Dr. Rich Edwards

Daily Dose #9: Last Night I Dreamt (Opening Scene of Rebecca)

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1.  Describe how this opening is different from the multiple opening scenes you have seen in the Daily Doses from the British silent and/or sound period?

 

The opening of 'Rebecca' was slower, obviously, than the previous opening scenes we have seen in the last couple of weeks, but it was also the first opening that was narrated by one of the characters.  It was also different in that the childhood home of Maxim De Winter is a main character in the movie  .

 

2.  What are the Hitchcock 'touches' in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock?

 

The 'Point of View' shot of Manderley as Joan Fontaine as the second Mrs. De Winter narrates is typical of Hitchcock.  It draws you into the story quickly as does the narration itself.  The music playing and the long shot of the ocean leading up to Laurence Olivier standing at the edge of the cliff.  The music playing as the camera panned out over the ocean reminded me of some of the music in Vertigo - with an ominous tone. 

 

3.  How does this opening sequence use Manderley - the house itself - as a kind of character in the story?  What affect does the flashback structure and the voiceover narration have on your experience on this scene?

 

The narration on Manderley itself together with the moving camera starting with going through the gate, following the path, the affect of lights and shadows on the darkened remains of the house that once stood - you imagine what might have been and are instantly interested in the unfolding story of Manderley and the people who lived there.

 

 

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1. Describe how this opening is different from the multiple opening scenes you have seen in the Daily Doses from the British silent and/or sound period? 

Unlike Hitchcock’s British silent or sound period, this film does not open in a public space filled with a bustle of active and unsuspecting people going about their normal business.  Instead it opens with an off-screen female narrator introducing a reclusive location, Manderley, which at first appears grand, but on closer inspection is a ruin.  The narrator’s voice is measured and dreamy; there is no exciting action about to be introduced here and no humor, just a mystery of why Manderley is in the shape it’s in.

The next scene takes us to another isolated locale in the South of France where we are finally introduced to the two principle human characters (if one agrees with Finler that Manderley is actually a leading character in the film, which I do).  Here we are introduced to a man who appears ready to jump off the cliff and a young woman yelling for him to “stop!” Both appear shaken by their interaction – and as soon as they have met, they part again, creating that Hitchcock tension we love so much.  We want to know what happens next.

2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? 

Regardless of the opening scenes being a departure from Hitchcock’s British period, we still have the master at work, drawing us into the drama with POV technique, the use of “average citizens” in extraordinary circumstances (Joan Fontaine’s character calling for Max de Winter to “Stop!” because she senses he is about to commit suicide), and the laying down of  key characterizations for the drama right away – Max as a tortured soul, the young woman (future Mrs. De Winter #2) as an insecure and naïve waif, and Manderley as a place of dark, foreboding secrets.  The combination of characters is intriguing, and the Hitchcock touch of pulling us into the story is still there, despite a slower paced introduction.

3. How does this opening sequence use Manderley--the house itself--as a kind of character in the story? What affect does the flashback structure and the voiceover narration have on your experience of this scene? 

The fact that the grand house has a name and is reverently described by the female narrator creates the impression that Manderley plays a character role in the story about to unfold. The cinematic introduction that accompanies the narrator’s voice also effectively sets Manderley up as a character.  At first Manderley appears beautiful and full of life with windows lit.  But as we are drawn in closer by the camera, we can see that it was only an illusion of the moonlight and slowly it is revealed that there is a darker side to Manderley; it is truly just a ruin. 

I find the flashback structure and voiceover narration enhance my desire to know what happened to this once beautiful place.  Immediately I want to know the narrator’s connection to the grand house, how and why the house was reduced to ruins, and why wasn’t it lovingly restored if it is so reverently introduced to us?  

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DAILY DOSE #9 (REBECCA):

 

RICH AND STRANGE AND DERELICT

1. This opening is far more dreamy, with a literal, if lush, interpretation of the narrative as if we are walking into the book (or a dream).

2. One Hitchcock touch was the long winding P.O.V. dolly shot with a quick dissolve to a sweeping pan of rough seas upon rocks.

