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Just notes about things I noticed & jotted down while watching Rebecca

 

The opening has haunting music & I can hear a harp ...Mrs. de Winter the 2nd (Joan Fontaine) is reflecting on her past life living here with Max (Laurence Olivier). The house at the end of the over grown path looks like it is burned out.

 

We then go over to 'monty' as another character Mrs. Edythe Van Hopper (Florence Bates) refers Monte Carlo as & her paid companion is this poor little drab looking girl wearing a tweed skirt & a sweater. This is how we meet the future Mrs. de Winter the 2nd & George Fortescue Maximilian "Max" or "Maxim"

de Winter. He has a big name to live up to & lives in a big country estate house called Manderley that apparently is famous in itself.

 

Mrs. Van Hopper is a celebrity chaser & wants Max's attention.Her paid companion meets him on the cliff trail & fearing his jumping she yells a warning & Max scolds her. This scolding pattern continues

so we can see how timid & shy the (girl companion) really is. She bossed & scolded & scolded & bossed. She does however catch the eye of Max de Winter, they play tennis & go for a drive, but she is again scolded by him. They can't live with out each other however & Mrs. Van Hopper can't believe it & scolds her companion & asks her "Have you been doing something you shouldn't?" she is jealous. This continues until she makes her exit & her scenes end.

 

Hopper is replaced however, with another character much worse than she was...Mrs. Danvers or Dannie (Judith Anderson). We find out that Dannie 'simply adored Rebecca' ...this is a warning for the new Mrs. de Winter who does not heed it. The dog Jasper likes the new Mrs. de Winter. It's a pity the dog cannot talk.

 

This movie is long with a long drawn out plot & a lot of characters. I'm only mentioning a few things I noticed or liked about it.

 

I always like George Sanders who plays Jack Favell a car salesman who wishes to be rich & live in the country with a few fruit trees & a nice car of his own... which leads to a blackmail attempt. He is also a first cousin to Rebecca & her lover.  He does get put in his place or rather reminds a car salesman & guess he does not get his countryside life. I love the scene in the car when he tries to blackmail Max & his Mrs.... That chicken leg he is gnawing on sure looks delicious; he even washes it down with a gulp of nice wine.  I assume it is nice for the de Winters would never consume bad, cheap wine not even on a break for being tried for murder of Rebecca.

 

Max often has temper fits & he gives the new Mrs. de Winter a hankie to dry her tears on ...the tears he caused with one of his temper fits. this hankie has the letter "R" emblazoned on it as well as many house hold items. This "R" is everywhere in Manderley. It was Rebecca's doing that she put her name on everything there. 

 

The scene with the over sized door & the new Mrs. de Wuinter looks very tiny before...that is a good image. She feels so small in that house & around Mrs. Danvers, who feeds on this emotion of insecurity.

 

Mrs. de Winter & Max watch home movies of their honeymoon when they were happy. He has another temper tantrum & more scolding of his Mrs. who never seems to mind this ill treatment. It seems to make her shrink even more into a shell. The lighting is great in this scene full on her face & the housekeeper fades away into the background...she is the one to give the warning about Mrs. Danvers 'simply adoring Rebecca'.

 

So much yet to come in this movie. The failed party where Mrs. de Winter trusted Dannie to help her with her costume. Why would she trust her?  Push the plot I guess.  Another temper fit from Max & almost a divorce over a party dress! He stomps out & off to London. More tears from the silly girl who cries too much. Wonder how old she is supposed to be in this movie?

 

I do like the plot of this movie & it  keeps moving along. Max returns...we know he is anxious over the death of Rebecca & the circumstances behind it. This explains his mood swings & temper fits due to stress. This second half is delicious... we learn Rebecca is mentally ill, dying & has issues of her own...her own looming death. One of her boyfriends was her cousin Jack, the car salesman. Wonder why Max was not enough for her to be happy. Rich, nice looking...who knows. Was that part of her mental illness?   Never happy with what she had...had to go looking for more until she died.

 

The final scene/s of the movie with Mrs. Danvers going through that massive estate house with but a single candle to light her way; beautiful lighting & mood captured with that single hand held candle ...I'm sure there was another light somewhere but it worked to appear that the candle was the only light source there.  The "R" is the last image on a pillow I believe. We also know from the beginning of the movie that Max & his new Mrs. will live happily ever after ...not in Manderley. Hope they still have Jasper with them.

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Just notes about things I noticed & jotted down while watching Rebecca

 

The opening has haunting music & I can hear a harp ...Mrs. de Winter the 2nd (Joan Fontaine) is reflecting on her past life living here with Max (Laurence Olivier). The house at the end of the over grown path looks like it is burned out.

 

We then go over to 'monty' as another character Mrs. Edythe Van Hopper (Florence Bates) refers Monte Carlo as & her paid companion is this poor little drab looking girl wearing a tweed skirt & a sweater. This is how we meet the future Mrs. de Winter the 2nd & George Fortescue Maximilian "Max" or "Maxim"

de Winter. He has a big name to live up to & lives in a big country estate house called Manderley that apparently is famous in itself.

