Wednesday, March 28, 2007

1940 Rebecca

Stars: Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine

The book that this movie is adapted from is a personal favourite. I remember reading it many years ago and being totally absorbed. Now it almost seems formulaic, but it is the original from which many have followed. As ever, I cannot get enough of Larry on the screen, although he does almost seem to saunter through the part of Maxim.

I found their whirlwind romance a little unconvincing, but that could be a fault of mine, rather than the cinematic portrayal. Ms Fontaine is delightful, capturing the innocence one imagines coming from such a different background to Maxim, and being thrust into life as the lady of such a great estate.

Judith Anderson as Mrs Danvers is truly creepy - just what the role requires, with measured amounts of austerity.

Some people feel that this is not Hitchcock's greatest work, but still remains memorable for its Oscar win. (Personally I always loved "Rope", but probably due to its technical ingenuity, rather than the script.) I enjoyed this immensely - dark and foreboding, but gripping.