Aug 8, 2017

13th Aug 2017 ; Alfred Hitchcock's REBECCA


13th August, Sunday - Hitchcock's birthday
A film by Alfred Hitchcock
Based on Daphne Du Maurier's celebrated novel
1940/ USA/ 130 minutes
5.45 pm / Perks Mini Theater

The story begins in Monte Carlo, where a young woman (Joan Fontaine) is making her living as the paid companion of a rich American lady. While the lady is abed with the flu, the young woman meets and is captivated by a gentleman from Cornwall, Maxim de Winter (Laurence Olivier). He's brooding and handsome and she falls madly in love with him and he apparently with her. 

 Their whirlwind romance leads to a marriage and he brings her home as "the second Mrs. de Winter." This is not the first time Maxim has been married. His previous wife, Rebecca, died in a boating accident several years ago and her death is said to have broken him. 

 The new Mrs. de Winter does not find it easy going being the mistress of Manderlay, her husband's vast estate. Meanwhile, the memory of Rebecca, palpable as a specter, haunts the mansion. Rebecca falls neatly into the three-act pattern that defines many classic Hollywood stories. The first portion is a simple love story. It is told with tenderness and feeling and illustrates that if Hitchcock had wanted to, he could have been a great director of big Hollywood romances. 

The second act, which encompasses the second Mrs. de Winter's uneasy relationship with Manderlay and its servants, her "battle" with Rebecca, and Maxim's revelation of the truth, is more typically Hitchcockian than the rest of the movie. The director uses camera angles, editing, and music to emphasize the lead character's claustrophobia as it escalates to near-hysteria. Finally, the third section is part police procedural and part drama as the movie accelerates to its logical conclusion.

Hitchcock shows superb technical control and attends to his trademark motifs, from monstrous mother figures to the fetishisation of clothing (strong foreshadowings of ‘Vertigo’). The reason Rebecca still grips lies in the fact that we can all see ourselves in Fontaine's role: everyone plunged into a new and unfamiliar milieu has felt her uncertainty and fear that they are the wrong person, in the wrong place. Rebecca marks the most decisive single step both in Hitchcock’s career. This is Hitchcock's first movie after he moved to America from England. The experience opened whole new vistas of thematic and emotional expression, stimulating Hitchcock’s professional ambition and expanding his artistic aspirations. The result exhibits that the director is capable of a range few would credit him with. With Rebecca, he illustrates an aptitude for crafting not only psychological terror but drama and romance. (Source : Internet )



He was known to his audiences as the 'Master of Suspense' and what Hitchcock mastered was not only the art of making films but also the task of taming his own raging imagination. Director of such works as Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds and The 39 steps, Hitchcock told his stories through intelligent plots witty dialogue and a spoonful of mystery and murder. In doing so, he inspired a new generation of filmmakers and revolutionized the thriller genre, making him a legend around the world. Hitchcock was eccentric, demanding, inventive, impassioned and he had a great sense of British humor.
Hitchcock had his first shot of being the director of a film in 1923 when he was to direct the film "The Number 13", though the production was stopped. Hitchcock didn't give up then. He directed a film called "The Pleasure Garden" in 1925, a British/German production, which was very popular. In 1926, Hitchcock made his first notable film, "The Lodger". In the same year on the 2nd of December, Hitchcock married Alma Reville. They had one child called Patricia Hitchcock (born 7th July 1928).

His success followed when he made a number of films in Britain such as "The Lady Vanishes" (1938) and Jamaica Inn (1939), some of them which also made him famous in the USA. David O. Selznick, an American producer at the time, got in touch with Hitchcock and the Hitchcock family moved to the USA to direct an adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca (1940). It was when Saboteur (1942) was made, that films companies began to call his films after him; such as Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock's Family Plot, Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy. He retired soon after making Family Plot (1976). In late 1979, Hitchcock was knighted, making him Sir Alfred Hitchcock. On the 29th April 1980, 9:17AM, he died peacefully in his sleep.

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