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Rebecca: The Making of a Hollywood Classic Paperback – September 23, 2013

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 116 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1492807842
  • ISBN-13: 978-1492807841
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.3 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,364,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jennifer K. Lafferty AKA Jennifer Leigh Wells is a fiction and nonfiction author Her short stories, such as "Chance Meeting", and "Periwinkle 26" have appeared in The Storyteller. Lafferty is currently a book columnist for and writes freelance articles for such websites as Film and Stack.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
(May Contain Spoilers)

This is an amazingly encompassing book about the classic film "Rebecca". The author really pulled together all of the most interesting information to help us understand how this film came about. I am a huge fan of the movie so I had to read this book.

Wells starts out mentioning a lot of major players in the film. And all the woman behind the men in the film. It was very interesting that even back then, woman were running the show. At least that is how I read it.

The producer of "Rebecca", David O. Selznick, was instrumental in bringing the director, Alfred Hitchcock, to America to work on this film. In fact, Selznick was instrumental in getting a lot of movies produced at that time and pulling a lot of leading ladies from other studios to come work for him. His behind the scenes work and attention to the tiniest of details was amazing to read about. He was also responsible for some of the most iconic pictures of all time including Gone With The Wind, A Star Is Born, and Duel In The Sun.

The thing I found the most interesting is the book, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, has never been out of print since its publication in 1938. That is pretty amazing.

The book explains how hard Selznick was to work with and sites many examples of this. In fact when asked, Hitchcock's daughter remembers that this was her father's favorite film but Hitchcock would say differently. Selznick was known for his obsessive memo writing. The most fascinating fact is from his memos dictated from 1916 when he was 14, to 1965 when he died,
he dictated enough memos to fill 2,000 file boxes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Lee on November 9, 2014
Format: Paperback
The film adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca holds a fascinating place in Hollywood movie history. Produced by David O. Selznick in 1939, it was the first film that Alfred Hitchcock directed in America, and would mark the start of his career working within the Hollywood studio system. The collaboration of two headstrong auteurs, Selznick and Hitchcock, led to a battleground during production, with Selznick sending Hitchcock a barrage of memos and infamously complaining of his Jigsaw editing, which ensured that Hitchcock would get his director's cut in the finished film. Hitchcock resented Selznick's interference so only filmed the minimum that he thought was necessary, giving Selznick, who was famous for tinkering in the edit, little choice but to accept Hitchcock's editorial choices.

Jennifer Wells charts the engaging story from genesis, writing, casting and filming of du Maurier's much loved classic.
The prose is crisp and fluid, as we are introduced to all the major players, with special emphasis on the contenders for the pivotal roles of Maxim de Winter and the second Mrs. de Winter, famously played by Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine.

What happened next on the set is the stuff of Hollywood legends, which Wells recounts with lucid and engaging details. Olivier, smarting from the rejection of his then wife Vivien Leigh in the central role, bitterly complained to Hitchcock about Fontaine's casting and urged the portly director to get rid of her. Hitchcock remained steadfast to Fontaine, but not without psychologically manipulating the young actress into believing that the cast and crew disliked her.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jackie Griffey on March 16, 2014
Format: Paperback
Reading this was like a grand tour only more detailed and therefore more interesting. Rebecca was written by Daphne du Maurier. The movie was produced by David O. Selznick and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. It had no chance but to be anything but great entertainment. In this write up by Jenifer Wells, a young woman meets an older, jaded but very wealthy and fascinating man in Monte Carlo. After a whirlwind romance he marries her and they reside in his estate in Cornwall which is full of dark secrets and the suspense begins to build about Rebecca, her husband's first wife, Joan Fontaine is perfect in her part. There are also articles about Selznick and Kay Brown who also introduced him to Gone With the Wind. Selznick was privileged to work with Laurence Olivier; Ingrid Bergman'; John Gielgud; Montgomery Clift;and other famous star plus there are brief bios about them to enjoy. Read about all of them including Joan Fontaine and her sister, Oliia de Haviland; Sir Laurence Olivier; Loretta Young; Margaret Sullivan (whose 'suffering' features could wring tears from a rock); Anne Baxter - remember her as Pharoah's wife co-staring with Charleston Heston; and WOW! Ronald Coleman; plus many others whose starring roles we remember. The bit players and supporting actors are not left out either and this is actually a tour for the reader. I rate it better than when my husband and I went to the first Disneyland at Aniheim, CA and also toured the big studios while we were there. We saw how they photographed the parting of the Red Sea and they started a 'rain' for us too LOL. Jennifer Leigh Wells does such a good job this is more entertaining than the other tours that require a trip across the country. She greets us with LIGHTS - CAMERA - ACTION And entertains us as she brings back memories of our own as well. Engoy your tour and thank you, Jennifer!
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