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Rebecca (1940)

Laurence Olivier , Joan Fontaine , Alfred Hitchcock  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (444 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, Judith Anderson, George Sanders, Gladys Cooper
  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: October 14, 2008
  • Run Time: 130 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (444 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001D8W7EU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,395 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Rebecca" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, Judith Anderson. Drama, mystery and romance mingle in typical Hitchcockian form when a naive young woman marries a rich widower and settles in his gigantic mansion, only to find the memory of the first wife has quite a grip on the servants...and her husband! 1940/b&w/130 min/NR/fullscreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
183 of 194 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And de Winter Is ... July 14, 2000
Format:DVD
A sumptuous film version of Daphne du Maurier's Gothic suspense novel. Brilliant direction by Alfred Hitchcock (his first American-made feature), dazzling cinematography by Oscar-winner George Barnes, and splendid art direction by Lyle Wheeler underscore impeccable performances by the entire cast. Laurence Olivier is excellent as the enigmatic Maxim, whose brooding ambivalance masks a dark secret; Joan Fontaine hits all the right notes as the confused and insecure Second Mrs. de Winter; and Judith Anderson (made up very much like Gloria Holden in Universal's "Dracula's Daughter") is chillingly repellant as the malevolent housekeeper Mrs. Danvers. These three Oscar nominees are ably abetted by George Sanders playing Rebecca's cad of a cousin, and Florence Bates as the vitriolic social butterfly Edyth Van Hopper. In what must have been an incredibly close race, this film beat out 20th Century-Fox's landmark "The Grapes of Wrath" for the 1940 Best Picture Oscar.
The Anchor Bay DVD offers a fine video transfer of this classic mystery. The picture is sharp and clear with excellent contrast throughout, and the soundtrack is clean and crisp. Although the package doesn't mention it, the DVD does offer Chapter Search (always a welcome plus). There aren't any bonus materials like theatrical trailers, cast biographies, photo galleries, etc., but this is still a worthy edition of a genuine film classic.
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104 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I'm asking you to marry me, you little fool." August 20, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Joan Fontaine stars as a miserably shy and awkward lady's companion who meets the sophisticated and recently widowed Maxim de Winter in Monte Carlo. They seem an odd couple, yet after a few short weeks they marry and come home to his imposing English country estate, Manderley. The young bride is overwhelmed with her new, lavish lifestyle and is especially intimidated by the forbidding housekeeper who keeps her first mistress' memory and influence alive. Maxim reveals a terrible secret which forever alters the couple's life, and affects the very existence of Manderley.

This wonderfully atmospheric tale, complete with swirling fog and spooky organ music, will take you away to a world where little Cinderella really does marry the handsome prince and lives in the mysterious castle, but things have a nasty habit of going bump in the night. Joan Fontaine gives a breathtaking performance, convincing us she really is crippled with feelings of inadequacy, despite being a flawless beauty. Judith Anderson is the sneering, contemptuous housekeeper whose devotion to her former mistress turns to madness. Laurence Olivier makes a properly snobbish and mysterious Maxim and manages to be the hero despite a fatal flaw. The title character, Rebecca (the first Mrs. de Winter), is never seen but is a powerful force, as is the imposing house of Manderley. If you like gothic romances filled with 1940's elegance and lots of creepy atmosphere, you'll enjoy Rebecca.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic film of a classic book: you must see it. October 2, 2004
Format:DVD
Rebecca achieves greatness. Nothing is off in this film. You'll never forget Judith Anderson's sinister portrayal of the obsessed housekeeper, or George Sanders' cold and cynical charm as "Rebecca's favorite cousin." As for Lawrence Olivier and Joan Fontaine, they will never be seriously challenged in any remake of this tantalizing and psychologically molten story. It is their film from start to finish, though one fine character actor after another comes and goes with perfect pitch and perfect proportion. The black and white photography has a porcelain gleam to which color could bring nothing. Like Bronte's great novel, Jane Eyre (in which Joan Fontaine also starred), Rebecca is a seminal tale following an old pattern that has been imitated ad infinitum. But nothing can detract from this pure and innocent effort. I first saw Rebecca when I was a little girl, taken by my mother to a small theatre in New Orleans famous for showing foreign films and artistic films, and what an enchantment it was this world of Maxim de Winter and his great house and the crashing sea -- and finely controlled voices with English accents speaking so carefully but with such feeling. I've seen the film a dozen times since, and it has lost none of its silvery luster. There are times when I don't want to do anything except make a cup of hot chocolate and go in and watch Rebecca. Highly recommended. Add it to your collection.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Suspense June 14, 2001
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
The Best Picture in 1940 and an adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's famous novel. It is not at all surprising this movie won two Academy Awards and nine other nominations. Through the masterful direction of Alfred Hitchcock, you will be kept in complete suspense. The newly restored version from the original negatives is presented full-frame and has been digitally mastered for optimum picture and sound. The result is a sumptuous black-and-white film that is better than I have ever seen it before. They do say this movie gets better each time you watch it, and I must agree.

