There are too many conflicting levels of authorship—between Alfred Hitchcock, Daphne du Maurier, and David O. Selznick—for this 1940 film to be a complete success, but through its first two-thirds it is as perfect a myth of adolescence as any of the Disney films, documenting the childlike, nameless heroine's initiation into the adult mysteries of sex, death, and identity, and the impossibility of reconciling these forces with family strictures. As a Hitchcock film, it is, with the closely related Suspicion
, one of his rare studies from a female point of view, and it is surprisingly tender and compassionate; the same issues, treated from a male viewpoint, would return in Vertigo
(Laurence Olivier's Maxim becoming the Sean Connery character of the latter film). With Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson, Nigel Bruce, and Gladys Cooper.
See our full review:
The inaugural fest presents nine short plays with a curious conceit: all have "Rebecca" in the title.