First of all, I was incredibly disappointed in the performance of Laurence Olivier - I know I know , it's a sin to say that but I thought that he over typified his character and made the man really placid and stale. I understand that he is supposed to be someone who lives in a placid and stale environment but the man himself is intended to be a pretty deep running character.
I enjoyed the performance of Joan Fontaine a little bit better but still, her character represented a pretty standard variation of acting - it gets the job done but it's pretty obvious acting.
The cinematography in the movie did well for itself at times, and really not well at other times so the film kind of balances out to give you a slight cinematic taste in your mouth.
Really the only thing that is particularly remarkable about this film is the double twist in the plot - which is the point in the movie where I started actually caring what was happening.
On its own, this movie wasn't bad - and in any case it was kind of enjoyable. But I do hope that it doesn't represent the majority of Hitchcock films.
I think Joan Fontaine was robbed for not getting the Academy Award for her performance. She's absolutely perfect as the adorable and completely insecure new Mrs. De Winter who lives in the first wife's shadow and "behaves like an upstairs maid" as her husband so aptly puts it. Olivier is handsome and mysterious. The scene stealer, though, is the head maid, creepy and bizarre. Beautiful, haunting and suspenseful, this movie doesn't disappoint.