In 1940 the Alfred Hitchcock version of Rebecca, starring Lawrence Olivier and Joan Fontaine, won the Oscar for Best Picture. The full movie is available on YouTube.
In 1962, an hour-long TV version was produced, starring James Mason and Joan Hackett. It did a surprisingly good job of capturing the story, I thought.
In 1979, Rebecca was made into a three-part miniseries, that aired on PBS. There isn’t a trailer on YouTube, but this is better–the first 9 minutes of the miniseries. This was my introduction to Rebecca. I was instantly captivated. After watching the miniseries, I looked up the book and read it. Then I read more books by Daphne Du Maurier.
In 1997, Rebecca was again made into a PBS miniseries, with Charles Dance as Maxim and Diana Rigg as Mrs. Danvers. It’s on YouTube.
Now Netflix has commissioned a remake of the movie, to star Lily James and Armand Hammer. Multiple publications have reported the news. No word yet on a release date, or who will portray Mrs. Danvers. I’ll be watching.
My unabashed praise for the book:
If ‘Rebecca’ the movie looks intriguing, I highly recommend checking out the book, and Dame Daphne Du Maurier’s other books. Here are a few I’ve enjoyed:
- The King’s General
- Jamaica Inn
- My Cousin Rachel
- Frenchman’s Creek
All of the books I’ve listed except The King’s General (I think) have been made into movies; like Rebecca, more than once.
If none of the above-mentioned works look familiar to you, surely this one will. Dame Du Maurier wrote The Birds.
The Birds scared me to death as a kid. Thank goodness I didn’t know the connection to Rebecca, because if I did, I never would have watched or read Rebecca.
Now back to Rebecca…
To my delight, Rebecca the novel came in at #25 in the ‘Great American Read’ Top 100 reader’s poll for 2018. My personal copy, the 1939 Doubleday edition:
Menabilly Estate in Cornwall, UK, where Dame Du Maurier lived and raised her family, and where many of her stories (including Rebecca) are based, now offers lodging for visitors. This is near the top of my travel bucket list.
IMDB movie links —
- Rebecca 1940 https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032976/
- Rebecca 1962 https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056398
- Rebecca 1979 https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077067/
- Rebecca 1997 https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119991/
Daphne Du Maurier book list on Goodreads