3. Manderley, in a dream, is approached from a craggy path mirrored by the pan of the sea to Mr. de Winter which connects him to Manderly which we saw in ruins.

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In the opening to Rebecca, Hitchcock not only establishes the estate house Manderley as a character, but in accordance with another Gothic trope, he establishes nature as a character too. There are overwhelming and inescapable natural forces tied to the house. In Mrs. de Winter's dream nature has overgrown and reclaimed portions of the estate, and the fade to the powerful waves below the cliffs transitions us to the beginning of the fateful story in France. Nature, fate, and perhaps Manderley itself is always upon Maxim's heels, even while vacationing on the continent. As Mrs. de Winter says, they can never go back to Manderley, but nor can they escape it.

 

It's a different opening from Hitchcock's usual introductions directly on a public place of spectacle, even though the hotel lobby soon follows. His use of a moving camera around a miniature is reminiscent of the opening to The Lady Vanishes, taking in the town and avalanche before remaining stationary in the inn. I imagine part of this change is to properly set up the gothic story, which is better served by beginning on a somewhat supernatural/dream scene. I also guess it assuaged Selznick greatly to open the film on direct quotes and scenes from the book.

 

As a side note, Dr. Gehring expressed his unease in the lecture video with how Maxim treats the second Mrs. de Winter like a child. While I understand how this aspect will distress modern sensibilities, the behavior makes perfect sense with Maxim's character motivations. His experience of the full flowering of femininity in Rebecca had been negative and traumatic. She was beautiful and clever, but also unfaithful, spiteful, and cruel. It's natural that he should next fall for someone who represents youth, innocence, and naivete instead. And it's obvious why he would desire to keep her that way by calling her kid and instructing her like a father. Conversely, Joan Fontaine's character has somewhat recently lost her father when she first meets Maxim. Her father was eccentric, and she was devoted to him, and now finds those same traits in the fatherly Maxim. So, again, while it might be an uncomfortable relationship to watch for modern viewers, the psychology behind the character motivations is well thought out and intriguing, another element of the Hitchcock touch.

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I absolutely adore the opening of Rebecca. Hitchcock welcomes his audience via a rather unsettling POV traveling down a dimly lit, serpentine path reaching eventually what appears to be the creepy cousin of a home to Ms. Bates’s house in Psycho. Gothic horror indeed. It's evident narration aided Hitchcock in crafting his dark opening sequence, but it does somewhat bare resemblance​ to the immediate opening of The Lodger simply due to its atmospheric tone and demeanor. However, Rebecca’s character introduction is a home situated beyond iron gates down a long, winding road. The home itself seems to hold (possibly) more of a narrative arc than any subsequent characters we encounter within those first intricately crafted 3 minutes.

 

The POV tracking shot is undoubtedly signature Hitchcock. In viewing this opening, my mind shifted to his experimental POV shots in Downhill to those ever famous POV’s in Rear Window, ending on the extreme close up shot of Norman Bates' eye (in Psycho) peeping through a hole, cutting to a POV shot revealing an undressing Marion Crane. Hitchcock’s signature POV shot isn't just a standard POV, as filmmakers of any kind can readily utilize such techniques. It's Hitchcock’s artistry, his crafting of the scene and the storytelling of a Master that makes anything he does a stamp on his artistic works. I hold an unyielding belief in Hitchcock’s capability of knowing the psychology of his audience and then using that to his benefit as a filmmaker.

 

Aside from the narration provided by Mrs. de Winter (Joan Fontaine), our first introduction is to a home called Manderley, which is shrouded in darkness, tucked away from any sort of societal contact. Manderley appears sullen and dreary, as though it's the embodiment of some type of darkness. The house is so telling by its mere facade that words left unspoken are an actual addition to Manderley’s presence (i.e. it needs to possess no voice.)

 

Manderley is a towering figure in this sequence. Its coupling with the narration/flashback is effective in a revelatory aspect. There seems to be something quite ominous regarding the house and the voiceover as provided by Mrs. de Winter. Her narration, along with Hitchcock's​ sequence paints a picture of a gloomy past only left to be explored in the subsequent unfolding story.

