Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actor: Anthony Bate; John Branwell; Jonathan Cake; Tom Chadbon; Lucy Cohu; Charles Dance; Zulema Dene; Frank Doherty; Faye Dunaway; Emilia Fox; John Horsley; Geraldine James; Denis Lill; Ian McDiarmid; Kelly Reilly; Diana Rigg; Patrick Romer; Robin Soans; Jonath
Director: Jim O'Brien
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Daphne du Maurier's classic tale of romance, suspense and jealousy, Rebecca, is brought to you in this lavish adaptation. Set in elegant Monte Carlo and dramatic Cornwall in the 1930s. this drama stars Charles Dance (Gosf... more »
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Not Du Maurier and Not On Par With Hitchcock
Diana F. Von Behren | Kenner, LA USA | 01/16/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"When I first heard of this production on PBS's Masterpiece Theatre, I was thrilled with anticipation regarding how it would be played. Would it rival Hitchcock's masterpiece? Would it be marketed as a romantic escape?
Unfortunately, althought this version of Du Maurier's classic follows the book very closely and is over 2 hours longer than the original 1940s film, it just doesn't measure up to either Hitchcock or the book. Hitchcock downplays Du Maurier's portrayal of the strange relationship between men and women. Men are omnipotent---women, merely serve. Rebecca, too strong must go. Hitchcock plays up the Gothic touches with fog, music and a weakly played Max De Winter. The nameless heroine gathers strength as Rebecca is revealed to be intrinsically evil. But this is not Du Maurier's 'Rebecca'. In the book there is no win in the ending---the heroine simply remains a caretaker as she was in the beginning of the novel; her charge has changed from Mrs. Van Hopper to Maxim. The couple drifts like sad wanderers from place to place; as Du Maurier puts it, "There is no resurrection." In this adaptation and in Hitchcock, love seems to conquer all---an idea completely alien and misunderstood by most readers of Du Maurier.
First and foremost, the girl playing the narrator is not gauche or dependent enough--she has too much spunk and sparkle lurking behind the lank hair and the school girl dresses. Fontaine was ever so much more desperate to please as I think Du Maurier's heroine was meant to be. Du Maurier doesn't even give her a name. Dame Diana Rigg is an equally austere Mrs Danvers, but her portrayal is much too sad, not malicious enough and definitely suggests a [physical] attraction to her former mistress which seems mournful rather than simply obsessive like DuMaurier's character in the novel or Dame Anderson's character in Hitchcock's film. Charles Dance is not as taut nerved as Olivier, but he passes as an okay Max DeWinter with perhaps a third of Olivier's charm. Still, he comes off as weak as does Olivier in Hitchcock's version---neither fully portraying the strong silent brooding character of Maxim in the book. Lastly, giving Rebecca a voice and a body, is a mistake. Du Maurier's book is so compelling simply because we don't know anything about Rebecca and hence can envision whatever femme fatale we choose--the real Rebecca is a ghost; she remains a mystery to the very end--we don't know if she is really malevolent---we only have Maxim's word--or excuse for his own violent actions. We don't even understand her motives fully even after the production moves to the final scene at Manderley.
Nevertheless, if you simply love everything 'Rebecca', you will at least like this version, but, I guarantee it will provoke you to find a copy of the Hitchcock version at your local rental store or better yet a worn copy of the book at your library!"
Classic book adaptation and movie remake
Joan Monica Wanat | Wheeling, IL USA | 09/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While I will always like the Hitchcock film better, this adaptation is a great example of how a book should be turned into a movie. This will always be a classic love story between a young woman and an older mysterious widower that changes and matures with tragedy and the revelation of secrets. As with the originial film, this movie is suspenseful, romantic, and tragic. This faithful adapation from the book expands on issues that were skimmed over in the orginial movie but should have been filmed in black and white. In the new adaptation, the feelings between Maxim and the new Mrs. de Winter are underscored with some blatant scenes where they are still laying in bed and with more dubtle touches, such as holding hands when they walk or when Maxin touches Mrs. de W's face while in conversation. However, Lawrence Olivier somehow portrayed a more tragic and angry Maxim than is seen in this version."
The only good thing about this is that they got the time per
Barbara L. Timmer | Cincinnati, Ohio United States | 04/11/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Like everybody else who has ever read the mistresswork Rebecca I find all the characters unforgettable, from the second Mrs. DeWinter to Rebecca herself. The haunting, elusive, enigmatic beatuy. Who was the real Rebecca, angel or devil?
I don't think we're meant to know.
Now to get on to a review of this version of Rebecca. It at least has the story taking place in the 1920's as anyone who has read the book knows is actually the time when it took place, and not the late 1930's, as the top-notch Hitchcock movie has it taking place.
Other than that it is not nearly as good as the movie. Diana Rigg is such a good actress and the way she played Mrs. Danvers had none of the truly scary and obsessive qualtity of Judith Anderson's performance. I'm surprised that she did such a poor job of playing Mrs. Danvers.
And the person who played Maxim wasn't very physically attractive. He was much less likable than Olivier in the part, grumpy and bad-tempered, rather than brooding and obsessed as Olivier played him.
And much of the story was changed. The only thing Hitchcock changed in the movie was the fact Maxim killed Rebecca on purpose, and the fact that the second Mrs. DeWinter went to London with Maxim.
In this version Maxim rescues Mrs. Danvers from Manderly as it is burning, there is no mention of anything like that. And then there's the meeting between Mrs. VanHopper, Maxim and the second Mrs. DeWinter that NEVER took place in the book.
Evey though Faye Dunaway is not one of my favorite actresses, I really like her portrayal of Mrs. VanHopper. She brings the sex-obsessed, frustrated, wealthy, unattractive middle-aged woman who has to hire male escorts side of Mrs. VanHopper that was only hinted at in the movie and book out in the open.
This movie doesn't have the haunting, scary, atmosphere of the book or the movie. And the most faithful adaption of Rebecca was one made for PBS years ago. I don't remember who played most of the parts, but Joanna David played the second Mrs. DeWinter and I think Eugenia Massay played Mrs. Danvers very much in the style of Judith Anderson.
What a shame that version was never released on video or DVD."
Rent don't buy
W. Drake | Ohio | 06/05/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Since the Hitchcock version is out of print,I bought this version.It lacks the sinister atmosphere,suspense,and foreboding of the book and Hitchcock version.Lacking these qualities, the movie is plodding and rather boring. While Diana Rigg is intriguing as Mrs. Danvers, the portrayal of the characters of Maxim and the second Mrs. DeWinter are unsatisfying.The two have no chemistry, and I care about neither. Ultimately,I read the reviews to judge if I should purchase the movie.I will pass this version on to a friend but will not keep it in my library.Wish I would have rented it instead."