for the penniless beauty, so he gallantly invites her to his home. What follows are passion, sexual obsession, greed, cat-and-mouse mind games...and possibly murder.

This Twilight Time DVD is a welcome addition to my film library--I've placed it on the shelf right next to Hitchcock's Rebecca. I don't know why the folks at 20th Century Fox don't give RACHEL a DVD release, but until they do, this is the one to have. There are a lot of bootleg versions out there, and they're really bad (stolen from TV broadcasts, etc.). Get this one, and enjoy one of the best non-Hitchcock suspense films around. Highly recommended.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Alex Holden on August 11, 2009
Format: VHS Tape
I HAVE NEVER ENJOYED A MOVIE MORE THEN THIS ONE BURTON AND DE HAVILLAND ARE AT THEIR BEST. THEY DON'T MAKE MOVIES LIKE THIS ANY MORE.SUPERB ACTING,AND A STORY LINE THAT CONTAINS ALL.A THRILLER.WITH ROMANCE,LOVE,HATE,INTRIGUE , AND ENHANCES YOUR SENSES AS TO THE MULTIPLE COMPLEX MAKE-UP OF ALL HUMANS.YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS THIS MOVIE IF YOU GET THE CHANCE IT MAY NEVER COME AGAIN. I WOULD GIVE IT A TEN IF POSSIBLE
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jay Dickson VINE VOICE on September 13, 2013
Format: DVD
Daphne du Maurier used this phrase to speak of both of her most famous novels, REBECCA and MY COUSIN RACHEL, which have frequently been compared. They both feature Cornish seaside ancestral homes, and they both explore confusing erotic triangles involving the dead and the living. Fittingly, both novels were turned into great Hollywood Gothic films; though the film of REBECCA is one of the most famous of all films from Hollywood's Golden Age, MY COUSIN RACHEL is far less well known today, although it is as powerful and may even be as great. Like REBECCA, it also features an unforgettable score by Franz Waxman (which can be beautifully isolated on this Twilight Time limited edition DVD), and great costumes, set design, and especially cinematography. The parallels seem to have struck the studio too, since Twentieth-Century Fox cast Olivia de Havilland, the sister of Joan Fontaine (the lead in Paramount's REBECCA), in the title role, and in the male lead, instead of Laurence Olivier (the Max de Winter of the 1940 Hitchcock film), Richard Burton, who in his debut film performance here very much recalls Olivier.

Why the film is not better known today is hard to say, and may have something to do with its setting in the very early Victorian period: certainly this was not the most attractive era for women's fashions, and De Havilland's hairstyle in her early scenes (in braids coiled round her ears, like Princess Leia) could not flatter anyone. But when her hair is brought down later in the film she shows herself as still one of the greatest beauties of Hollywood's Golden Age, and her intensity and fine Method training in the Forties serve her in excellent stead too.
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