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This scene differs from other Hitchcock opening scenes by a man being seen first after a female is heard and a house being introduced almost as a character (Lack of German Expressionism). A life is even saved in the early moments of the film. Not usualy Hitchcock work.

 

The Hitchcock touches would be *I like to note* an 'Entrance' once again used as the entrance scene at the beginning of the film. Hitchcock does this almost every film.

 

Hitchcock's POV camera trolly up the walk to meet the house for the first time was very Hitchcockian.

The House or Rebecca may very well be the MacGuffin etc.

 

The house appears to be treated as a character with a 'will' by the dream sequence narrorated by the girl.

In dreams we lack control, thus they can easily become a nightmare.

The leading female lacks control about this house.

And it's expressed even in her dreams.

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1)   One of the ways that this opening sequence differs from the others is that it starts out with a dream-like sequence that visually shows us what Joan Fontaine is describing in her narration and introduces Manderley to us for the first time. I almost feel like there was some personification t the house because the way it was photographed made me feel like it was living. Another difference is having the two main characters meeting right at the beginning. This exchange between Maxim de Winter and the future Mrs. De Winter shows me that Olivier’s character is not the most stable, due to the either possible suicide contemplation or revisiting where the first Mrs. De Winter might have met her end.

 

2)   For me, the “touches” would be the photography, lighting, and use of possible extreme scenarios. The way that the flashback was photographed and how the house was backlit reminded me of how the exterior house scenes in “Psycho” were photographed, and Olivier’s character on the ledge reminded me of Jimmy Stewart’s character at the beginning of “Vertigo”.

 

3)   This sequence makes Manderley look like the central figure in the story. From this, I can get the impression that all roads will lead back to Manderley. The structure of the sequence and the use of narration made me feel weary around the concept of Manderley because it gave the impression that it was a unsuspecting place, like a haunted house, or a place that has a grave history behind it; something that would give Manderley an unsettling appeal.

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The opening shot of ‘Rebecca’ and its accompanying music made me think I was about to watch a classic Universal horror film. Instead of crowds of people in the opening shots of earlier Hitchcock films, we have crowds of trees and overgrown vegetation under a cloudy, full moon night. This crowd, as in The Lodger, is assembled around a death – this time of a house. As in The Lady Vanishes, this crowd is waiting patiently as the result of nature – not because of an avalanche, but of the passing of time and neglect. Manderley is a character which has gone from glory to decrepitude, and its moods are reflected in the moving shadows, the moonlight, and the mists that hang heavily over its grounds. In its current state, it seems most apropos that the opening narration takes no human form, but is a disembodied voice capable of entering the locked gate. The use of the black wash lifting to reveal the entrance enhanced the dreamlike state of the scene, just as this technique was used in ‘Murder, My Sweet’ as Dick Powell falls into drug induced hallucinations. Hitchcock uses the music to lull the viewer as the dolly shot weaves through the isolated pathway to the house, much as the dancers weave down the spiral staircase in The Pleasure Garden. I felt calm until the music intensified as Manderley came into view behind the dark skeleton of the leafless tree. The house appeared to have a skull-like face as we first see it. But as the moon lights up the house, the music returns to its calming tenor. As the camera moves across the front of the house, it appears more and more dilapidated. Though something obviously negative is associated with the house, the narrator still dreams of it with a kind of fondness.

 

Then suddenly, we’re jolted by the crashing waves and musical crescendo which, much like the rushing wind in The Lady Vanishes, portend a sense of danger and mystery. As the camera slowly pans up the rocky cliff, we see the dark figure of a man on the precipice, much like a silhouette. We see the windswept sea from over his shoulder, and as he moves his left foot closer to the edge, mesmerized, but seemingly emotionless, by what he sees, I felt the water itself become a character in the film, as if it was having a conversation with Mr. de Winter. When his future wife shouts “No, stop!”, he asks what she’s going on about, oblivious as to how it appeared as if he were about to jump to his death.

 

Joan Fontaine’s character seems very innocent and naïve in the opening, but we know from her introduction to Manderley, that she will not remain so. Hitchcock again takes the average person and places her in a situation which will test all her mental and physical capacities. No one leaves a Hitchcock film the way they enter it.

