Mystery, ThrillerDrama

Director: Alfred Hitchcock Cast: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson, Nigel Bruce, Reginald Denny, C. Aubrey Smith, Gladys Cooper, Florence Bates, Melville Cooper, Leo G. Carroll, Leonard Carey, Lumsden Hare, Edward Fielding, Philip Winter, Forrester Harvey

Academy Awards: Best Picture; Best Cinematography, Black-and-White

Also Nominated For: 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 Director (Alfred Hitchcock); Best Screenplay (Robert E. Sherwood & Joan Harrison); Best Art Direction, Black-and-White; Best Film Editing; Best Special Effects; Best Original Score (Franz Waxman)

I First Saw In: c. 2010

Synopsis: A self-conscious bride is tormented by the memory of her husband’s dead first wife.

Did You Know? Laurence Olivier reportedly treated Joan Fontaine very horribly, because he wanted his then-girlfriend Vivien Leigh to play the lead role. Fontaine was so shaken by this that Alfred Hitchcock decided to capitalize on it, telling her that everyone on set hated her. This resulted in Fontaine being shy and uneasy – exactly what Hitchcock wanted for her character.

Quotables: MRS. DE WINTER: I’ve been thinking…
MAXIM DE WINTER: Now why would you want to go and do that?

And now a Word from the Guise:
Of all the Hitchcock films that I’ve seen – which, admittedly, is not many – this is my favourite. When one thinks of Hitchcock they think of PsychoThe BirdsRear WindowNorth by Northwest, and VertigoRebecca is often thrown by the wayside, forgotten. I can see why, it isn’t nearly as terrifying as Psycho, nor as unnerving as Suspicion. But it is still eerie and suspenseful.

Oscar Madness Ranking – ??? out of 233