I read Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier last year and I wanted to watch the classic adaption badly right after. I finally managed it a few days ago.
Joan Fontaine plays Mrs. De Winter (the Narrator in the book, her name is never mentioned.) The audio book I listened to, read by Alex Kingston, was beautifully read and watching Joan Fontaine portrait the self- conscious bride, was exactly as I envisioned her.
The story is about a young lady who was a paid companion, someone who is paid to be with someone with money, and while out with her boss she meets a very respected and wealthy man named Maxim de Winter. Maxim, played by Laurence Olivier, ends up showing some interests in the companion. Soon, when the young lady learns she will be leaving she tells Maxim, not wanting to lose her he proposes.
Once wed they head to his home, Manderley. The new Mrs. de Winter knows about her husband’s first wife Rebecca, but he doesn’t and won’t tell her about her tragic death. Once they arrived at the Manderley house we are introduced to Mrs. Danvers. Maxim has a lot of stuff in the house hold, however Mrs. Danvers was not only a house maid, she was extremely close to the late Rebecca De Winter. Mrs. De Winter tries her best in fitting in the royal scene and tries to stay clear of Mrs. Danvers. Mrs. Danvers shows the new bride that Rebecca still has a place in Manderley, with her bedroom just as she liked it, her office as she had it, and tries to get Mrs. De Winter out of the house.
Joan Fontaine and Judith Anderson’s chemistry was definitely creepy as was Mrs. De Winter and Mrs. Danvers are in the novel. They played so well and when they are in the same room together you feel the tension through the movie.
One of my favorite scenes in the novel was the costume ball scene. Mrs. De Winter convinces Maxim to have a costume ball, show people that Manderley still lives. Not knowing what to wear Mrs. Danvers suggests Mrs. De Winter to wear a dress that was in the portrait in the hall, and it just so happens to be Mr. De Winter’s favorite. Mrs. De Winter is eager and takes the dress. Once people arrive she reveals her costume, only to be frighten to Mr. De Winter’s outrage. Mrs. Danvers had tricked Mrs. De Winter into wearing a dress Rebecca has worn.
It was done awesome in the movie! When I read it, I was shocked by the ending and gave me goosebumps, thankfully the film did the same!I won’t spoil it, of course, but IT’S WORTH READING AND WATCHING!