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1.     This opening scene in Rebecca is almost entirely not typical Hitchcock. Aside from the use of miniatures and the foggy landscape, there isn’t a series of quick cuts and immediate character introductions. You don’t have a public place as a setting, but a rural one isolated from the rest of the world. The pace is slow. The gradual push shot that gives us the first person psychological perspective and flashback at the same time is a convention that Hitchcock would use. But it is slow and Hitch, prior to this film didn’t open a film with a flashback narrative. I find it hard to believe that more of Hitchcock’s contributions to noir are not and were not really discussed without digging for it. Moreover, there isn’t the implication of a crazy psychosis through imagery like we would see with swirling dancers or spinning machinery. However, there is a more pensive calm sort of madness implied by the crashing waves against the rocks serving as the prelude to the introduction of Olivier’s character.


2.     As stated in number 1, I don’t believe this film would have appeared to anyone as a signature Hitchcock film, at least not until the plot got going more. The only sign that may have set that idea in motion would be the quick verbal exchange between Olivier and Fontaine, and perhaps the reference to the house coming alive as addressed in question 3.


3.     Yes, the house is a character, Fontaine narrates and speaks as if the house is beckoning her to come and revitalize the spirit of the structure. As the camera (suggestively the viewer acting as Fontaine’s character) journey’s to the house, a spiritual quality allows her to pass through the gates, discover her way through the overgrowth and confront the house. The lights come on as if they were eyes and welcome her to the madness of what entitlement, wealth, and extreme isolation can do to human nature.


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The shot of the camera pulling into the window of the house is almost exactly like the opening shot of Psycho.  In fact, the  slow pan of Manderley reminds me of the opening of Psycho with the slow pan around the city, just as this film has the pan up to Manderley. 

 

The difference for me in this opening scene from the others is the luxuriously slow pace.  Usually there is some big dramatic opening (a skier falling, a murdered body found) but this is so slow and Gothic.  

 

The lighting of the house, the clouds passing by, the mysteriousness of it's look added with the narration are what make Manderley a central character of this film

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1. The opening shot in Rebecca is different from his previous British films In various ways. The setting is not located in an open public space full of people, but it is now at a mysterious, creepy rural place far away from the people and the city life. The pacing is way slower than his previous films. The music was slow and creepy and the were no fast cuts/ transitions during the opening scene. It takes and draw us to Manderley slowly and slowly as we walk down the pathway, causing a sense of mysterious fear in the audience. As we get closer and closer to Manderley,walking down the way slowly and slowly. It slowly builds and sets up a tone of fear effectively.

 

2. Close up shot of the man. A young, naive blond lady. The camera shot closing up closer to the window, similar to the shot in Psycho, which introduce us to the character's world and point of view. The plot still involves a "mysterious" and a "death-related situation".

 

3. It seems like Manderley is the main character/ figure of the story. The narration and voiceover personifies Manderley.The story will start and end in Manderlay, as all the path, events and decisions will be link and related to this one place (Manderley).We walk along through pathway to Manderley since the beginning, indicating that a disaster will happen. The environment of Manderley and its surrounding also look like a cemetery place, which evokes and develop a sense of "death" that has happen and might occur later on.

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Hitchcock introduces Manderley as a character using the same visual techniques as when he introduces his traditional human characters. The roving camera stands in for the narrator as she floats through her dream. When she lands at Manderley, we are once again voyeuristically staring at an object of desire (or, in her case, dread) that has become so familiar in Hitchcock's openings. The framing of the shot as partially behind a tree underscores how we are "spying" on the house, and that the gaze is not mutual.

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1. Describe how this opening is different from the multiple opening scenes you have seen in the Daily Doses from the British silent and/or sound period? 

 

The opposite of closeups of people screaming, frantic action, a public place filled with people. Rebecca opens in a dreamy, shallow depth of field, almost in slow motion as opposed to the generally sharp images of previous opening sequences. Also, the long narration by a leading character.

 

 

2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? 

