Week 23 brings me to Hitchcock’s first Hollywood film and what a film Rebecca is, I would also like to apologise for the poor screen shots the week. I did not have a copy of the film on my computer to screenshot from as I watched the film with a friend. Google alas did not have images to portray what I wrote about but hey-ho thats how the world is.

WHAT HAPPENED?

The story follows a naïve young girl (Joan Fontaine) who becomes embroiled in a romance with a rich and mysterious Max De Winter, a widower (Laurence Olivier). They soon become married and move to his vast and haunting mansion, once here the girl finds life hard as she attempts to escape from the shadows of her new husbands deceased wife Rebecca. This leads to several twists and turns and some very creepy scenes.

THE GOOD

From the outset you can see how the effects of Hollywood and having a larger budget have improved the quality of this film. The music, the sets and of-course the fact that a star such as Laurence Olivier is acting are all signs that from the outset got me excited to watch this film and they help create a film which is incredibly creepy.

The opening sequence, a creepy dream sequence in which the camera floats towards the mansion sets the tone for the entire film and a haunting story full of fantastic twist and turns such as a scene half-way through in which it is discovered that everything is not what it seemed leading for the narrative to completely shift in a different direction.

The character of the head maid Mrs Dancers (played by the incredible Judith Anderson) goes down as one of the creepiest characters in film history. She was shot to appear this way using camera tricks to make her glide almost ghost-like. Every time she spoke I had shivers in my spine and her tales of Rebecca are haunting.

 Image

The tension created in the film is also incredible particularly the sense that Rebecca is still there as a ghostly form. This is done I several ways firstly the heavy bombardment of the letter R within the set design. Everywhere around the mansion are little insignia’s which do not allow us as an audience of the characters to forget about Rebecca. There is also an incredible sequence in which Max tells a story about Rebecca whilst standing in the room where it happened. As he speaks the audience sees shots of what he is set up as if Rebecca where there, however we actually just see an empty space; this effect is very creepy and adds a real ghost-like tension to the movie.

 

THE BAD

The main fault with this film is that the ending comes out of nowhere and is a completely unexpected twist and not the good sort. It just felt a bit like a rip-off compared the brilliance of the rest of the film.

CAMEO O’CLOCK

Hitchcock now makes a cameo in every film for the rest of the challenge! Which is cool. In Rebecca the cameo is very brief as his intended cameo could not be done without ruining the integrity of the scene. His cameo comes in the form of quick walk past in the background whilst a character makes a phone call.

 Image

FINAL THOUGHTS

This film is incredible and easy to see why it is considered amongst his best work. Amazing. 5 Hitch’s. 

Image Image Image Image Image