The opening scenes convince you that this is going to be quite a forbidding story. A meandering path overgrown with foliage and a ghostly manor (Manderley) appears out of the Cornwall, England mist. The gothic quality is only the stage for a love story haunted by the memory of Rebecca. While this is mostly filled with suspense and mystery, there are a few moments of humor.

While a young woman (Joan Fontaine) is vacationing in the South of France as a ladies companion, she meets a wealthy widower Maxim de Winter (Lawrence Olivier). His wife, Rebecca is said to have died in a boating accident. They fall in love, marry and then he takes her home to Manderley. She is ill prepared for such a position in society and stumbles through her days trying to adapt as best she can.

"Rebecca" is the theme of this movie, yet the heroine is the second rather timid Mrs. de Winter when she rises to the occasion and takes on this ghost who haunts her husband. Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson) manages the manor and seeks to keep the first Mrs. de Winter's memory alive in an almost obsessive way. She is cold and has no regard for Maxim's new wife's feelings.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Watched this with my teenage daughter. She then read the book.
Published 3 hours ago by Sheryl
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of my favourite films of all time and I have been waiting...
This is one of my favourite films of all time and I have been waiting to find a Blu-ray Region free edition for a very long time. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Jane Eyre
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
Great movie,great acting,great directing,beautiful,lavish production. The movie is almost always quite faithful to the book. 1930s Cornwall,England.
Published 5 days ago by Stephen M. Ruff
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Have Classic
Great quality!
Published 9 days ago by N5NAR
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good movie
Published 10 days ago by Lil Hutch
5.0 out of 5 stars For Classic Film Lovers!
One of my favorite classic films. Don't know if this has ever been remade; if so, it can't beat the suspense and quality of this one.
Published 14 days ago by Marilyn
5.0 out of 5 stars Rather ghost like, vacant and spooky amongst the elaborate luxuries
The actor Lawrence Olivier plays Maxim DeWinter, the actresses Joan Fontaine plays Mrs. DeWinter, Judith Anderson is Mrs. Danvers. The movie was made in 1940, in black and white. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Mimi
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily one of my favorite films ever made.
Easily one of my favorite films ever made. A genuinely great motion picture.

In 2010, I took a beautiful young woman out on a date. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Mad Zack
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved the book and the movie was great too!
Published 21 days ago by LaTrish Corder
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The best
Published 24 days ago by barbara wallace
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Having trouble getting new "Rebecca" DVD to play?
Leah,

Thank you for writing this. I was all set to purchase Rebecca until I read this. I'm not going to spend the insande price of $17.99 for a DVD that has a reputation for being warped like this. DVD technology needs to cost a lot less nowadays.
Apr 14, 2010 by Michael Zoran |  See all 2 posts
When are they going to re-release this title?
You could email Criterion (go to www.criterion.com, clink on 'contact us' link) and let them know you want them to re-release this title (as, for instance, Criterion have done with 'The Third Man'). Remember, though, that it is invariably a question of rights (either expiring or up for renewal)... Read More
May 13, 2008 by GODFREY H. |  See all 3 posts
No one But Hithcock!
See also the Masterpiece Theater version of it. I bet you will like it, too.
Mar 24, 2012 by Elvin Ortiz |  See all 2 posts
Four Pages of BS Be the first to reply
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