 

POV, although in this case that of the narrator in place of a character. Lighting changes throughout the sequence matching and supporting the narration. Opening frame showing a narrow corridor, along the path, focusing the viewers attention on a specific part of the screen. Sudden introduction of sound with visual of intense motion featuring ocean waves crashing on shore lined with rocks to shock and grab audience attention.

 

3. How does this opening sequence use Manderley--the house itself--as a kind of character in the story? 

 

The visuals and narration focus everything on the house emphasizing it’s importance. Through both the house is given a character arch in the story from mysterious to rise, fall and finally demise.

 

What affect does the flashback structure and the voiceover narration have on your experience of this scene? 

 

Despite major differences, GWTW was in color, Rebecca b/w.; the intro to GWTW uses text for narration, Rebecca voice I couldn’t help being reminded of Tara from Gone With The Wind. Houses and estates feature prominently in each film. The “Selznick Trees” are present at the start. Both films have opening sequences that relay a story arc of a non-human character that rises, falls and ends in being unattainable.

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1. In his earlier films he opens in crowded public places. In several of them there is a woman screaming. In Rebecca it is almost like a dream or memory scene with the narrator recalling the past. The scene is in a deserted and overgrown woods. The shot moves to the manison and the moon shining through it. It gives the viewers a sense of wanting to know more about the story.

 

2. It is shot entirely in the POV of Joan Fontaine. This is one of Hitchcock's signature moves that he developed early in his career.

 

3. The manison is dark and foreboding, almost lifeless. Mrs. Danvers makes if very clear that the house was Rebecca's and not the current Mrs. DeWinter. Danvers adds to the gothic/horror feeling from her introduction. It's as if the soul of Mandelay lives even though Rebecca died no matter who the owner was.

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1) in this film Hitchcock open not in a crowd or inside somewhere but in the open

 

2) we are drawn into this dream and the voice of Joan fontaine helps with this

 

 

3) when we finally see Manderley the shadow cast by the moon moving over the house almost gives it a personality of it's own so much so we want to find out its story

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​1. This scene does not start in a public place with the main character(s), rather, it begins with a narrative in which we get into this woman's mind and see what she dreamt of - a house she lived in for a long time that has changed somehow, and she will not live in again.

 

​2. The Hitchcock 'touch' can be seen in how he used music to set the tone of the movie, a kind of eerie dreamlike mood, how the camera is subjective in that we see what she dreamt, the use of blondes as a leading lady, and an almost morbid beginning, when the man almost kills himself.

 

​3. Manderley has character of its own because it is personified as being secretive, as a person would be, and the words describing the road and plant are very active. The road is not curvy, it twists and turns, nature encroaches with fingers. This heavy personification makes the house and drive seem menacing. The voiceover narration makes you feel like you are taking a tour of her mind, and draws you into the story to make you wonder why she will not live there again, and why it has changed.

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We can gush about this book and this movie. This was my favorite book as a teenager. And Alfred Hitchcock of course did an extraordinary job bringing all characters to life. In this first scene unlike his other movies it was about one character at first : The house; Manderley. Hitchcock's other opening scenes from the daily doses create either a very down-to-earth normal atmosphere of people in every day various experiences or a very dynamic scary opening . In Rebecca it is all about the mood and the mystery of Manderley. Of course the voiceover sets up the human quality, life that was lived turmoil that was experienced in this very alive house.

The camera shot of the single POV walking us through and into the gate way up to the house and the cloudy moodiness… LOL of course again I have no idea where I'm taking the sentence. Anyway, it's very Hitchcock-y . Moody dark and brilliant.

When it cuts to the ocean churning on the rocks. It's very vibrant and alive and beautiful but also very treacherous. And as we pan up to the man we see " oh this ain't good." And then sweet simplistic innocence saves him. That cranky man. And the human every day element Joan Fontaine brings us back to their reality.

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1. Describe how this opening is different from the multiple opening scenes you have seen in the Daily Doses from the British silent and/or sound period? 

 

This opening scene uses more organic scenery,the ocean and the rocky cliffs, instead of large crowds of people . Also, even though music is present Joan Fontaine's voice seems to guide the mood more.

 

2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock

 

The ominous cliff scene that is shot from behind the actor is the only hint of Hitchcock I saw.