 

Mrs. Van Hopper is a celebrity chaser & wants Max's attention.Her paid companion meets him on the cliff trail & fearing his jumping she yells a warning & Max scolds her. This scolding pattern continues

so we can see how timid & shy the (girl companion) really is. She bossed & scolded & scolded & bossed. She does however catch the eye of Max de Winter, they play tennis & go for a drive, but she is again scolded by him. They can't live with out each other however & Mrs. Van Hopper can't believe it & scolds her companion & asks her "Have you been doing something you shouldn't?" she is jealous. This continues until she makes her exit & her scenes end.

 

Hopper is replaced however, with another character much worse than she was...Mrs. Danvers or Dannie (Judith Anderson). We find out that Dannie 'simply adored Rebecca' ...this is a warning for the new Mrs. de Winter who does not heed it. The dog Jasper likes the new Mrs. de Winter. It's a pity the dog cannot talk.

 

This movie is long with a long drawn out plot & a lot of characters. I'm only mentioning a few things I noticed or liked about it.

 

I always like George Sanders who plays Jack Favell a car salesman who wishes to be rich & live in the country with a few fruit trees & a nice car of his own... which leads to a blackmail attempt. He is also a first cousin to Rebecca & her lover.  He does get put in his place or rather reminds a car salesman & guess he does not get his countryside life. I love the scene in the car when he tries to blackmail Max & his Mrs.... That chicken leg he is gnawing on sure looks delicious; he even washes it down with a gulp of nice wine.  I assume it is nice for the de Winters would never consume bad, cheap wine not even on a break for being tried for murder of Rebecca.

 

Max often has temper fits & he gives the new Mrs. de Winter a hankie to dry her tears on ...the tears he caused with one of his temper fits. this hankie has the letter "R" emblazoned on it as well as many house hold items. This "R" is everywhere in Manderley. It was Rebecca's doing that she put her name on everything there. 

 

The scene with the over sized door & the new Mrs. de Wuinter looks very tiny before...that is a good image. She feels so small in that house & around Mrs. Danvers, who feeds on this emotion of insecurity.

 

Mrs. de Winter & Max watch home movies of their honeymoon when they were happy. He has another temper tantrum & more scolding of his Mrs. who never seems to mind this ill treatment. It seems to make her shrink even more into a shell. The lighting is great in this scene full on her face & the housekeeper fades away into the background...she is the one to give the warning about Mrs. Danvers 'simply adoring Rebecca'.

 

So much yet to come in this movie. The failed party where Mrs. de Winter trusted Dannie to help her with her costume. Why would she trust her?  Push the plot I guess.  Another temper fit from Max & almost a divorce over a party dress! He stomps out & off to London. More tears from the silly girl who cries too much. Wonder how old she is supposed to be in this movie?

 

I do like the plot of this movie & it  keeps moving along. Max returns...we know he is anxious over the death of Rebecca & the circumstances behind it. This explains his mood swings & temper fits due to stress. This second half is delicious... we learn Rebecca is mentally ill, dying & has issues of her own...her own looming death. One of her boyfriends was her cousin Jack, the car salesman.    Never happy with what she had...had to go looking for more until she died.

 

The final scene/s of the movie with Mrs. Danvers going through that massive estate house with but a single candle to light her way; beautiful lighting & mood captured with that single hand held candle ...I'm sure there was another light somewhere but it worked to appear that the candle was the only light source there.  The "R" is the last image on a pillow I believe. We also know from the beginning of the movie that Max & his new Mrs. will live happily ever after ...not in Manderley. Hope they still have Jasper with them.

 

Rebecca found out that she had late-stage cancer.   Rebecca was a sociopath,  but that was the extent of any mental illness (your post implies more then that, but maybe I'm reading into it).

 

I don't recall where 'we learn she is mentally ill",   instead we learn from her doctor in the city that she had late-stage cancer and since that is a death sentence she decides she would rather commit suicide by trying to goad Max into killing her. 

 

Note that in the book Max does kill her,  but due to the Production Code and that the studio wanted a happy ending this was changed to her killing herself.

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We know that Joan Fontaine is the opposite of Rebecca, right off we learn that from Joan's employer Mrs. Van Hopper.  That is what draws Maxim to her.  She is new to her new role and Maxim is too occupied with other issues to notice or to give her help.  Others like Maxim's sister can understand that Mrs. Danvers scares her.  We can see Maxim's love for her in the honeymoon pictures, ""look at you, won't our grandchildren be surprised when they see how lovely you were".  But he has just rejected her new hair style and clothes as "not your type".  

 

Then she goes to Rebecca's room.  Mrs. Danvers shows her around, not nicely, but how she can never take Rebecca's place.  Maxim loved her so, bought her things all the time, How Mrs. Danvers can her Rebecca in all the rooms.  Joan finally stands up, montage of Mrs. Danvers, the room, all the things with R on them.  Next day giving orders to get rid of Rebecca's things.  Mrs. Danvers suggests the dress.

 

Lot more murder and mayhem in the movie.  Maxim murdering Joan's youth and innocence that he loves, Mrs. Danvers trying to get Joan to jump from Rebecca's window.  The murder of Manderlay and suicide of Mrs. Danvers.

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Something I noticed while watching Rebecca recently, is that Hitchcock did actually infuse some of his trademark humor in the film.  I'm talking about the ways Maxim deftly avoids meeting Mrs. Van Hopper (Florence Bates), and how she always makes a lame excuse for Maxim avoiding her.  I thought these moments were quite humorous, though subtle...

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