Joan Fontaine is amazing in the lead role, because she has that wholesome innocence. If I were to make any complaint about her in the role, it would be the fact that the film is trying to sell us on the idea that she looks plain and is less beautiful than Rebecca. Laurence Olivier is also great as the husband with something to hide. He brings a subtlety that is tough to get right, because he can be warm and likable in one scene and then distant and intimidating in the next. Also of note is Judith Anderson who is just the right level of scary.
I just wish there was more to the story in Rebecca. It started with a lot of promise, and I sensed that something bigger was going on, so I was totally hooked. When things were revealed I instantly thought "Is that it?" I actually lost interest and the whole movie kind of deflated. Reflecting on it now, days later, I wonder if it was just something to do with my false expectations. I wanted something bigger and some Psycho-style shocking conclusion. So I will readily admit that the film is probably better than I was able to recognize initially.
One of the creepiest movies ever, hands down. Rebecca also offers amazing acting, well shot cinematography, chilling score, and spectacular production design.
Brilliant psychological drama, based on a Daphne Du Maurier novel and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Carries all of the Hitchcock trademarks - the slow-burning intensity, the mystery, the psychological games, the twists and the powerful conclusion.
While the plot does develop slowly, especially in the early-to-middle section, this movie is by no means boring. More than engaging, it is a totally immersive experience. You see everything through Mrs De Winter's eyes, feeling her apprehension and fears and love for her husband.
At a point, the plot takes off and then we have intrigue upon intrigue, with some great revelations and twists along the way. Powerful, profound ending.
Excellent performances from Sir Laurence Olivier (though that's a given) and Joan Fontaine in the lead roles. Both received Oscar nominations, as did Judith Anderson for playing Mrs. Danvers. Hitchcock received his first (of five) Best Director Oscar nominations for this movie.
The movie itself won the 1941 Best Picture Oscar, beating out, amongst others, another masterpiece - The Grapes of Wrath.