 

3. How does this opening sequence use Manderley--the house itself--as a kind of character in the story? What affect does the flashback structure and the voiceover narration have on your experience of this scene? 

 

Just calling the house by name, and even the fact that it has a name, marks it as something special to be noticed. The way the narrator speaks about it, with both fondness and sadness, gives it a life of its own. The lighting used also seems to suggest the house has a life force of its own.

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1. The opening to Alfred Hitchcock's first film in the United States, "Rebecca" (1940) is different than the previous openings of Hitchcock's British films.  The introduction is told from the point of view of Mrs. De Winter (Joan Fontaine), instead of the usual crowd shots from Hitchcock's silent and sound features in Britain.  

 

2.  Some of "touches" that he utilized include the dolly crane "point of view" shot of the Manderlay manor, along with Joan Fontaine's "Mrs. De Winter" (p.o.v.) narration.   This scene definitely fits in with Htichcock's style, as there as an "eerie" (or grim) feeling about the opening scene (possibly inspired by the silent expressionist works of Murnau, which also inspired Hitchcock's earlier British silent and sound films).  

 

3. Manderlay has a spooky/semi-unpleasant undertone, along with the eyewitness descriptions told by Mrs. De Winter's view (Fontaine).  The flashback sequence where the future Mrs. De Winter (Fontaine) attempts to stop Maxim De Winter (Lawrence Oliver) from jumping off the seaside cliff serves as a "sneak preview" as what is about to happen later in this definitive Hitchcock film.

 

Extra: The dolly crane "point-of-view" shot of the "Manderlay" mansion model looks like it came out of a Universal horror or Val Lewton thriller film (Lewton's best known thriller features, including 1942's "Cat People" and 1945's "The Body Snatcher" were filmed at RKO).

 
An interesting account of Hitchcock's "Rebecca" (including screen tests and interviews with Joan Fontaine and Hitchcock) can be found in the 1969 documentary, "Hollywood: The Selznick Years." http://bit.ly/2tLwfHM
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The Daily Doses played the opening minutes of five  Hitchcock British silent and sound films. All these films open on groups of people occupied in an activity. The activities are mostly pleasurable, skiing vacation in Man Who Knew Too Much, attending a Music Hall in   The Pleasure Garden and The 39 Steps, travel in The Lady Vanishes; although the crowd response to the murder of a woman in           The Lodger is alarm and fear.  The opening of Rebecca is completely different; it opens on the visualization of a dream as described by the dreamer. She is moving down a shadowed path toward the hulking remains of a shattered house that she calls Manderley. She scans the hulk as shadows play across it. The scene is unreal, gauzy, and entirely lacking in any human presence. This extended introduction to the house notifies the viewer about its importance to the story.

 

After this introduction to the fate of Manderley, the scene shifts to the protagonists of the story.  These characters are traveling, but their travels may not be completely pleasurable for them.  

 

Hitchcock touches in the opening scene include the tracking shot as the camera moves toward and through the gates and then along the road toward Manderley. The low level, shadowy lighting of this scene is also typically Hitchcockian. 

 

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1. The opening to Rebecca is different from the other openings we have seen in several ways. The other openings have crowds gathered watching an event and there is lots of action and things happen at a quicker pace. This opening is slow and dreamlike. We are viewing the scene as if we were driving up to the once grand estate, going down a winding road that has become overgrown with the passage of time and due to neglect. Then with the cashing of the waves we are awaken from the dreamlike state to see how the two main characters meet.

 

2. The mood of the scene feels like a Hitchcock film. The slow winding path, the foggy weather, the full moon lighting up the house all make for a suspenseful atmosphere. As we go down the winding road towards the abandoned house we are the voyeurs and Hitchcock tempts us to want to see more. As we listen to the narrative he pulls us into the world he has created  and we wonder what history this house holds and what led to its demise.

 

3. Manderley is a character in this sequence. It is introduced to us first with the narrator reminiscing about the grand mansion it was in the past. It has a spirit of its own. It was alive and had a heart and flourished. But now the house is desolate and neglected and is a shell of its former self. The flashback sets up the beginning of the story and even this is stormy with the crashing waves and the possibility of a suicide. 

