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
9 thoughts on “A new ‘Rebecca’ movie is coming.”
It’ll be interesting to see the Netflix adaptation! I wonder how faithfully they will stick to the book, after hearing so much about the changes they made in their adaptation of The Haunting?
The story of Rebecca is so well known that it would surely be a mistake to deviate from it. I’ll be deeply disappointed if they do. We’ll see, I guess.
Which movie/show would you recommend?
That’s a hard thing to answer. The first one is ‘Hitchcock’, so it’s in B&W and dark exposure on top of that, with dramatic background music and dialogue. The ’62 version is similar but only an hour long. I think it is free in the Amazon Prime selection. The two PBS versions are romantic in the ‘Masterpiece Theatre’ style. My preference is for the ’79 version, probably only because it is the first one I saw. The ’97 version has Diana Rigg, Faye Dunaway and Charles Dance. It is very well done as you can imagine, but on the screen I see Diana, Faye and Charles instead of Mrs. Danvers, Mrs. Van Hopper and Max De Winter.
I didn’t come up with a recommendation exactly, but hopefully the extra details help you decide. If you do watch one, I’ll be interested in what you think.
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I’ve heard of it but never read or saw it. I’ve never read much fiction. I love B&W and Hitchcock so that is the one I would probably try…as long as they don’t deviate much from the story.
All of the versions get the main parts of the story, I think. You can’t go wrong with B&W Hitchcock. The ’62 hour-long version is obviously abbreviated, but on the plus side, it’s a sponsored TV show, with vintage kitchen appliance commercials in it. That’s fun.
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I love old commercials. I have some 70s-80s Dodger games and I like the commercials almost as much as the game.
It’s on my list… I will tell you.
Those old tapes with the commercials are great! I’ll look forward to what you think of the movie.
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