Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Running time: 130 minutes
A film about abusive relationships, Hitchcock's Rebecca (1940) stars Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine as a newlywed couple adrift in a vast English estate. Based on a Daphne du Maurier story, one of three that the director had used, it's still one of the most oppressive and unsettling films ever made. Rebecca was Hitchcock first American film and the only one where he won an Academy Awards for Best Picture, despite the Hollywood limitations imposed on its script. Max de Winter (Olivier) is haunted by his past and recently deceased wife, Rebecca, hoping that his new wife (Fontaine) will give him no trouble. The ghost of Rebecca is everywhere, however, in this sinister Gothic mansion called Manderley and a constant reminder to the new Mrs de Winter of her own unsuitability as lady of the house, a position rendered harder by the continuing service of Rebecca's personal maid Mrs Danvers (Judith Anderson). With its stunning visual touches, haunting atmosphere and gripping suspense, Rebecca is a study in power and the way it shifts between couples, touching on universal fears of being the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time. Later in his career, Hitchcock all but disowned the film, saying in an interview with François Truffaut that “the fact is, the story lacks humour” but the film's unforgettable images of a suffocating mansion where a marriage is crumbling and a mystery unfurling, make it one of the director's best loved and classic films.
Reservation is not necessary, but places are limited. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.