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I think the opening of Rebecca is drastically different to what Hitchcock has done in his British years. There is no action to launch the energy of the film, however, we are gifted with the Hitchcock-ian technique of point of view as a narrator tells her dream as the camera travels as if it were the narrator.

I do think the Hollywood quality is seen as characters and situations are more heightened and fantasy-like, specially the tone of the opening, as if it were a doomed fairy tale. 

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1. This opening is different from the other opening scenes we have seen in the Daily Doses from the British silent and/or sound period in a few ways. It's much more introspective.  Instead of meeting multiple characters right off the bat, we are privy to the subconscious of the heroine. It's not a public place, there is not the humorous touch. This feels like a more serious story by the way the narrator recounts her dream and then that is backed up when she meets de Winter and for a moment she imagines he was about to commit suicide.


2. The Hitchcock touches I notice in the scene are the POV shots that bring you directly into the action. The audience travels the winding, neglected drive into Manderley along with the narrator. He uses the high angle shot to see the waves crashing down on the rocks, giving us the perspective of de Winter. There is an immediate sense of danger.


3. Manderley is used as a kind of character in the story because most of the opening shots feature her. We know that something has happened to her by the narrator indicating she can never go back. She is mysterious and beautiful ... not unlike the descriptions of her former mistress.  The opening scene sets up the fact that something sinister happened here and it makes you want more immediately.


 


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I am thrilled to see this film soon. Absolutely loved the clip. It's as if Hitchcock has expanded his talent for all existence on the planet to be alive and with character. Wow and it won best picture kudos Mr Hitchcock. This clip feels so different yet the same as others. With minimal knowledge of Hitchcock when starting this class, I find myself spellbound and evolving with his classic touch and amazing expression. The narration of the dream and combining the present and the past. I know something went terribly wrong from the start of the picture. The POV of the journey down the drive and to the house holds the past as if it were locked away forever and the viewer is about to see it's dark mystery. The drive, nature, house, lightening, and narration captures the audience immediately as all films have done thus far. Like other film openings, you have immediate knowledge of the characters personality. An innocent dame who meets a troubled gent whose lives experienced will resemble her dream. What will this adventure bring. I can't wait to find out..

 

1) “Ordinary people who are drawn by circumstances into extraordinary situations.” Check.✅

 

2) “[The hero] is thrown back on his own resources, and we sympathize with his plight in way that we cannot with the superhuman heroes bottled in the James Bond image.” Check.✅

 

3) “…The settings of Hitchcock films are quite ordinary on the surface, thereby suggesting that evil can lurk in places that at first glance seem normal and unthreatening.” Check.✅

 

4) “[Hitchcock’s] villains commit their mayhem in amusement parks and respectable restaurants, places where the viewer might often find themselves—not in locations that we tend to avoid in order to escape potential harm, such as dark alleys and dives…” Check.✅

 

5) “Hitchcock customarily takes the audience into his confidence early in the story by sharing with them information that other directors might withhold for the sake of a surprise ending.” Check.✅

 

Not sure about MacGuffin although it sorta leans to her preoccupation of his attempted suicide and meeting that might put her in danger.

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1. Describe how this opening is different from the multiple opening scenes you have seen in the Daily Doses from the British silent and/or sound period? 

 

This opening is different than others in the DD because it's not as busy of a scene. It's just the back view of a man overlooking the cliff, contemplating his next step to take. Then in comes a woman who happens to stop him at just the right time. 

 

2. What are the Hitchcock "touches" in this opening that help you identify this as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock? 

 

The initial view of the character from behind, not seeing his face until another character appears on screen. 

 

3. How does this opening sequence use Manderley--the house itself--as a kind of character in the story? What affect does the flashback structure and the voiceover narration have on your experience of this scene? 

 

The name given to the house gives it a personality all its own. When it's spoken of by the narrator, it's spoken about with great fondness and somewhat appreciation until it's mentioned that she will no longer be able to live there. Once that's is brought up, it adds even more character to the home and makes you wonder about its real backstory and what went on to make her not able to live there any longer. 

 

 

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