Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca

The Dastardly Past:  Rebecca (1940)

rebeccaOn April 12, 1940, David O. Selznick Productions released Rebecca, based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier.  Alfred Hitchcock directed this, his first American production and the only one of his films to win an Oscar for best picture.  David O. Selznick had purchased the rights to the novel in 1938 for $50,000, but had difficulty casting the film.  His first choice for Maxim de Winter was Ronald Colman, who refused the part.  Selznick next considered William Powell and Laurence Olivier.  Olivier came cheaper than Powell by $100,000 and so won the role.  Joan Fontaine was one of several actresses, including Margaret Sullavan and Anne Baxter, considered for the part of the second Mrs. De Winter.  The best bit of casting did not involve the leads, however.  Dame Judith Anderson as the menacing housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, outshone the principals and redefined malevolence.  The movie, like Anderson’s performance, remains a classic.

1153db618bd2627e07ae46590772199e

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s