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Thursday, January 6, 2011

STEVE HAYES: Tired Old Queen at the Movies

REBECCA (1940)

Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier star in Alfred Hitchcock's first American production, David O' Selznick's version of Daphne DuMaurier's REBECCA. An extremely faithful and glamorous adaptation of the bestselling suspense classic, REBECCA was shot in the grand tradition that had been set the previous year by Selznick's Oscar winning production of GONE WITH THE WIND. Eager to make a successful follow-up, Selznick imported British director Alfred Hitchcock and set him on his way to a brilliant career in America by giving him the only picture he ever directed that would win the Best Picture Oscar. Besides the two glamorous leads, the supporting cast includes George Sanders, Gladys Cooper, Nigel Bruce, the hilarious Florence Bates in her screen debut as Mrs. Van Hopper and the unforgettable Dame Judith Anderson as the evil housekeeper Mrs. Danvers. Thanks to Selznick, REBECCA is lavish, romantic film making at it's best, directed by the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock.


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